Top 5 Best Police Auctions Sites in 2023
All across the country, there are plenty of government and police car auctions which means it should not be too hard for you to find one. You can look in the local papers or press releases for car auctions. There are also online searches you can use to help you find an auction in your area. There are also online auction finders that you can use, but there might be fees incurred. We have included the best 5 such sites to assist you in locating the auctions in your area.
Tips for Buying Cars at Government or Police Car Auctions
These auctions by the government and police will work in the same manner as any auctions would. You will bid on an item or lot that you want to buy and when the bidding is done, the highest bidder will win. When you are at the auction, there are some tips that you should follow to get the best deal at these auctions.
The first tip is to arrive early to the auction. When you arrive early, you will have the chance to pick the best car and start working on the checks. It is important that you check the Vehicle Identification Numbers and ensure this matches the paperwork and vehicle.
You also need to look over the mechanics of the car. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you should take a mechanically minded friend with you to check the vehicles. When you are sure about the mechanics, vehicle history and suitability for your needs, you will be able to determine the top price you want to pay.
Most of the government and police auctions will only take cash. Some of them will allow other arrangements for financing the purchase. However, these auctions are rare, and it is best to bring the cash for your bid with you or be ready to write a check.
Do Your Research
Before you place any bids, you need to know what the expected value of the vehicle is. This will ensure that you do not pay more than you should for the vehicle. Before the auction starts, you will have a chance to check the cars. Also, you should bear in mind that the car you get from these auctions will not be in perfect condition and they are likely to have some defects.
Get the Vehicle History
You need to see more about the history of the car before you bid and you can use AutoCheck, Carfax or the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. While the vehicle history report will not tell you everything about the vehicle, it will provide you with an idea of the wear on the car. There are also important events that will be flagged on the report such as the vehicle being in an accident and the maintenance record.
Inspect the Vehicle
When you inspect the car, you need to check for any discoloration sports which are a signal that the car has been in an accident. You should also use the VIN to check if there are any accidents in the vehicle’s history. Carfax is a good site to check this information. Signs of water damage should also be looked at and this will include salt residue on the door panels and the carpets.
Take Note of the People at the Auction
You need to take your time and look at all the cars and auction goers. Suspicious actions should be noted such as people who are actively bidding on every vehicle or lot. These people might be trying to inflate the prices. It is recommended that you attend several auctions before the one you want to participate in. Getting to know the players can help you win your car.
Keep Your Cool
When the bidding starts, it is very easy to get swept up, but you need to keep your limits in mind and keep your cool. Do not get involved in a bidding war if you do not have to. You do not want to spend the time getting to the auction only to pay more for the car than you would at a dealership.
Top 5 Best Government & Police Car Auctions Listings
Finding government or police car auctions near you can be a daunting task and that is why we have taken the pain away and compiled a list of the best 5 sites that keep up with current auctions around the country. The listing was composed as a result of a thorough research and participating in the listed auctions. Out of over 150 sites we reviewed, we found that only the 5 listed below have databases that are updated daily.
Other Forms of Police Auctions
There are live auction auctions where you can buy police impounded cars, but there are also online auctions as well. The online auction process is very similar to the live auction. The primary difference is that you will not be able to inspect the car before you make a bid.
While this is the case, online auctions will have very detailed car descriptions. There will also be pictures of the vehicle alongside the description. Some online auctions will also allow you the chance to ask some questions about the vehicle before you start bidding.
Another difference is the fact you will not have access to the vehicle on the day you bid for it. You will have to pay for the car first and most online auctions will accept credit cards and bank transfers for this. After payment, you will have the choice of picking up the vehicle or have it shipped to you.
This means that the drawback of the online auction, when compared to a live auction, is the fact that you will not have access to the vehicle before you start bidding. This makes the whole process a bit riskier. The benefit is that you will have access to a lot more vehicles and you will be able to bid on vehicles from the other side of the country.
The Costs and Fees
Police impounded cars can be purchased for less than at a dealership, but there are a few things you need to know. The most important is that there are going to be other costs that will increase the final price you pay.
If you take part in an online auction, you may have to pay for the car to be shipped to you. There is also a chance that you will need to clean and repair the car once you have it. The impounded vehicle may have been in an accident before the police took it. It could also have been part of a crime such as selling drugs. The issue is that you cannot often determine the extent of the damage to the vehicle before you purchase it.
You might want to avoid any cars that have been involved in serious crimes such as murder. If you do not, you can find yourself spending a lot of money having the vehicle professionally cleaned.
More Tips to Follow at a Police Auction
Be Honest with Yourself
If you do not have the tools or knowledge to handle any mechanical challenges, you should not talk yourself into thinking that you can. If you are looking for a cheap car, you need to ensure that it does not come with any expensive repairs.
Use Your Eyes
Police and government auctions sell cars on visual inspection alone. This means that you need to take your time to look at everything and consider any signs of repairs such as less than smooth metal, paint overspray, and puddles under the cars. Scored brake discs and uneven stances can also tell you that the car was repaired. You also need to use your hands, legs, and nose. If the carpets are wet or the car smells musty, you need to avoid buying it.
Do Not Believe Everything You See
Touch-up paint, polish, and Bondo are cheap. Every vehicle at the police auction will be rubbed on to the point where there is a distortion field around them. However, you need to remember that nothing is as good as it looks at these auctions.
Do Not Let the Superficial Scare You
When you go to a government auction, weathered paint can cover up a mechanically sound vehicle. A small dent in the tailgate may not be a sign of misuse and just the result of a parking lot bump. However, when you are at a police auction, these signs can mean that the car is so bad that they do not think it is worthwhile trying to fool you.
Check The VIN
You need to take note of the VIN of any car you are considering buying. You need to check the places where the VIN will generally appear such as the trunk lid sticker and the doors. If the number on the base of the windshield does not match, the car may have been in a major accident that required a rebuild. It is better to look at other cars in this case.
Pull the Dipsticks
If a car has been well-maintained, you should see clear and clean lubricants on the transmission and oil dipstick. Take the time to pull them to check.
Know The Value Before You Bid
The Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds are online resources that give you a general idea of what a used car will be worth. You also need to take the time to look at local prices on classified listings and Craigslist. If you do not know the value of the car, you should not pretend that you do.
The Pros and Cons of Police Auctions
The primary benefit of these auctions is that you can get a great deal. The police do not want to house the cars they are not going to keep so they will take low offers. The primary downside is that these auctions are usually packed, and you will be competing with a lot of other bidders who are driving up the price.
Another drawback is that you cannot inspect the vehicle as much as you want. Seized vehicles are generally not in the best condition and this can make them expensive in the long-term.