Regardless of their mileage or whether they’re running properly or not, most vehicles at auctions tend to get labeled “as is” in order to prevent any headaches for the auction house down the line. So don’t go in expecting warranties or the ability to sue someone for selling you a total piece of crap. Auctions are like gambling in a lot of ways, and the only way to win is to pay to play. 

You could tell that most people knew each other. It felt like these few dozen bidders were part of an exclusive network of junkyard owners and flip-artists who have been bidding on cars against each other for years. Every now and then, when one guy outbid another, you’d see the losing bidder lean over to a friend and talk shit on the winner. “He just buys cars for the sake of buying them. He probably makes no money,” I heard one guy whisper. Police auctions are full of mysteries and secrets.
Depending on the agency, the government may use revenue from auctioned items to support crime-prevention programs, pay restitution to crime victims or purchase new equipment the department needs. "By providing agencies with the ability to dispose of excess assets, GSA benefits taxpayers by eliminating the need to maintain and store the unneeded property while also raising more than $300 million in revenue in just the last two years," a GSA spokesperson said.
Unlike most Public Auto Auctions that only let you inspect the vehicle the day of the sale, we offer a full preview on all of our vehicles Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm and Thursdays from 10am to 5pm. You can start them up, look under the hood, check the fluids and much more. You can even bring your mechanic! When you bid on a vehicle at Auction Nation, you can trust you are making an educated purchase! We can also sell your vehicle for you! It can be a hassle trying to sell a vehicle with all the phone calls, test drives, and ridiculous low ball offers. It is enough to drive anyone crazy. Our process is fast and simple, just bring your vehicle by and drop it off. We will photograph it, and get it online in our next Weekly Public Auto Auction. We have an auto auction starting every Tuesday and the auction runs until the following Friday. Our rates are the lowest in the business and our payment turnaround time is unmatched in the industry!
Do the homework, sometimes even ‘bad’ car can be a great deal at an auction. I recently bought a minivan that was listed as having a blown transmission. A little research discovered this is a common problem for that make and year. At the preview, I had my mechanic (whom I trust) on speed dial and got an estimate on the spot to replace the transmission with a new, 5-year warrentied rebuilt one. The bids on the van were low (who’d buy a vehicle with a bad transmission?), and even with the purchase price, the cost of the new transmission and towing to my mechanic, it still came in way below KBB value. And I know it has a worry-free transmission for the next 5 years. So don’t let even a ‘problem’ car scare you off if you’re willing to do the homework and hassle of getting it fixed.
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Use the Public Car Auctions App by the Public Car Auction Network to stay on top of what new inventory has arrived at local car auctions in your state and also certain other states. Finding an auction location with your phone’s GPS has never been easier. The app can also provide you with telephone contact information so you can contact the auction with your questions. There is no registration or membership required to download and use the car auctions app. Finding a cheap used car is now a lot easier.

But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t good deals to be had at local auctions, because as intimidating as it may sound, there’s a reason dedicated bidders still show up to these things every week. You just have to remain skeptical and attentive if you want to take home the right ride, because you never know what might show up, and by using these 10 tips, you might land a gem. 

The majority of the vehicles found at local auctions will need some work done to them in order to be deemed “road-worthy.” Knowing this before you ever set foot on the grounds is a major part of deciding if this is the right way for you to source an automobile. A low bid on a crappy car has the potential to leave you stranded on the side of the road, so if you aren’t a savvy DIY wrencher, you’d better have one hell of a trustworthy mechanic.
"There are two types of public auctions," explains Steven Lang, who runs a used car dealership in the Atlanta area and once owned a dealer auction (not open to the public). "There are government auctions and there are public auctions." Both are full of potential pitfalls. Here's a quick rundown on both and 10 tips for getting the most out of either. That is, if you dare to venture into the auction pit.
Locating your nearest public car auction locations might be a question of doing some real detective work. They are usually hidden away in web searches because they are unaware of search engine optimization keywords which can get them onto the front page. You can try a search at specific sites which you know to be for repo, government car sales or police auctions. You will have to register your interest prior to the sale and you will be given a bidder number. All auctions work on similar principles, but each have their own way of doing things. You may also be asked for other personal details and will have to show proof of ID when you attend. Do some investigating before you attend. They may be able to send you an information pack and will usually have some tips for first time attendees.
U.S. Marshal's Service Auctions : And finally, the U.S. Marshal's service auctions off some true bling as part of its mission to "combat major criminal activity by disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises" and "depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity." Once again, there is real estate, but also businesses, cash cars, collectibles — and more.
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