Buying cars from police auctions can be an excellent bargain overall. If you’ve seen commercials with people buying a car for less than a few hundred dollars from those auctions, you should know that those are legitimate claims and you can get similar results as well.
As always, there is a catch – in fact, in some cases, there can be several of them – however, you will find that you can still get a fair bargain as long as you play all your cards right.
Scarcity and Unexpected Results
Police auctions are sometimes organized to sell seized vehicles or cars that were recovered from a crime scene or a car owner that has committed a crime which resulted in one way or another in having their vehicle confiscated.
While there are many potential reasons why a police car auction may be organized to provide regular people and dealers alike with an opportunity of getting a quality vehicle at a great price, there are several challenges you have to keep in mind that may influence your results at one of these auctions:
First of all, it’s not like a police auction is organized every day. In most cases, these auctions are scarce, and it can be difficult to find a good enough deal when attending one.
In most cases, you won’t be able to get any valid information about a car prior to seeing it at the auction itself. You may have only a few limited hours at best to inspect the vehicle – definitely not even close to being enough for a full mechanical inspection.
The cars you find at a police auction may have been involved in an accident or a shooting, in which case, it can be difficult to determine their condition.
At police auctions, low mileage may be a given in many cases. However, it’s hard to determine just how well the vehicle was taken care of and how much the engine was idle over the years.
Going Against the Competition
Another important point that needs to be mentioned now that we’re talking about the difficulties involved with a police auction is represented by the competition.
At an auction, you might encounter a lot of candidates, however, some of them may be dealers who have showed up with large carriers supporting 6-10 cars who may be prepared to present high bids on many of the vehicles presented at the auction.
High profile competitors are not going to be easy to beat, and you may have to use every dirty trick in the book to get past them. The good news: as long as you do some proper research, and you know you have something to gain through your efforts, you may be able to beat just about anyone at these police auctions, and once you do, some of the people might even be intimidated to bid against you.
How to Get a Great Bargain
Of course, despite any challenges, nothing is impossible, and the potential of landing a great bargain is always present at a police auction.
One of the most straightforward methods you can use to achieve this is to search for all the local auctions expected to be organized in the near future and try to get the list of cars that are going to be auctioned. When you find a car you’re interested in, find out as much as you can about it, so you can evaluate the state it’s in at a glance, and try to get additional information about the auctioned vehicle’s history.
The idea here is that, once you know you want a car, and you have a decent budget you can use at police auctions, you’ll be able to show up and top all the offers, since no one else is likely to have the same information and risk their money just based on a simple hunch.