Repo Car Auctions
  • Post last modified:February 9, 2024

Repo Car Auctions – Guide To Getting Started

What happens to vehicles seized by authorities during raids or due to traffic tickets? Well, once the government no longer requires them as evidence or banks foreclose on a debtor these vehicles often end up being auctioned off.

Repo car auctions offer an opportunity for smart buyers to save thousands of dollars on makes and models. However, it’s important to understand the risks involved and take precautions. In this article, we will provide you with guidance on how to locate, research, and purchase vehicles from repo car auctions.

Thorough Research is Essential

Before delving into the world of repo auctions it’s crucial to learn how to prepare and conduct research. Start by familiarizing yourself with the auction process and getting acquainted with the terminology. This knowledge will empower you to navigate the auction and make informed decisions.

Next, explore auction houses or online platforms that specialize in repo auctions. Seek out sources known for conducting transparent auctions. Reading reviews and testimonials from buyers can offer insights, into their experiences and assist you in selecting the right platform.

Finding Repo Car Auctions

Once you’ve completed your research it’s time to locate repo car auctions in your area. These auctions can be conducted either in person or online. Physical auctions often allow you to inspect the vehicles before bidding while online auctions offer convenience and a wider selection.

Where to Search for Repo Car Auctions Off Line?

To find repo car auctions, near you check newspapers and online classifieds. Most auction sales are advertised in legal journals or your local paper because there is a statutory legal requirement that makes the banks, and trustees advertise these particular auctions for anywhere between three to five weeks. Also, some auction houses send email notifications to registered members so be sure to sign up for their mailing lists to stay informed.

Where to Search for Repo Car Auctions Online?

You can go to popular websites online that aggregate and specialize in repo car auctions* (affiliate link). Here you can find repo cars near you that are scheduled for a live auction. Also, most of these online auction sites accept bids on particular vehicles over a short period, typically 7 days.

Examining the Vehicles

Now, let’s be honest I reckon you’d have to be pretty lucky to find a repossessed car in perfect condition but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist either. Inspecting the vehicles before placing a bid is essential to avoid any surprises.

The first thing is to request photographs and vehicle history reports. You can do this from the comfort of your own home so it’s a good place to start These reports can provide information about accidents, maintenance records, and any outstanding liens, on the vehicle.

Do a complete vehicle history check. By doing a VIN check you can get an understanding of the vehicle’s history and see other important information that you need to know before continuing. I have written a blog post and made a video you can watch explaining what you need to know and doing a free VIN search for accidents.

Once you have done all the checks you can do from a computer on the vehicle you’re interested in and if permitted by the auction platform consider arranging an inspection of the vehicle. You can use my free used car inspection checklist to spot the lemons and make sure the vehicle is mechanically sound. If possible attend the auction. Carefully examine the vehicles you’re interested in. Look for any signs of damage, wear and tear, or potential mechanical issues. It’s also advisable to bring along a trusted mechanic who can assess the vehicle’s condition.

Setting a Budget

Before you participate in a repo car auction it’s crucial to establish a budget and stick to it. Determine the amount you’re willing to spend on a vehicle considering expenses, like registration fees, taxes, and any necessary repairs.

Remember that bidding can get quite competitive and it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of the auction. Having a predetermined budget will help you avoid overspending and ensure that you make a decision.

Bidding and Winning

When it comes to bidding it’s essential to remain calm and composed. Start by observing bidding patterns and understanding the market value of the vehicles you’re interested in. Set a bid for each vehicle. Resist going over that amount no matter how tempting it might be.

Finalizing the Purchase

Pay attention to any fees or charges that may be applicable. Depending on the auction house or platform you choose there might be a requirement to pay a deposit or show proof of financing, within a timeframe. It’s important to make sure you have the funds or financing options before finalizing your purchase.


In conclusion, repo car auctions like seized exotic car auctions offer an opportunity to save money on different car makes and models including prestige ones. Of course, there are certain risks, but the risk level is what you make it. You have already started to lessen the risk by reading this article. So, to minimize the risks and gain confidence when buying repossessed cars from auctions it’s crucial to conduct your research and do your due diligence. This includes finding reputable auctions, inspecting the vehicles, setting a budget, and bidding strategically. Remember to approach each auction and make informed decisions based on your research and financial plan. Happy bidding!

Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please refer to our disclaimer for more info.