State and federal car auctions offer some of the lowest prices you’ll find anywhere on used cars. You might hear about car dealer auctions, but chances are you can’t get in unless you’re a registered car dealer. However, government bid sales are an entirely different beast. Held by local, state, and federal authorities, these auctions are open to the public. Before you look for the nearest government auction, though, you’ll want to get the inside scoop. And we’ve got it. Let’s go!
Government car auctions happen regularly to clear out inventory the government holds. These vehicles could be retired police cars, ambulances, or part of a state government fleet. Besides legitimate purchases, vehicles become government property through more nefarious means.
You’ll likely find a wide range of vehicles up for purchase at a government auction. These include mundane items like everyday cars to more exciting things like police SUVs. You can also usually find ambulances, trailers, and minivans. Beyond that, you’ll find sports cars, humvees, vintage cars, and the rare supercar up for auction.
Several benefits of buying a vehicle at a government auction can make them attractive. The most obvious is the low price of entry into the market. In most auctions, the price starts well below market price, sometimes as low as $200. Most bidders drop out when the price increases, so the last bidder in the game gets the vehicle at their final bid price.