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How to Find an Auto Auction in Your Area

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Auto auctions can be a great place to find a deal on a used car. But before you head to an auction, there are a few things you need to know. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to find an auto auction in your area and what you need to do to participate.

Identify the type of auction you need.

Online auctions are a great way to find the vehicle you need without having to leave your home. You can search for online auctions by using auction websites or by searching for auction listings in your local newspapers or classified ads. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the auction before bidding on any vehicles.

Check with your local government.

Many government agencies, such as police departments and municipalities, hold auto auctions open to the public. These types of auctions usually have a large selection of vehicles to choose from, including seized vehicles and surplus vehicles. To find out about government auto auctions in your area, contact your local government office or visit their website.

Consider a dealer auction.

Dealer auto auctions are open only to licensed vehicle dealers and usually require membership in an association or trade organization. Dealer auctions typically have a smaller selection of vehicles than public auto auctions, but the prices may be lower since dealers are buying for resale purposes rather than for themselves. If you’re interested in attending a dealer auction, contact a local dealership for more information.

Research the auction.

Be sure to read the auction’s terms and conditions carefully before you register. This will help you understand the rules of the auction and what is expected of you as a bidder.

Find out what kind of vehicles will be auctioned.

Most auto auctions sell used vehicles, but some specialize in selling new or certified pre-owned vehicles. You’ll want to make sure that the auction you choose sells the type of vehicle you’re interested in.

Determine the auction’s start time and location.

Auto auctions are typically held weekly or monthly, so you’ll need to find out when the next one is scheduled. The auction’s start time and location are usually listed on its website.

Register for the auction.

To register for an auction, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork and pay a registration fee. The specific requirements vary depending on the auction house, so be sure to check their website or give them a call ahead of time.

Pay the registration fee.

The registration fee is typically a few hundred dollars, and it’s non-refundable even if you don’t end up buying a car.

Get a bidder’s number.

When you arrive at the auction, you’ll need to get a bidder’s number from the registration desk. Once you have your bidder’s number, you’ll be able to start bidding on cars!

Inspect the vehicles.

When you’re inspecting the vehicles, you’ll want to pay close attention to the overall condition of the car. Look for any cosmetic damage, such as dents, scratches, or cracked windshields. You should also pop the hood and check for any fluid leaks. If you’re not mechanically inclined, you may want to bring a friend or family member who can help you inspect the engine and other mechanical components of the car.

Test drive the vehicle, if possible.

If test driving is allowed, take advantage of it! This is your chance to get a feel for how the car drives and to see if there are any problems with it that aren’t immediately apparent. Even if you’re not an experienced driver, you’ll be able to tell if something feels off about the car. Trust your gut – if something doesn’t feel right, there’s probably a reason for it.

Get a vehicle history report.

A vehicle history report (VHR) can tell you a lot about a car’s past, including whether it’s been in any accidents or had any major mechanical problems. This information can be helpful in making your decision about whether or not to place a bid on a particular vehicle. You can usually purchase a VHR from the auction house itself or online from one of several different companies that offer this service.

Place your bid.

When you find a vehicle you’re interested in, simply raise your bid card to signal the auctioneer that you’d like to place a bid. The auctioneer will then start the bidding at the amount you’ve indicated.

Watch for the “sold” sign.

If your bid is the highest when the auctioneer says “sold,” you’ve won! Be sure to watch for the “sold” sign, as this is how the auctioneer will indicate that the bidding has ended and a winner has been chosen.

Pay for your vehicle.

Once you’ve won, it’s time to pay for your vehicle. You’ll need to bring cash or a cashier’s check made out to the auction house – no personal checks or credit cards are accepted. The full amount is due at the time of purchase, so be sure to have enough money on hand before placing your bid.


Auto auctions can be a great place to find a deal on a used car. However, it is important to do your research before attending an auction. You will need to register for the auction and pay a fee, and you should inspect the vehicles before bidding. Once you have found a vehicle you are interested in, watch for the “sold” sign and pay for your vehicle.

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