Do you ever dream of finding a fortune in diamonds hidden in the door panels of your new car? Well, this probably is never going to happen no matter where you purchase your new vehicle, but if you’re interested in an auto that’s such a good deal that you might as well have found precious gems in the trunk, government and bank auctions might be the ideal place for you.
Basically, what it comes down to is that various institutions acquire vehicles that they need to get rid of. For one reason or another, the institution holding the auction has merchandise they need to get rid of, and this is something that you can benefit from.
In the case of the government, whether it is at a federal, state or local level, officials regularly seize the possessions of people who acquired them illegally.
These can often be very nice vehicles because, as you may guess, some criminals wouldn’t be caught dead in a boring station wagon!
Banks and other lending operations will also hold auctions of items they have repossessed – including vehicles. Usually this is done for non-payment of loans.
An auction, where a repossessed vehicle may go for significantly lower than the retail value, is often the most expedient way for the bank to get these off their hands and turn these liabilities back into cash.
If purchasing a vehicle through an auction sounds good to you, please read on to learn more…
Types Of Vehicles Available
Government auctions can boast Cadillacs, BMWs, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, all of them selling for a fraction of the cost. Don’t let the big-ticket items scare you off. There are many vehicles that may not be as flashy but will prove to be an excellent value for you. You’ll probably see a lot of Buicks and Fords before you see a Mustang.
Another type of car that you will run into at a government auction is government fleet vehicle. These are automobiles that the officials themselves have used but for one reason or another, they have outlived their utility. Most likely, the department has acquired newer vehicles, and retired the old ones.
Unlike the government seized cars, government fleet vehicles usually come with a history that you can access. Typically, these are cars with high mileage, some wear and tear, but often have been expertly maintained, making it an ideal car to purchase used.
To find these auctions, you can begin by contacting the organizations themselves. Contact local agencies to ask whether they hold auctions, and if not, ask them who does. You can call banks and police stations and receive detailed information about these auctions. After all, they want to sell as much as you want to buy.
You can also search online auction directories, which usually cost a small fee. Through these services, you can find out about all the auctions in your area in one fell swoop.
The main advantage with is, these databases are usually very large and up-to-date, allowing you to quickly and easily find out when and where upcoming auctions will be, along with the vehicles that will be auctioned off.
Using online auction directories, you won’t need to waste your time calling around to hunt down this information.
Tip: Before you head out though, remember to call the people running the auction and re-confirm the date and location. Like anything else, the location, time and date can all change.
Preparing For The Vehicle Auction
As with any purchase that doesn’t involve getting your merchandise right off the assembly line, there are a few things you want to be cautious about. For instance, when you’re looking for an auction to attend, be skeptical of the ads that promise dozens and dozens of luxury cars that can be revealed for a price.
WARNING: No reputable auction will ask you to pay for admission to look at mysterious goods. An entrance fee may be charged if the merchandise in question is exceptionally good, but then you will be told beforehand what you’re being given an opportunity to bid on.
Perhaps the best advice that can be given regarding attending these auctions is to be prepared. Know what you’re looking for, how much you’re willing to spend, and how the auction process works.
If there is any information given about the vehicles beforehand – and their usually is – do your research. Many auctions allow you to walk around and inspect the cars for two days before the main event.
Take advantage of this to thoroughly inspect the vehicle. While you probably won’t be permitted to test-drive it, you can still learn a lot just be walking around it and taking a good close look.
If possible, find out about the vehicle’s history. Cars that have sustained major damage and were repaired can have a history of continual issues, and while a good collision mechanic can do amazing things, a salvage title can make reselling the car very difficult.
Not being able to test-drive a vehicle is admittedly one of the disadvantages of government and bank auctions. Another is that there are usually no guarantees or warranties.
However, these risks can be greatly reduced if you go into the experience knowing what you’re doing. Make sure you know as much about the vehicles as possible and understand what sort of risk you might be taking.
Auto Auction Bidding Tips
Similarly, understand that there will be competition. All sorts of people come to these events, including used-car dealers looking to make some cash. At least if you end up bidding against a professional who sorts used cars for a living, you’ll know you have something good!
Heavy, competitive bidding can occur and when this happens, the price can go up very quickly. Sometimes, this can even go beyond the actual value of the car, so keep a cool head and know exactly how much you are willing to pay.
Auctions are specifically designed to drum up excitement and competition. It is very easy to get carried away. The bidding starts out small and you can get drawn in, and before you know it, you might realize that you’re two thousand dollars over your set price limit.
The people in the auction are trying to make money, so this is exactly the sort of atmosphere they try to encourage. Keep this in mind during the heat of the moment to ensure you get the deal you were looking for.
To really get a feel for the process, you should find and attend a couple of auctions first without bidding on anything. Just watch, listen and learn. The information you’ll get out of this will serve you well when you finally decide to participate in a future auction.
There are many do’s and don’ts for buying a vehicle from a government and bank auctions, but most importantly, let your common sense be your guide. There are a lot of good bargains out there if you are willing to do some work, and those good bargains are waiting for you.
Leo Stain is an author for a variety of lifestyle issues and topics. Visit Cheap seized car auctions website and browse more full information in details.
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