Buyers with an eye for value can make some steals at police car auctions. Impounded cars and trucks that were never picked up fill police vehicle lots. Luxury vehicles that were forfeited can be had thousands of dollars below their market prices.
Thousands of cars are seized by the police every year, all over the country for a variety of reasons. All of these cars will eventually make it to the police auction lot. In addition, people with automotive mechanical know how can find salvage vehicles just waiting to be returned to the road. Making good buys at police car auctions can save you lots of money. Still, there are a lot of people trolling the auctions for great auto buys so you need to do your homework before hitting the auction lot.
Buyer Beware: The Motto Of Police Car Auctions
Vehicles bought at police car auctions are sold strictly & ldquo;as is & rdquo; with no recourse once the sale has been made. Many of the cars and trucks will be in excellent condition and can immediately be driven; however, even some brand new vehicles may not be in driving condition. It & rsquo;s very important to investigate how a vehicle came to be on the auction lot. Get a vehicle identification number (VIN) and do a background check on any car or truck you consider buying.
Auto Check is a good place to investigate vehicles by VIN. Auto Check reports can tell you if a vehicle has been involved in an accident or if it has ever been salvaged as part of an insurance settlement. In addition, Auto Check can verify the title chain on a car or truck. If you & rsquo;re going to be buying several vehicles from police car auctions, you can purchase an unlimited number of reports at reduced prices. Have a look at all the valuable services Auto Check provides at its website located at http://www.autocheck.com/consumers/. Keep in mind that VINs were not standardized before 1981, so no service can offer you accurate information for cars manufactured before that date.
If you & rsquo;re not qualified to check the car out mechanically, hire someone who is to check the vehicle. Salvage vehicles or vehicles to be used for parts obviously do not require as rigorous an inspection. People who plan to purchase multiple vehicles from police car auctions may want to establish a relationship with a mechanic. Buyers using online auction sites often work with mechanics in different localities. Local mechanics check out the cars for buyers who cannot visit every location personally.
Police Car Auctions Online
Online police car auctions are a convenient way to investigate vehicle inventory from police lots around the country. The types of vehicles found at police auctions can vary from place to place. Some cities have big inventories of luxury cars; others may have an array of SUVs or trucks. There are even locations that might have commercial vehicles or agricultural vehicles. Peruse auctions from around the country online. Many cities have set up police car auction sites you can access for free. For instance, in Los Angeles County, California you can find out information about auctions at all of the Official Police Garages (OPG) by visiting http://www.opgla.com/pages/auctions.html. At the OPG website you can find the dates, times and locations of police car auctions. You can also search for vehicles to be auctioned using a variety of criteria.
Some municipalities outsource their vehicle auctions. In New Hampshire, Interstate Auto Auction has access to many cars seized by or impounded by or forfeited to the police. Some of the vehicles are for sale via online auctions and others are for sale at in person auctions. You can have a look at almost all of the vehicles on offer by visiting Interstate Auto Auction & rsquo;s website which can be seen here: http://www.interstateautoauction.com.
There are websites that charge a fee for access to police car auctions. Investigate these sites carefully before joining any of them. Often these sites charge for information and services which are free to the public by visiting state authorized websites; some sites do offer advance notice of auctions or alerts on specific types of vehicles. Use the same caution in joining an online auction site that you would use in buying a car from a police auction. Buyer beware.
There is also a market in previously owned police cars which people buy either for small community police departments or to modify for their own use. If you & rsquo;re looking for a police car you might find just the vehicle you want at Police Car Auctions Online. Here you will find standard police cars, police cars modified for undercover work, even police cars that were used as taxis. Take a minute to look at the site & rsquo;s interesting inventory located here: http://www.policecarauctionsonline.com.
Basics Of Police Car Auctions
Go prepared to pay for the vehicle. Many police car auctions require immediate payment for purchased vehicles. You will owe more than just the amount of your accepted bid on the car or truck. There will generally be a buyer & rsquo;s premium of at least 10 percent of the purchase price. Taxes and other fees such as licensing may also be due. You will also be expected to pay for having the vehicle transported if it is not in drivable condition.
Expect to make a good deal but don & rsquo;t believe the myth of luxury cars bought for a few hundred dollars. Astute bidders at police car auctions know the trade-in values of the cars in which they are interested. Most cars will sell at around their trade-in values. Don & rsquo;t forget to add in the additional fees for which you will be responsible. Have a target price in mind for any car on which you plan to bid. Stick to your target price. Allowing yourself to get pulled into a bidding war can mean that you pay more than a car is worth. Some online auction sites allow you to preset a maximum bid. Your bids will be placed in increments until the maximum has been reached at which time your bids will cease.