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Can Anyone Buy a Car in a Car Dealer Auction?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 06/02/2017

If you’ve been in the hunt for an affordable way to buy a car, you’ve likely begun to hear an awful lot about car dealer auctions. It makes sense. More and more, people have been taking advantage of car dealer auctions to buy used and salvage cars for incredible discounts.

Of course, it’s important to remember that car dealer auctions are their own thing and differ greatly from the ways in which you may be accustomed to purchasing a vehicle. For example, it’s important to note that different auctions have different restrictions when it comes to who can and who can’t participate.

In-Person Auctions: Largely Closed to the Public

If you were to open up your local newspaper, you’d likely come across listings for car dealer auctions taking place near you in the not-too-distant future. In fact, these auctions take place all around the country every day. But, there’s something that the vast majority of them share in common: they’re largely closed to the public. This is because these auctions generally require those who participate to be licensed as dealers.

Now, this isn’t a total stop sign. If you want to participate, you essentially have two options. First, you can look into what it takes to become licensed as a dealer in your state. Second, you can hire an auction broker to bid on your behalf. Both of these options work, but they can be quite expensive, negating your potential for savings when using a car dealer auction.

Major Online Sites Are for Dealers Only

There are now a number of websites that provide access to car dealer auctions online. In fact, you’ve likely heard of some of the major ones like Copart, Adesa and Manheim. While you can bid on used and salvage cars through these websites, the same old problem persists. Namely, these websites require that those who use them be licensed as dealers. As before, you can try to get licensed yourself or hire a broker, but there’s a much better option

Online Car Dealer Auctions that Are Open to the Public

In recent year, a number of new websites in the car dealer auction marketplace have opened up. These ones are different from the aforementioned services like Copart, Adesa, and Manheim because these online car auction sites are open to the public. They are able to let their users access dealer auctions by listing vehicles on their site from certain dealer-only auction houses (other than Manheim and Adesa) so that you get access to this inventory at great prices.

Because of this, consumers are now able to stand on equal footing with licensed dealers. They can enjoy the same massive selection of thousands of used and salvage cars, all while being able to browse that selection from the comfort of their own homes. What’s more is that they can enjoy the same kinds of savings. Through online car dealer auctions that are open to the public, it’s possible for ordinary consumers to save thousands when buying used and salvage cars. So, if you’ve wanted to check out car dealer auctions, sign up for one of these websites today!