How to Approach Government Seized Car Auctions


June 22, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Online Auction


There are definitely wrong ways to approach Government seized car auctions, one of them is to simply dive in head first when there’s little knowledge of rules and limitations. Many people have failed at it, and ended with really bad purchases. Paying too much or buying the wrong vehicle.

Government auctions are some of the most popular, typically because of the quality of the vehicles when they come off Government fleets, but when you deal with seized car auctions, the inventory is very different.

Agencies like the IRS, DEA, and other Law Enforcement agencies, auction off surplus, unclaimed, and seized vehicles, which are typically seized due to tax leans, or criminal reasons. The condition of these vehicles is unknown to the buyer and before the buyer is ready to bid, some consideration must be taken.

When dealing with Government seized car auctions, it pays to scrutinize the condition and history of the vehicles being offered. Starting with full vehicle history report, companies like CarFax and AutoCheck are two companies that offer this service. The history report should contain title information, accidents, current mileage, which should match what’s on the dashboard and several other indicators that should look positive. If the report does not look mostly positive, then consider a different vehicle.

The overall condition of the vehicle should be thoroughly inspected, do not take the auction lot’s word for it. If you aren’t mechanically inclined, then bring someone you know who is or hire a mechanic to inspect the vehicle for you. This will increase your chances of buying a quality vehicle.

Things you should check, are wear and tear on the tires, windows, engine oil and radiator fluid, VIN numbers and stickers on all door, interior appearance and body work if there’s any that’s obvious. Concentrate on the actual mechanics of the vehicle, at the auction lot you’ll be allowed to turn the engine on, but you won’t be able to test drive the car.

Cover these important points and you’ll be fine, do not let these warnings discourage you from taking advantage of these auctions, they’re a great way to save on a pre-owned car. Auto dealers typically get their inventory from Government car auctions and then retail the vehicles back to the public at inflated prices, so visiting an auction house on your own and getting familiar with the process will allow you to skip the middle man and go straight to the source.

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