US Government Car Auctions: Find Them and Get the Best Deal

Government car auctions are a great means to pick up a second-hand vehicle at a fraction of the cost. The trick is to know where to find these government car auctions, how to know the tricks to get a good deal, and what to look for, which is everything you will learn from this article. The following will detail specific information that will lead you to the government car auctions and guide you on how to get the best deals when you are there.

How to Find Government Car Auctions

Each state has government car auctions; however, each state does not operate in the same way. Therefore, the first thing that is necessary is to contact your local police station to ask them where you can get a hold of government seized vehicles. This is one way to find government auctions, as the station will be able to guide you to the proper government auction houses.

Local newspapers are another source to find where and when government car auction will be and take place. Typically, the auctions are announced in the local newspaper for the area that the auctions are taking place.

Another means to finding government car auctions, is to check online. There are many online car auction services that will locate government car auctions that are being held in your area, for you. However, these services typically involve a fee, and not are a free source to obtain the information.

Various Types of Government Car Auctions:

Local police auctions: Local police car auctions are auctions that involve vehicles that have been impounded. For these types of auctions you will call your local police department and ask for the dates and details.

Federal government auctions: Federal government car auctions auction off vehicles that have been seized during criminal busts, as well as, fleet vehicles. These vehicles and auctions are consolidated under the GovSales website.

Additional government sites: There are additional government sites that help the consumer with tips on various government auctions. Guide to Federal Auctions, for example, provides various agencies that the consumer will find the auctions through as well as information on the departments’ websites. Another government site where the consumer can find information about auction sources is GSA.

Private sources: The private sources, as mentioned earlier, are online sites that are private, but provide information regarding federal and local government auto actions. Gov-Auctions provides access to both state and federal auction for a small charge.

How to Get a Good Deal at a Government Auto Auction

The trick to getting a good deal at a government auto auction is to be prepared. If you are considering bidding on a vehicle, then prior to placing the bid, inspect the vehicle. This means start it up, step on the gas, inspect the engine and listen for pings and pangs, and so on. If you do not have mechanical skills, then bring a mechanic with you to the auction. Bidding on a vehicle that looks in mint condition does not mean that it is in mint condition, and inspecting the vehicle prior to the bid is a must to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth.

Another thing about the government auto auctions is that there are vehicles up for auction that are in less than desirable shape, but, with the right attention, might be well worth the investment. If you happen to be a bidder with mechanical skills, you often times can pick up a fixer upper at a government car auction for as low as $50. That may sound insane, but it is not out of the ordinary. The vehicles do need repairs, but if you have the skill to make the repairs, provided that they are not repairs that would cost more than the vehicle’s worth, then you could walk away with a tremendous deal, and a great weekend project. For instance, if you are bidding on a vehicle in which the starter is out, has a few rips in the upholstery, and a few other minor repairs, and pick up the vehicle for $50, are able to perform the repairs yourself, you would, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as, the year of the vehicle, might have purchased a very profitable vehicle.

As with all auctions, prior to a government auction, read the catalog so that you know what vehicles are being auctioned. This should be done prior to attending the auction, as it will help to keep you focused and not get swept into the adrenaline of the auction. Also, have a budget. If you know what you are bidding on, have inspected it, then set a limit, and keep to your budget, and be ready to pay for the vehicle in the event that you are the winning bidder.

Government Auto Auctions, What to Look For

When you visit a government car auction to bid on vehicles, most times they are vehicles that have been seized through drug busts or other criminal busts. Or, they may be fleet vehicles of the agency that are no longer in commission.

Government car auctions are held at different dates and locations across the United States throughout the year. Even though the government car auctions present the opportunity for fantastic deal, you still need to be careful about certain things. First, you must know the condition of the vehicle. Just because the vehicle is being auctioned off at a government auction does not mean that it is in mint condition. Some of these cars do have problems, and you must be aware of those problems, prior to placing your bid.

When you arrive at the auction to place a bid on a vehicle that you are interested in, you should arrive early. Always have your checklist in hand, which is wise to check out prior to the auction. If you have read the catalog and have found the vehicle that you are interested in then you should have the Vehicle Identification Number and have run a CARFAX report. If you did not, do it the day of the auction. Also, ask the administrator for all information about the vehicle.

Also, always be careful when bidding on a vehicle that may have the interest of the crowd. Each bid must be higher than the previous and therefore, it is easy to get swept away in the bidding momentum and you may actually end up spending more than the vehicle’s worth if you are not careful. Stick to your budget, and don’t go over.

6 thoughts on “US Government Car Auctions: Find Them and Get the Best Deal

  1. Glad you suggested getting a vehicle history report, too many people miss that step.

    Just a couple links that might be helpful:

    Federal Auctions –
    List of state and local auction sites –
    A good site for a bunch of different auctions –
    Same deal –

    Also, eBay Motors will have quite a few vehicles from government surplus on it. Always worth checking out.

    Hope it helps!

  2. Auctions are a great way to find good deals but it’s also a good idea to get have some car repair experience as well. Sometimes you may not know what you are getting.

  3. I found this to be a very helpful article because i know the benefits of shopping at auctions since that’s where I got my first car at an amazing price , but have recently been unable to find any auctions . This gave me some great ideas on how to go about finding the best ones.

  4. In my opinion not all car auctions are good for buying a good car, you should only go for those which are conducted by government bodies.

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