Anything that is in surplus is something that has been accumulated in quantities more than is needed: something the government does very well. But let us not be unfair: the government surpluses often occur because to the strict life cycle and replacement policies, both at the federal and state levels. Because of these strict regulations, the government always has a large quantity of cars and trucks that may be in good condition, but which it can no longer use and must auction off. These vehicles are either personal use cars which often have very low mileage or cars used by federal agencies like the police and in these cases while the vehicles may have seen heavy use, they will have been well maintained.
Many of these cars and trucks will have a vehicle history available and those who would prefer to buy a car with a complete history should check on this before bidding. In many cases the vehicles up for auction would not be available for sale under any other circumstances: it is only because of the policies regarding replacement or the fact that the government has decided that it no longer needs these cars and trucks. Surplus vehicles may also be those that have been seized by law enforcement agencies and which the government has no use for. Do not make the mistake of thinking that only cars and trucks are available at these surplus auto auctions: ATVs, motorcycles and even heavy equipment are also often up for sale.
Families who need a second car and do not want to spend too much or need to buy one for a child who is now old enough to drive will find that a surplus auto auction will offer a number of economical options. While there is a wide range of vehicles types and makes available at these auctions, they are a great place to look for the luxury car that you could not otherwise afford: cars that have been seized from big time crooks like drug lords who are known for their love of luxurious cars. And these are people who will always be seen in a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus or some other car on the same lines: the cars they lose to the government can be yours at a fraction of their original cost at surplus auto auctions. The need to save money by not having to store old cars and bring in whatever can be made from selling the surplus ones means that the pressure is on the government to sell these cars for whatever price they can get: often far below the prevailing market prices. The government profits by cutting overheads and bringing in some cash and the buyer benefits by getting a car at prices he will not find elsewhere.