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What to Know About Police Car Auctions

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Photo: Brian Turner

When a car is seized by the law, either because of unpaid loans or crimes committed, the police hold onto them and can eventually sell them at auction. This can be a very cost-effective way to buy a car.

How to buy a car from police auctions

First, you need to know the location, time, and date of police car auctions. You can usually find this information online.

There are two ways to participate in police car auctions.

Live auction

Police car auctions are very similar to other auctions. You can check out the listings ahead of time, but you may not test drive the vehicles. However, you can give them a once over to check the mechanics and other important features before you bid.

At a live auction, you will have a number that you raise to bid on your chosen car as your auctioneer calls out for bids.

Online auction

There is no significant difference between live police car auctions and online auctions. The only disadvantage is that you are not physically present and you can not see the car. You will have this opportunity when your car is delivered to you at home.


Transportation is a crucial thing when you buy a car from a police car auction.

If you decide to participate in the live auction, you have the option to transport your vehicle yourself. If you can’t drive it yourself, you can hire a transportation company to deliver your car to your home.

If you buy a car from an online auction, you more than likely will need to pay for transportation.

There are two ways to transport your new car.

Open auto transportation

Open auto transportation is the cheapest way of transporting a car. A few cars are put on an open trailer truck and delivered to the desired destination. The cars are well tied and insulated to avoid vibration or slipping from the truck.

The only drawback of this type of transport is that vehicles are not protected from the weather.

Enclosed auto transportation

Enclosed auto transportation carries cars in a covered truck. This is the more expensive option but will protect the car from weather and road debris.

The disadvantage is that you may have to wait longer to find a free truck to transport your car. Companies have only a few trucks of this type, and almost always are all booked.

This is a collaborative article.