Last updated on April 11th, 2023 at 01:22 pm
You may be curious about buying a car at a public car auction, but are not sure where to even go or how to find auto auctions: Do not worry, there are actually many car auctions all around the United States that are open to the public for bidding on wholesale used cars.
Find a public car auction near you and bid with confidence using the information below. Car auctions do not need to be intimidating to beginner bidders. They are actually quite fun and are easy with the help of auction staff to guide you through the car bidding process. There is also always the option to make an offer on an auction car and try to buy it outside of the auction(be sure to follow auction rules).
Police Car Auctions vs Typical Public Car Auctions
First of all, there are many different types of car auctions including police auctions, salvage auctions, and the larger public wholesale car auctions that have weekly sales.
If you do not have a lot of experience with bidding in car auctions, it is best to visit the one of the larger, wholesale auto auctions instead of the smaller police and municipality car auctions.
Advantages of Buying Cars at Auction
There are several reasons to buy your next vehicle at a car auction that is open to the public:
- Save Money(obviously) – Auction cars usually sell at wholesale prices that are much lower than what a dealer would charge at a used car lot.
- Lots of Cars to Choose From – Most auctions have up to a hundred cars and some auctions will have several hundred auction cars in stock.
- Online Bidding – Most locations now offer online bidding so you can buy a car at an auction online without the hassle. There are also car bidding sites that are online-only. Find the best online car auction sites here
- Auctions Are Fun – Most first-time bidders report enjoying the process and finding it very entertaining. Auctions are fast-paced, but the auction staff will help with new bidders so do not worry.
A Few Tips for Public Car Auctions:
- Arrive early to view the cars for sale before the auction bidding starts.
- Find a few vehicles that you are interested in and try not to focus on only one so that you can have other options.
- Use your phone and an internet connection to research the VIN (vehicle identification number) of the cars you are interested in bidding on so that you may know if there is any history of wrecks or a salvaged title(this will be announced by the auctioneer, but is very rare)
- It is ok to not find anything your first visit, most auctions are held weekly so you can easily come back and see more cars for auction next time.
How to Buy a Car From an Auction Without a Dealer License
Do not worry about having an “auction license” because there are public car auctions that will allow anyone to buy or sell a car. Many of these auctions now have online bidding so you can easily browse online auctions from your phone or computer. Buying car at auction prices is easier now than ever.
Find a car auction website below with more information and photos of auction cars for sale. Auction cars usually come from bank repos, title pawn repos, car dealer trade-ins, donation cars, police and government auctions, and more. Some auctions will also have cars for sale by private owners, but most of the auction cars come from banks and used car dealers. These are the best car auction sites listed by state that hold free car auctions to the public. If you’re looking for how to find car auctions, use the links below to find one in your state.
Find a Public Car Auction:
New York & New Jersey
North Carolina and South Carolina