How to Buy Seized Cars from Government Auctions

By San Articles Published 10/3/2008 | Auto and Trucks

To start off making sure you are in the right track; let’s go through understanding what a government auction is and how it works. Government auctions are public sale of unclaimed, surplus and seized properties that include equipment, vehicles and real estate by authorized government agencies or bodies. Some of the government authorities that hold auctions are the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Department of Treasury, IRS, DEA, Border Patrol, Homeland Security and the like. 

How do government car auctions work? It is done on a regular basis – monthly, quarterly and annually – in various locations nationwide. More often when the auction happens, real estate and other properties are included for auction, not just cars. Equally, all types, models and makes of vehicles are subject to auction. To find a list, local and national newspapers publish a lit where you can see on early. It is a goal that in the auction, the agencies would make the most profit so that is you are a bidder, you will definitely need some head on how the auction is done. On the contrary, good bargains can have cheap cars as expensive auctions will not attract popularity and more people. 

There are basic requirements to be able to join an auction; you must be 18 years of age and with a valid driver’s license. There are auctions that are restricted to licensed car dealers while most are open to the public. Various auctions allow a 2-day preview period prior to the actual auction where you can get a chance to inspect the car. In most cases however a drive is not possible, you can only start and check it over until you are satisfied. Warranties or guarantees are not in the auction package. Buyer’s fees or registration charges are not present in government-run auctions so that the vehicle’s price is all you pay. Auction fees maybe charged by those run by professional auction companies. 

There are some basic questions you might want to ask yourself like; why the cars have and how did they have a cheap price, how many and where can auctions be found in your area or state, why people opt to buy in an auction and not go to a car dealer, do online auctions exists, what are the complications of “traditional” live auctions, details on warranties, how to check the VIN of your favorite car, if there are hidden fees in a car auction, where the auctioned cars come from and are these cars in good condition, how far to go with regards reviewing the current stocks of government auctions nationwide, how payments are made in the auctions, are there actual savings, is there customer satisfaction guarantee, and if there are additional fees to bid in auctions. These and many more questions can crop up during your preparation. 

Whatever happens, going through the whole process yourself will be the wisest thing to do. In case you would have no time to go over things yourself, don’t make the mistake of assigning the job to your friend, after all you will be using it not him or her.