The federal government is possibly the biggest car buyer in the country and has a clear cut procedure for disposing of its old cars and trucks. In the course of a year, there are about 300 of these auctions held, in different parts of the country. Participation in these auctions is free and is open to anyone who has a driver´s license and is over 18 years of age. A government auto auction can be done in various forms: live auctions, internet auctions, sealed bid auctions, drop by sales, fixed price and negotiated price are some of the methods used. The government accepts payment in various forms, making it easy for successful bidders to pay and drive home: credit cards, cash, cashier´s checks and money order are all accepted.
When you consider that government auto auctions usually sell off over 30,000 cars and trucks a year, it is obvious that there will be a wide range of vehicles on sale. Some of the vehicles for sale may have been exposed to heavy and hard use and may not be worth bidding for, but many are in excellent condition with very low mileage. Besides being carefully detailed before being placed up for bidding, many of the cars and trucks on sale have extras and accessories that would cost a large amount if bought new. This doesn´t however, mean that a person can blindly buy a car for sale at a government auto auction as these are all used vehicles and so there will always be some element of risk involved in buying them. While a complete pre auction inspection and check up of the cars and trucks is done prior to their being placed up for auction, there is always a chance of problems appearing only after the successful bidder has taken the car home and since there is no warranty on these cars, he is stuck with having to pay for the repairs.
But since these are government auto auctions with no personal profit involved, there is no chance of being deliberately cheated and so the risks of buying from here are much less than in private auctions. However, the bidder needs to either be knowledgeable about cars, or have the services of someone who is, to help him in picking the cars he should bid on with the hope of getting a great bargain. But be prepared to be patient and wait until you find the right car: rushing into buying a car only because it is available cheap can result in your ending up with a car that is not right for your or does not meet your needs. An often over looked source of good used cars are the auctions that the U.S. Marshal Service holds for cars that have been seized by law enforcement agencies.