A Guide to Seized Car Auctions

Seized car auctions are popular with people looking for a really cheap car or those wanting a nicer car at a lower price. Cars may sell for half their retail price or even less at these auctions. Follow this guide to get your dream car for a fraction of its value.

How to Find Seized Car Auctions
The internet is the easiest place to start your search for auctions. You can start with the following three sites or just use a search engine to find as many as you can: www.Gov-auctions.com, www.USGovernmentAuctions.Net, and www.car-auction.com. Be sure to check out several sites to get the most information as they don’t always have all the same auctions.

You can also look at the webpages of various government agencies, like the police and IRS, that seize cars. If you cannot find any auction details or you want additional information, try contacting the local offices of those departments. Ask for the person that oversees the auctions to get the most accurate information the quickest.

How to Prepare for the Auction
Look over the list of what will be available at the upcoming auction and note any cars that interest you. Next, use a reliable used car guide like the NADA or KBB to get a general idea of the car’s value. Most experts agree that you shouldn’t bid more than the trade-in value of a car at an auction, so keep that in mind for your absolute ceiling price.

Also, you should work out any financing you need well before the auction begins. Most seized car auctions require payment in full or a significant deposit at the end of the auction, with any remainder due sometime in the next 24-72 hours. This does not leave much time to work out a loan if you will need one. It is better to arrange that in advance. Be sure you have your funds readily available in the right form since most auctions are very particular about the types of payment they will accept.

How to Make the Most of the Inspection Preview
Generally, auctions allow you to preview the repo cars for sale before you bid. You will generally not get to test drive them, but you can turn them on and look them over. Be as thorough as you can in the time available and plan to look at your top few choices at least. If you have extra time, you can inspect any other cars you are considering. Based on their condition, you can update your maximum bid for each car.

How to Bid at Auction
Seized car auctions move quickly, so arrive early enough to get registered and be ready to bid before the first car comes up. When bidding begins on a car you want, double-check it is the right one first because cars can be very similar. You cannot take back your bid, so be sure you have the correct one. Don’t worry about being the first to bid – it is usually best to let someone
else start the bidding anyhow.

Make your first bid and then continue bidding while the price stays under your maximum. Keep that amount in mind and stop bidding before you overbid. Overpaying doesn’t make any sense, especially when there are always more cars available. At the end of the auction, you will need to finalize the transaction for any auctions you won.

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