There are countless options these days to buy a cheap used car, especially when you factor in options on the internet. One thing that has not changed much over the years, however, is that the place to go for cheap wholesale used cars is still a car auction. With auto auctions, both open to the public and dealer auto auctions, New York and New Jersey residents can easily find a great deal on a preowned car.
Car models for sale can vary greatly at these auctions, from older 90s/2000s used cars up to late model cars just a few years old. Most are not wrecked and the VINs are available before the auctions to help you research your purchase.
Where Do the Auction Cars at Auto Auctions Come From?
Used cars at auctions come from a large variety of sources. Each is offers slightly different types of vehicles(government fleets have lots of trucks and vans, for example), depending on your needs. Fleet vehicles tend to be regularly maintained, but often driven hard. Private owner cars will vary greatly, depending on the car and its owner.
- Fleet Sales: Companies with a fleet of vehicles, such as taxi or delivery companies, frequently auction off their used vehicles.
- Bank Repossessions: When customers default on their loans, banks sell the repossessed vehicles. These are not always well-maintained, but banks are very motivated to sell them quickly to get them off the books.
- Government Surplus: Unneeded vehicles, such as those previously used by law enforcement or the military, are sold by government agencies.
- Estate Sales: The estate of a deceased person may include a vehicle to be sold at auction.
- Rental Car Companies: Rental companies dispose of their used vehicles to make room for newer models through auctions. These are often sold at dealer auto auctions, but are sometimes available at public car auctions.
- Leased Vehicles: At the end of leases, leasing companies sell their used vehicles, which are often well-maintained with service records available.
- Trade-ins: Car dealerships often sell trade-ins received from customers purchasing new vehicles at auction. These are cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, etc. that were driven daily until being traded in.
- Private Sellers: Individuals also have the option of selling their used vehicles at auction. Learn about selling your car at auction.
- Police Auctions: Impounded or seized vehicles are sometimes sold by police departments through police car auctions. The overall quality of these auction cars are on the low side, but the very low prices often make up for that.
Buy a Cheap Auction Car with Confidence
Deciding on which type of car auction to visit can be daunting, but you can just browse the inventory of various ones online and see which auction cars interest you. There are several options in both New York and New Jersey for online car auctions if you want to avoid live auto auctions.
If you are willing to look closely over the auction cars and research them online, the odds of finding a cheap used car at an auto auction is pretty high. It is important to not rush the process and to also become familiar with the rules and auction fees that apply when buying a vehicle.
If you do not have any mechanical knowledge of cars whatsoever, auto auctions may not be for you. Especially the police auctions and most online car auctions. It pays off big in the long run to have someone available that could help you assess the value of the cars being sold at auction.