When you think of an auto auction, you might think about a large car auction like those found on television. Barrett-Jackson and Mecum both specialize in classic, vintage, hot rod, muscle, and exotic cars that can be out of reach price-wise of the general public, but the cars, trucks, and motorcycles are always interesting. There are other types of auctions such as insurance auto auctions like SCA Auctions where they sell salvage cars from insurance auctions. Online auto auctions like SCA Auctions give the public a place where they can buy cars straight from insurance auto auctions and save money.
1 Local Car Auctions
If you decide that you are in the market for another car and are looking for places to buy it other than through a car dealership, you might consider a car auction. A quick online search for “auto auctions near me” can bring up a surprising list of places where you might find cars for sale in your area. Some of the cars may be off-lease cars from finance companies or used rental cars from rental agencies.
When looking for an auction, you need to know whether they are a public auction or a dealer-only auction.
- Public Auction – These auctions are open to the public, and you do not need a dealer license to buy cars from them. They can include government auctions like surplus or local municipality auctions that contain used police cars and impounded property. Insurance auto auctions can be public, too.
- Dealer Only Auction – You must have a dealer license to bid on cars at a dealer auction. These types of auctions are where dealerships buy and sell cars for their used car lots, and to sell to the public. These are considered private auctions.
In addition to local auto auctions, you will find online car auctions where you can look at cars from all over the country.
If you are wondering whether or not you should buy your next car online or just go to the local dealership to buy a car, here are some reasons why you may want to choose an online auction to buy your vehicle:
2 Benefits of Buying at Online Car Auctions
- Choice – Because there are so many online auto auctions that are open to the public, the chance of finding the car or truck you are looking for is high. There are vehicles from around the country, so you can shop from any state and get a good deal.
- Price – Since some of the vehicles are insurance auto auctions that have salvage titles, you might be able to find cheap cars to bid on. If you or someone you know can fix cars up, buying an insurance salvage car can save you money. You might be able to find junk cars that you can use as parts cars, too.
- Convenience – Rather than spending your time going from local auction to local auction, you can stay at home and bid online on the cars you want. Online bidding makes buying a new car as easy as clicking the mouse.
3 Buying Tips for Winning Online Auctions
- Bid within your budget
- Know how much you want to spend
- Do not get emotionally involved in the sale and spend too much
- Bid odd amounts using cents – $3,000.01 instead of $3,000
- Bid during odd times when people are not online bidding, like early mornings
- Have fun
Check out these online auction sites where you will find great deals on your next vehicle:
SCA Auctions is an online public insurance auto auction site where you will find a variety of salvage cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, and more from over 300,000 vehicles. You will find wholesale pricing just like the car dealers get when they buy at auction. No dealer license is required, and you can bid on live real-time auctions. In addition to the insurance auto auctions, you will find cars from finance companies, rental car companies, and government surplus. Bid and buy from the comfort of your home.
Skipco Auto Auction
Skipco Auto Auction began in 1978 in Ohio. It is considered Ohio’s premier public auto auction and serves both local and national buyers and sellers. They offer four lanes of auctions weekly, and you will find cars, trucks, ATVs, boats, campers, and more at their auctions. They are located in Canal Fulton, OH.
As mentioned, you might know Mecum Auctions from their television presence. They hold auctions in numerous cities like Kissimmee, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Glendale, AZ; and Houston, TX. Their auctions are broadcast on MOTORTRENDTV and MOTORTREND+, and they showcase interesting vehicles like a 1986 Porsche 930 Turbo, or a 1953 Chrysler Sprint car. They have been in the auction industry for over 30 years and are open to the public.
Norwalk Auto Auction
Norwalk Auto Auction opened its doors in 1979 and is located in Norwalk, GA. They offer dealer-only auctions, and once a month they host government surplus auctions that are open to the public.
Besides the above, here are a few other auction sites where you might find cars for sale: Direct Auto, Capital, Manheim, and IAAI.
Whether you decide to buy your next vehicle at a local auto auction or an online car auction, you will see a lot of cars and have a lot of fun bidding on your next ride.