Government Auto Auctions – What To Expect At A Government Auto Auction

You have probably seen the ads: BUY GOVERNMENT CARS AT AUCTION FOR $200. The truth is that you’ll be unlikely to pick up a nearly new, high-end car in perfect condition for $200. However, you CAN find great deals on used cars at government auto auctions. (By the way, government auctions are not limited to cars, but can include boats, aircraft, office equipment, furniture, heavy machines, and even foreclosed or seized land and houses.) Government auto auctions are held all across the country in many locations. Information regarding the auctions is available online for from sites that generally charge a small membership fee.

While government auto auctions are great for those who are looking for a huge bargain, it’s best to collect some knowledge first. The following tips will put you in a better position to grab the best deal from the car auctions.

1. Search for information that will give you a clear picture of the specific used car market that you are interested in. Different cars can command far different prices in different parts of the country. There are great online sources available such as Edmunds., kbb (the Kelly Blue Book people) and nada (the National Automobile Dealers’ Association). Print out some of the information for reference at the auctions.

2. Bring your drivers license and some other form of ID to the auto auction.

3. Be early at the auto auctions. This is definitely a situation in which the early bird catches the worm. Be at the auctions ahead of the crowd so you can take a close look at and inspect each of the cars that interest you.

4. Perform a physical inspection of the cars that interest you. Check the body fit, the paint, the engine compartment and the tires to see that each appears to be in good condition. It is highly recommended that you write down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and have a friend at home check the number with an online service. Several online services will generate a detailed history of the car using the VIN for a nominal cost. The reports will list any problems with the car from accidents and sometimes even include service history.

5. Once you successfully bid on a car, be sure to closely review the contract so that it does not contain any conditions that you are not comfortable with. Pay particular attention to the period in which the seller has to deliver the title to the car to you. Often sellers do not have physical titles to the cars they are selling with them and you do not want to have to wait too long to receive your title.

6. There is no financing available at government auto auctions, so make sure you have money available to pay for any car you buy. Many auctions require that you pay for the cars you buy with a bank draft so be sure to investigate the payment requirements of any particular auction before you attend.

7. Set a limit that you are willing to spend BEFORE you get to the auction and do not go beyond that limit. Too often people get caught up in the frenzy of bidding and chase the price of a car well above what would be considered a good deal.

If you are not sure that you want to buy a car at action, go ahead and attend one just to see how the process works. You may be surprised how many quality vehicles and good deals are available.

Finally, don’t leave your brain at home. Just because a car is being sole at an auction does not necessarily mean it’s a great bargain. If the car needs serious repairs of has a checkered history, it may not be worth much. As always, information is king.

Get good information, do your homework, know in advance what you can spend and inspect the cars as much as possible before you head out to the auctions and you will find some great deals.