The Government Auto Auction
Obtaining a quality vehicle through a government auto auction is a relatively simple and extremely economical process — if you keep in mind a few essential tips and some basic information. It’s even possible to start a very lucrative side-business by purchasing quality pre-owned vehicles through a government auto auction at very low costs and then flipping those vehicles for profit to local car buyers. Check here for some interesting tips and ideas regarding how you can start a profitable business selling automobiles acquired at a government auto auction.
But, perhaps you’re not interested in starting up a government auto auction flipping business. If you’re like many thousands of people, you just want to know how you can take advantage of a government auto auction in order to obtain for yourself a quality pre-owned vehicle at a very low price. If so, the rest of this article will provide some basic but very valuable information that will familiarize you with the processes involved in the average government auto auction.
The Government Auto Auction — The Basics:
The governmental agency that purchases government vehicles, sells them, and also leases them to other governmental agencies, is the GSA — the General Services Administration. When the vehicles that the GSA purchases come to the end of their leasing term, the GSA will often sell off the vehicles to the public — quite often through a public government auto auction. They do this in order to obtain money to purchase new vehicles for governmental use.
Practically all of the vehicles that will be offered at any government auto auction will be thoroughly cleaned, in good working condition, and completely ready to drive straight off of the auction lot once you win the bid. Typically, the vehicles being offered at these government auto auctions will be three years old or even less. The vehicles normally offered at GSA government auto auctions will have been utilized for normal transportation purposes — having regularly seen relatively light use throughout their service history. The GSA, however, does not offer military vehicles in their government auto auctions. So, if you’re looking for such types of vehicles, you’ll need to seek out a military surplus auction.
The vehicles you’re likely to find at your typical government auto auction will feature fairly low mileage, will quite often come equipped with many dealer options, and will have an excellence service record — having been maintained on a regular basis by government mechanics. With that said, however, it’s important to note that practically all vehicles sold at these government auto auctions will be sold on an “as is” basis. So, even though government auto auction vehicles are typically in very good shape, it’s still very important to make sure that you thoroughly inspect any vehicle you’re thinking of bidding on before placing your bid. The terms and conditions of sale that the GSA applies to their government auto auctions will be available on site at the time of the auction, or you can view them at this link: GSA Government Auto Auction – Terms and Conditions of Sale.
Locating a Government Auto Auction Near You:
The GSA publishes tools on-line that will help you locate upcoming auctions in or near your area. These tools can be found on the GSA website located here. Alternatively, if you know of a GSA affiliated auction house in your area, you can always simply call the auction house itself and ask them when the next government auto auction is taking place. The most effective and hassle free method of locating such government auto auctions, however, is to use a dedicated locating service. These locating services will do all of the tedious ground-work for you and simply notify you when government auto auctions are going to be happening in your area. Along with this, these government auto auction locating services have built contacts within the market, and, as such, are very often able to locate and inform you of exclusive auctions that the general public might not know about. You can read about one of these auction locating services at this link. Or, you can even use the free, live and continuously updated surplus vehicle auction listings available on this very site if you’d like to place bids on surplus vehicles online.
Some important things to keep in mind regarding government auto auctions are that space at the auctions is often limited and the number of attendees will often be limited. For this reason you’ll need to register in order to attend. Sometimes registration can be done in advance, but quite often registration will only be allowed on the actual day of the auction. So, you’ll want to arrive as early as possible in order to make sure you’re able to secure a spot at the government auto auction.
The auction house that is conducting the government auto auction will supply an inventory list upon your registration. Use the list to browse the vehicles available at the government auto auction, and inspect any ones you think you’d be interested in bidding on before the auction begins. You’ll usually be allowed to enter the available vehicles, sit behind the wheel, open all the doors, the trunk, take a look at the engine, and even start the car. Test-driving vehicles at a government auto auction is not permitted, however.
If you’re not experienced in taking part in live auctions, feel free to ask for assistance from a member of the staff before the government auto auction begins. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have and will usually provide you with some valuable tips and pointers. Quite often, the auction house that is running the government auto auction will hold a mock auction before the real auction begins — taking part in this mock bidding will allow you to become familiar with how the actual government auto auction will take place.
Be sure to find out well ahead of time what forms of payment will be accepted at the government auto auction. Nowadays, most government auto auctions will accept all major credit cards. Quite often, cashier’s checks will also be accepted — but not always. So, make sure you find out ahead of time. In a very few auctions these days only cash will be accepted, but that’s really quite rare these days. Nonetheless, you should find out beforehand exactly what forms of payment will be accepted at the government auto auction. There’s nothing worse than getting to a government auto auction only to find out that you can’t actually bid on anything because you’re unable to provide the necessary form of payment.