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Government Auctions Are Great Places To Find Car Deals

Aug 17, 2007
If you're in the market for a new car, but you can't afford the high price of retail, visiting a government auction in person or online can be a smart way to go. Government auctions are notorious for having some of the best automobiles going at a fraction of the prices you'd pay from a dealer or private owner.

Government auctions can be found in all kinds of jurisdictions, ranging from small, local authority auctions to large federal auctions. They can include everything from the top of the line, just released vehicles to older cars that have been well cared for in a government fleet.

Let's take a look at some of the types of vehicles that can be found at government auctions:

Newer model cars, trucks, light vans
The newer cars found at government auctions are generally those that have been seized from suspects by various law enforcement agencies. This means they might not be in tip top condition, but they could be, as well. In these cases, the government auctioning authority will be interested in making as much money as possible, but the fact is these cars can end up selling for a real steal. No law enforcement agency can afford to store an endless amount of vehicles seized from drug dealers or other bad guys.

Middle of the road cars
Many government agencies have a policy that dictates how old cars in their fleet can be. Once they reach this point, regardless of mileage, they are auctioned off and new vehicles are purchased. These cars can be very good buys and generally have been cared for within a fleet system, so they're practically guaranteed to have all their maintenance in place. They can be very good buys for those interested in government auctions.

Older vehicles
These, too, can be found at government auction. Whether they are retired fleet or seizures, some of these vehicles can be purchased for a fraction of their real value. If you're looking for a particular type of car, or a classic, don't discount a government auction as a place to look.

Now that you understand just about any kind of vehicle can be found at government auction, let's look at the types of agencies that might host auctions:

Local law enforcement
These government auctions are favorites of those who want newer models cars. Since many states allow their local agencies to maintain some of their seizures to sell and purchase newer equipment, it's possible to get your hands on a brand new car for a fraction of its sticker price by going this route.

State auctions
These can include a combination of fleet retired vehicles and seizures. Here you can find everything from standard government issued cars to the latest sports vehicles.

Federal auctions
The many agencies within the federal government also host their own auctions or combination auctions. At these you can find a variety of different types of cars, trucks and light work vehicles, too.

Government auctions are fantastic for finding really good deals on a variety of cars and trucks. Since the agencies aren't looking to make a "profit" per say, the prices on the starting block can be more than reasonable.
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