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How to Find Used Car Auction Sites Near Me?

By Mike Richards Updated: 04/10/2020 Posted: 04/30/2019

Used car auction sites have become quite popular with car buyers. These sites offer a variety of benefits for buyers, from their attractive pricing to their large selection of vehicles. They also give buyers looking for used cars many opportunities of quickly closing a deal on the vehicle of their choice. Unfortunately, the overall cost of the vehicle may increase if you incur high transportation costs, especially if the auction site is far from where you live.

Subscribe For Car Dealer Magazines

Car dealer magazines like Auto Dealer Today and Used Car Dealer Magazine provide a lot of information on cars, including where auctions are taking place. Most car dealer magazines have monthly issues that are quite informative. In these magazines, you will find details of auctions that are scheduled to take place near you. As most of these car auctions require planning, notice is given in advance. Knowing the dates of a sale near you will be held will help you plan appropriately.

Local Newspapers

classic auction

Although the internet is the primary source of information for most people, newspapers are still favored by some. Many companies place adverts in local newspapers to get the attention of their target audience. If there is a used car auction near you, you will find it in the business directory section or right after the adverts of vehicles for sale.

Government Sites

Government agencies also auction cars that are being replaced. You can get information on government auctions from various government sites and at the local chamber of commerce.  The federal, state and local governments are required to make their auction lists public. You can also find information on government auctions at,, and During most of these auctions, you are required to be present to place your bid.

Types of Used Car Auctions  

Car Auctions

When searching for used car auctions near you, it is important to distinguish between public and dealer-only auctions. If you want to attend a used car auction, you need to search for auction sites that are open to the public as some auctions are only open to certified dealers. Just because dealer-only auctions are restricted to dealers, however, does not mean you cannot bid. All you need is a licensed dealer to act as your proxy. Before you decide on the best auction to take part in, especially if both are on the same day, it is important to understand the benefits and challenges of each option.

The Advantage and Challenges of Public Auctions

car auction live

The main advantage of public auctions is that you get to inspect the cars yourself and choose the one on which you would like to place a bid. If this is your first time to attend a used car auction, you will have an idea of what challenges dealers go through when bidding on your behalf. When you attend the auction, you can make impromptu decisions, especially if you find more than one car that you would like to buy.

Public auctions have both used and salvage cars for sale. If you walked to the site hoping for a used car, you might find a salvage car that is worth investing in instead, even if you initially had no plans for buying one. You may even change your mind once you see the vehicles on sale.

If you have no-one to help you identify problems with some of the cars, it is easy to make the wrong decision. If possible, ask your mechanic to accompany you. This way you can have someone identify issues you could easily overlook in your bid to buy your ideal vehicle.

Benefits of Taking Part in Dealer-Only Auction Sites

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To bid in a dealer-only auction, you would normally need to have a dealer’s license. Getting one of these licenses is not easy, and it can be quite expensive. That’s why it is usually worth the hassle of getting one if you are looking for a car for your personal use.

However, not having a license yourself does not prevent you from ever taking part in one of these auctions. There are ways around the restrictions. If you are going to an in-person auction, you can always tag along with someone who has a dealer’s license. However, this is a solution that is only available to the few of us who are friends with a car dealer. For most people, that is not an option.

Further Reading

But if you are thinking of using an online auction instead, there is another way to take part in a dealer-only auction: hiring a proxy bidder. Proxy bidders are companies who hold their own dealer’s license and can be hired to bid on dealer-only auctions on your behalf. For a fee, they will give you access to a vast selection of vehicles (many even brands new), guide you through the process and place bids according to the budget that you set for them.

But why go to all this hassle? Well, dealer-only auctions are where your local car dealer is sourcing the vehicles they sell, and this means you can find in these auctions cars at a very low price, compared to the prices you get at your local dealership. Also, unlike public auctions, you are likely to find new vehicles at these auctions, which allows you to get a very high-quality brand new car for a fraction of its retail price.

Importance of Online Used Car Auctions

Online Car Sales

Attending an auction in-person can be exhausting, and sometimes quite confusing. Online auction sites have solved this problem by allowing you to browse the list of vehicles up for sale from anywhere at any time. Should you encounter challenges when bidding, reputable sites like have knowledgeable support staff always ready to help.

Online auctions also give you easy access to hundreds of auctions. Most of these sites have mobile versions so you can visit these auction sites from any device, including your smartphone. The information they provide on cars up for auction is comprehensive. The details you will find include the brand, model, some of the features, and its condition. These sites have simplified the buying process for used cars.

If you are considering buying a used car, you can find auctions for great bargains. Whether it is an online, public, or dealer-only auction, you will find a great car.