What Types of Vehicles Are Available at a Dealer Auction?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/01/2018 Posted: 09/25/2017

Going to a dealer auction can mean leaving with a fantastic deal. Before you go to one, though, it helps to understand what to expect.

The Two Types of Auctions

The biggest factor that will affect what kinds of cars you can find at any auction is going to be whether it’s government or public. A dealer auction would fall into the latter.

At a government auction, you’re literally buying government vehicles. These are usually going to be old police cruisers that have been replaced. You’ll be given a car history on each one and lots of other helpful information.

Government auctions enjoy very good reputations. Your options are obviously a bit limited, but you get some very high-quality vehicles to choose from.

A dealer auction will be much more of a mixed bag. These occur when dealers want to get rid of inventory so they can make room for new vehicles they want to show on their lots.

There are other kinds of public auctions, too, and many of them can be pretty unsavory. You get almost no information on a car and there may even be some scam artists trying to offload a really bad vehicle with problems they’ve gone to great lengths to hide.

Not All Dealers Are Car Lots

Now, that being said, a dealer doesn’t necessarily own a lot, either. Some people go to auctions – government and public – purchase cars, and essentially flip them. They fix them up and then sell them for profit.

This type of dealer auction will, once again, feature any number of different vehicle types. Just because someone is trying to make a profit from them and isn’t a traditional dealer doesn’t mean they’re bad vehicles, either.

Repossessed Vehicles Are Best

At a dealer auction, you can still request the history of a vehicle or look it up yourself. The latter is always a smart move and affordable enough to do.

While there are all kind of vehicles to choose from, the best ones are going to be those that were repossessed. This means that they’re not being sold because they are in such bad shape that no insurance company would touch them.

Instead, it means that a lender repossessed the vehicle when the borrower couldn’t keep paying for it. As the lender has no use for the car, they just want to sell it ASAP and recoup as much of their investment as possible.

These are ideal. Even if a dealer has fixed up a car that was once severely damaged, it can be tough to know how far those repairs are going to take it in the future. Having the car history will help, but unless you have a good eye for these things, it will be tough to make a sound judgment on the spot.

There is no one type of vehicle you’re going to find at an auction, but the above should help you better understand your options. If you want to take the guesswork out of the process altogether, let us know. At auto auction mall, we scour auctions all over the country to make sure our clients get good deals on great cars.