Buying an impounded car from a police auction can be a great way to get a vehicle for a cheap price. This method of procuring a vehicle, however, comes with it’s own pros and cons. There are also a few important procedural details to be aware of when considering going to an auction. You’ll need to locate the upcoming impound auction first and find out any registration requirements and fees associated with the auction. Then, find out what vehicles are going to be auctioned and whether or not you can inspect vehicles you may be interested in beforehand. Often many vehicles are listed and sold online a week or so before the auction, so verify when bidding opens.
One of the best parts of buying an impounded car at auction is that you can get a decent car at a very low price. You should, however, gather as much information as you can on the car you are interested in buying. Research the make, model, year, and the Bluebook value. Also, make sure all of this info as well as the title is listed. You’ll need the title to get insurance on the vehicle, so verify that the car has this.
The final logistical detail to consider is how much you are willing to pay for the car. You’ll need to account for fees, sales tax, registration, insurance, and any other maintenance or repair expenses you may need to make after purchase. Make sure to have all the necessary documentation to complete the bid and purchase the car. You should be able to find this on the auction or police department website.
The biggest advantage to buying impounded vehicles at auction is the price. If you do some research and find a good auction and some promising vehicles, you can walk away with a good car at a very good price–depending on the make, model, year, and condition. Keep in mind that a lot of people go to impound auctions to bid on vehicles for parts to sell, so know what you want to buy and how much you’re willing to pay. If you are in the market for a vehicle to restore, impound auctions are a great resource to get a cheap vehicle to restore.
The cons to buying an impound car are many. Everything from overpaying for a junk car, finding out you forgot the right tools to make an important fix to get the car out of the lot, failing to arrange to get the vehicle home to making a bizarre discovery in the car after purchase can adversely affect the experience. Bidding on an impound car requires a breadth of research and savvy dealing with the police department sellers and other bidders. Even if everything goes well initially and you get the car out, it’s not uncommon to find some interesting items in the vehicle–drugs, guns, and other random items that may have never been removed from the vehicle after the initial impound.