Are there Alternatives to Copart Auction that are Open to the Public?

By Mike Richards Updated: 06/21/2022 Posted: 06/02/2017

In the quest for a bargain, auto buyers are always looking into new methods for purchasing used and salvaged cars. Until recently, though, this search would often begin and end at dealer auctions (for example Copart auto auction – copart.com home page). These auctions take place across the country every day. But most have one thing in common: this product of internet technology is not open to the general public. This is because a Copart auction requires those who participate to be licensed as dealers.

Now, there have been two ways around this restriction as far as ordinary consumers are concerned. First, these consumers could try to become licensed dealers where they live. While this is a viable option, it’s also one that might be more expensive and difficult than an individual ordinary is willing to take on.

Aside from getting licensed, consumers also had the option of hiring an auction broker who can bid on their behalf. Here, though, there are also drawbacks. For one, broker fees can often be quite expensive. This means it only makes sense to hire a broker if you’re going to buy in bulk.

Furthermore, when you use a broker for in-person dealer auctions of cars and boats, you’re conducting business with that broker and not the auction site. Because of this, one is subject to the broker’s terms and conditions, whatever they might be.


Using Copart Salvage Auto Auctions as an Unlicensed Buyer

Because of the problems mentioned above, consumers have turned their attention toward online car auctions. However, these same consumers will face the same problems when they end up on sites like Copart (cprt),  Manheim, and others. Namely, these websites are largely closed off to the public, again requiring that their users be licensed as dealers.

To encourage use by ordinary consumers, these websites will provide lists of brokers who can use the website. However, one still needs to pay for the broker’s services. Also, there’s no guarantee that any individual broker can bid in all auctions a consumer might wish to participate in.


Alternatives to a Copart Auction are Abundant

Thankfully, if you have interest in online car auctions, there are now alternatives to services like Copart, Adesa, and Manheim. These other online car auction providers are totally and entirely open to the public. This gives more people access to the savings afforded by the auction format.

These websites are open to the public. They let their users access dealer auctions by listing vehicles on their site from certain dealer-only auction houses (other than Manheim and Adesa). And so their clients gain access to this inventory at great prices.

These online car auctions function in much the same manner as sites like Copart. However, you do not need to hire a broker to bid. Instead, those who use these websites need to pay an auction fee following a winning bid.

So, if you’re living in the United States and want to use an online car auction to buy your next vehicle, you needn’t look far. Sign up for an online car auction website that is open to the public and begin your search for a used or salvaged car. You should quickly and easily be able to find something that meets your needs and fits your budget.