What is Salvage title?

Where Do Cars Available in Online Dealer Auctions Come From?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 07/04/2017

Those who have had the chance to use online dealer auctions are often bowled over by the level of choice available. Regardless of what make, model and year you’re looking for, you’re likely to find a car that matches your criteria. Simply put, the level of choice you have is far in excess of anything you’d ever be able to get through a dealership, let alone several.

When people are new to online dealer auctions, they often find themselves wondering how such a level of choice is available. This concern, of course, is beyond mere curiosity. By understanding the sources of the vehicles available, buyers hope to gain an understanding of the quality of those same vehicles. For this reason, we’re going to take a look at some common ways that vehicles end up on the auction block.

Used Cars Available in Online Dealer Auctions

The majority of cars available through online dealer auctions are used cars. These used cars are just like the ones that you’d find on a dealership’s lot. In fact, it’s from those very lots that a sizeable portion of used cars ends up on the auction block. Used car dealerships not only source inventory through dealer auctions, they also clear away excess inventory through them.

In addition to this, used cars can originate from a number of different sources. Sometimes, their owners are merely auctioning them off. In other cases, these used cars may be auctioned off by law enforcement entities from their impound lots. You will also find vehicles up for auction that were formerly used by various government agencies.

Salvage Cars Available in Online Dealer Auctions

In addition to used cars, you will also find many salvage cars available in online dealer auctions. These are vehicles that have had their insurance policies paid out to the insured at 75% or greater of the vehicle’s value. (The percentage can vary based on the laws of particular states.)

This can happen for a multitude of reasons. In some cases, it may be that the car has been ‘totaled’ in an accident or significantly damaged by an act of God. In other cases, it may be because a vehicle was stolen and then recovered after the policy was paid out. Finally, an insurer may have paid out a policy in order to expedite a claim. Because of these factors and more, salvage cars vary greatly in quality.

Research Will Answer Every Question You Have

Now that you understand where the vehicles available in online dealer auctions come from, you may be wondering how you can assess their quality. This comes down to conducting research. Online dealer auto auctions provide their users with VINs for each car available. This VIN, in turn, can be used to request a vehicle history report, through which much about a vehicle’s quality can be assessed. In addition to this, one can work with the auction site to request a third-party inspection of a vehicle.