If you want to buy a car and spend the least money possible, attending a government surplus auction is one of the best options you have.
There are various reasons for government institutions to regularly sell various assets, including vehicles, real estate, electronics and others. Most of these assets come from foreclosures, seizures, repossessions, government surplus or were simply abandoned by their owners. Since the government has no interest in storing all of them, the only logical decision is to sell them. Since vehicles take a lot of space and lose their value over time, they are among the first goods the government sells, and at very good prices.
Why Attending a Government Auction?
Such auctions are, definitely, the largest type available. If you are looking for a car, you have a significant chance of finding something that suits you here. The prices are usually very low, since the government is interested in getting rid of them as soon as possible.
Also, there are no old, messed-up vehicles sold at these auctions. The cars usually come from two main sources.
hammerFirst of all, there are vehicles that have been used by state institutions and that have reached a specific mileage or age. Since government institutions replace their vehicles regularly, you can be sure that the ones being sold are in a rather good state.
The second main source is seizures. There are various reasons why the government seizes cars, but the main idea is that they are neither old, nor overused. You can find cars in an as new condition at a gov auction, but at prices much lower than the market average.
The bottom line is that such auctions are the best source of good cars at excellent prices.
Tips for a Successful Purchase
As with any other kind of auction, there are a few tricks you should keep in mind before bidding:
The first step, before going there, is getting a list of all the available cars for sale. See if there is something interesting and do not forget to check out each vehicle’s description. Also, see the price, obviously. It would be a good idea to do some research on the current vehicle market prices, to have an idea on how much you should spend at the auction.
While, at a government auction, you usually find well-maintained cars, you surely do not want an unpleasant surprise. Get familiar with the basics of car mechanics, or, even better, bring a professional with you.
Carefully inspect the car. Evaluate all major and minor defects. If there are any major ones, do not buy, since what you save when purchasing, you will be spending on repairs. Minor damage is tolerable and might even help you get a lower price.
While all the legal documents should be OK (since the government is selling the car), it is always a good idea to check them out.
See the car plates! This is important, since there may be some special registration for that vehicle and you definitely need to know how this can be transferred or shifted.
At a gov auction, you can often find a convenient payment scheme. Of course, if you have all the money, you should pay in cash and get rid of this burden. If this is not possible, evaluate the payment plan and see how convenient it is.
If you know all these basic things, getting a fine car becomes incredibly easy. Just do some research and find out when the next local auction takes place and what the products for sale are.
And one more thing: stick to your budget and do not overbid! This is applicable for any auction, not just for a government surplus.