auction cars
Buy a car at an online car auction. Red auction car.

These days, buying and selling a used car or truck has changed dramatically. Buyers and sellers can now engage on websites such as eBay Motors or Craigslist Autos.

While these are great resources for used vehicles for sale online, major auto auctions around the country are now expanding their online auto auctions. At Car Auction Network, we wanted to help you learn about some of your options.

In the past, these tended to not be open to the public and were generally exclusive to licensed new and used car dealers. Online auctions now provide the ability to easily bid on a variety of auctions, from foreclosure auctions to government surplus auctions — and, of course, wholesale car auctions with repossessed cars for sale and also fleet vehicles, lease vehicles, and more.

However, more and more auctions are offering online auto auctions for licensed dealers and some are also open to the public. Similar to eBay, these platforms allow anyone to bid on car online as the auction is happening live on location.

Just as with buying anything else online, it is best to do some research first. Most of these online auctions for cars will provide some information on the vehicle to get started.

Online car auctions for public buyers offer clean title cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs at competitive prices. Typically, there may be a reserve price involved which is the minimum price the seller will take for the vehicle.

Most of the best online car auction sites will occasionally offer cars at “absolute bidding”, meaning there is no set price and the car will sell for what it brings in the auction. However, we have seen how competitive these auctions can get and how easily a first-time bidder can get carried away.

Remember: It is easier than ever to have an auction car transported from another state to you. If you are interested in online auto auctions, we recommend looking nationwide for the best deals and use an auction car transport company to deliver it to your home.

Online Car Auctions - auction cars for sale lined up including a red car up front

Online Car Auctions List – Public Auctions & Dealer Auctions

America’s Auto Auction – Internet Auctions Dealers-only online car auctions with auction lots around the United States. – Online Car Auctions – Open to the Public

Payless Auto Auction – Internet Auction Chandler, AZ 85225

Capital City Auto Auction – Online Car Auctions – Sacramento, CA Capital City Auto Auction was established in 2016 and sources a diverse range of vehicles primarily from charity donations. The dealers-only auction accommodates various buyer needs by offering options like ‘road-ready vehicles’ and ‘mechanics specials’, and allows for online viewing and bidding. Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

Centralia Public Auto Auctions – Internet Auction Centralia Auction conducts auctions every other Sunday. The platform offers a wide variety of vehicle types, including Dealer Consignments and Donated Vehicles. Centralia, WA 98531

Cars and Bids – Cars & Bids is an online auction marketplace founded by automotive reviewer Doug DeMuro. The platform specializes in buying and selling modern enthusiast cars, covering models from the 1980s to the 2020s. It also offers low fees, free vehicle history reports, and a user-friendly interface. We suggest Cars and Bids for more niche models and for automobile enthusiasts.

Salt Lake City Auction – Title Pawn Repo Online Auctions (Online bidding with “Buy it now” options on some auction cars)

Auto Auction of Great Falls – Public Online Bidding Ox and Son Auto Auction of Great Falls – 697 Vaughn South Frontage Rd – Great Falls, MT 59404

Car Auctions in Kansas – Live & Online HiBid Auctions

Norwalk Auto Auction – Dealers-Only Online Auction Norwalk, CA 90650

Interstate Auto Auction – Online Auto Auction – New Hampshire Open to the public – Interstate Car Solution operates a public auto auction in Salem, NH, with weekly events every Wednesday. The platform offers a variety of vehicles, allows test drives on auction days, and provides online bidding options for added convenience. Salem, NH 03079

Buying a Car Online with eBay Motors

Purple Wave – Online No Reserve Car Auctions

71B Auto Auction – Arkansas Dealers only – Auctions are on Tuesdays

Apple Towing – Online Auto Auctions Tow company auctions, government auctions, police auctions, and more online and they are open to the public for most sales.

Smart Auction – Online Dealers Auto Auction

Greensboro Auto Auction – Online Dealer Simulcast Greensboro, NC 27407

Alliance Auto Auction Simulcast – Abilene/Denver/Waco/Dallas

Carolina Auto Auction – Edge Simulcast

Carriage Trade Public Auto Auction – Live Auction Carriage Trade Public Auto Auction is a significant player in the automotive sales industry, selling more than 30,000 vehicles, including cars, trucks, and boats, annually. The site caters to both individual buyers and dealerships, featuring weekly public auto auctions and providing online bidding options for dealers. We recommend this online auction to beginner public bidders anywhere.

Louisiana’s 1st Choice Auto Auction – Simulcast Dealers only – Hammond, LA 70401

Southern Auto Auction Connecticut – Online Auction (Dealers Only)

Columbus Fair Auto Auction (Ohio) – Live Simulcast

Online Car Auctions in California

Online Auto Auctions – Our Info & Tips For Buying Auction Cars Online

View ALL the photos provided of the used car for sale.

While it may be easy to fall in love with a car from the first picture, it is always best to look over each and every one provided for some details about the car that may not have been disclosed by the seller.

Look for things like body damage and also assess the wear and tear of the interior. Often, if the body and interior are in good shape, this may also indicate that the car was properly cared for mechanically, as well.

Of course, this is not always true and anyone can “polish a turd”, as they say. Even so, it is best to avoid any surprises when the vehicle arrives.

If it has some body damage, and you are OK with that, you still should factor that into the price you pay for the car. If you decide to sell it to someone else later, they may not be as accepting of that particular body damage.

Use the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to research the history of the auction cars for sale

Almost all auctions will proved the VIN/serial number of the car for sale at an online auto auction. You can use websites, such as CarFAX, to check the history of the vehicle for important factors such as: any wrecks, insurance claims, if the car was used as a rental vehicle, if the mileage has been recorded correctly, etc.

These reports are not free but the money they can save you make them well worth it. In most states, the seller does not have to disclose prior wrecks, etc. It is up to the buyer to do the research and be aware of the car’s history.

Contact the online auto auction and speak with someone on the phone before bidding

While it is easy to register and get started bidding at an online auction, it is best to contact the auction and ask all the questions you can before attempting to bid. Bidding in an auction is considered to be a contract and there is very little recourse for a buyer that has remorse.

Call the car auction first and you can avoid any surprise later. Most importantly, ask them about what form of deposit they require and also ask when and how you will receive the title to the vehicle. Above you can find the best online car auction sites in the US for online bidding that we recommend at Car Auction Network.

car seller and buyer

These are wholesale used car auctions, so keep in mind that there are other types such as online-only auto auctions. Wholesale auto auctions tend to feature trade-ins, bank repos, rental fleets and leases, gov surplus vehicles, and more. As always, it is vitally important to pay close attention to the rules and on what auction cars for sale you plan to bid on in the auction.

Cars are not the only thing you can buy at an auction for very cheap — be sure to also check out foreclosure auctions in your state. The great thing about auctions these days is how common online auctions are and how much easier it is for first-time auction buyers to learn about the process.

Last updated on April 15th, 2024 at 03:51 pm

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