Police auctions are common place all over the United states. In all cases you are talking about vehicles that have been seized but make no mistake about it, the Police are as greedy as anyone else, they want top dollar if they can get it so if you decide to go this route, be prepared to do your homework as you would at any other car auction.
As stated above, Police auctions are available as a result of vehicles being seized by the Police generally as a result of someone breaking the law; it could be anything from a person not paying their parking tickets to the vehicle being involved in a Felony of some sort.
There are some things that you should keep in mind if you are considering visiting a police auction any time soon. Also, keep in mind that yes, online auctions are available, but generally not in the capacity of a Police auction; here you will most definitely need to visit a live police auction in your area.
Here are 3 reasons why Police auctions are more risky than other types of auctions.
1) Vehicle Abuse/Reliability: If the police seize a vehicle it typically means that the person on the other end of the deal was irresponsible in some way, do you think that it is likely or unlikely that the irresponsible party properly maintained the vehicle prior to it being seized by the Police?
It is likely that the vehicle in question was not properly maintained, the Police may have had it dressed up prior to auction but how was it treated prior and for how long was the vehicle service neglected?
2) Service Records: Time stamped service records are extremely unlikely to be available for these Police seized vehicles so you have to hope that they were somewhat maintained according to suggested manufacturer regular service intervals while privately owned.
The pre-auction inspection may turn up no smoking gun however the problems that failure to maintain a vehicle can produce can happen down the road so be careful here, my recommendation is that you don’t bid on vehicles if you can’t confirm that they were properly maintained.
3) Title History:In this case you must secure reliable car history from a trusted source before you even think about bidding on a vehicle at a Police auction. Unlike at Government car auctions, Police auctions don’t normally offer up a free Carfax report so you will have to pay for this on your own.
It is much more likely that Police seized vehicles have re-built titles which will automatically drop the price of the vehicle by 30-50%, if you are not aware of this prior to bidding it could be very bad for you if you plan on turning the vehicle you’ve just purchased at Police auction around for a profit…
Jack Polard as a hobbie buys and sells cars that he purchases at public auction, for him there is nothing like the great satisfaction of walking away with a vehicle that he purchased for below it’s trade in value.