Each and every single year, police departments (local, state, and federal) take possession of thousands and thousands of vehicles all throughout the United States during their everyday activities.
Some of these vehicles are going to be seized as evidence during the commission of a crime, some of these vehicles will be towed because they are in violation of specific parking laws or parameters, and others with simply be up for auction because they are surplus or antiquated vehicles that the police department no longer has need for – but either way, police auctions represent a fantastic opportunity for you to get your hands on some pretty interesting, exciting, and fantastic deals as far as used cars are concerned.
At the exact same time, you need to understand that purchasing used vehicles from police car auctions is an entirely different process than the one you are probably used to. You’re going to need to use the tips and tricks included below to make sure that you get the right vehicles from any police car auctions you attend.
Police car auctions are not all about drug dealers and their sports cars
Most people have a view of police car auctions and that is something between Miami Vice and a Las Vegas used-car lot, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Sure, from time to time you are going to find incredible deals on some very, very special automobiles – we’re talking about luxury sports cars, European high-end vehicles, and premium model vehicles at a fraction of the price you would have found them for anywhere else – but often times you’re going to find some pretty run-of-the-mill or slightly above average used vehicles up for auction at these locations.
This is not to say that you’ll be wasting your time at police car auctions, but you need to temper your expectations as to the kinds of deals you’ll be able to stumble upon.
If the police car auctions will let you drive it, always – ALWAYS – take a test spin
Used-car auctions infrequently allow you to actually test drive the vehicle before you bid on it, but police car auctions (for any different number of reasons) are much more friendly about letting the future owner of these cars take it for a test spin.
If you have the opportunity to drive the vehicles that you will be bidding on at these police car auctions, always – ALWAYS – take them up on the offer. Not only will you have an idea as to whether or not the vehicle runs and how smoothly it does (or doesn’t), but you’ll also have a better idea as to whether or not it’s the right vehicle purchase for you.
Most of these police car auction vehicles will be sold without warranty, so inspect them as closely as you can
Almost every single vehicle (and every single item, for that matter) sold at police car auctions are sold “as is” – with absolutely no warranty whatsoever. This means you need to be extra careful about the vehicles that you decide to bid on and purchase, and that you have done absolutely everything in your power to visually inspect the automobiles as you can.
Sometimes you’ll be able to get a bit of information from the police auctioneers about the overall condition of the vehicle, but you have to remember that these people weren’t the original owners – and these vehicles may or may not be as highly maintained or as well kept you had hoped.
This is definitely something you’ll want to consider before you start to splash any cash at police car auctions.