Government Auctions: Used Car

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by af1snaikboi, May 19, 2010.

  1. af1snaikboi

    af1snaikboi Senior member

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    Created a post a few days ago about a cheap (sub 6k) used car.

    I'm located in NYC. Would anyone have experience going to a govt auction for a car? Any tips / advice? Are they generally in driveable condition?


    Also, how would I go about finding the next/nearest one.

    Thanks!
     


  2. af1snaikboi

    af1snaikboi Senior member

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  3. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    Do you mean Sheriff's auctions of cars towed and unclaimed? I went to one back in late '90s and it was mostly junk. IMO, the better stuff gets bought before the auction starts. If you are not an expert, these types of car auctions are probably not the best place to buy.
    There are also auctions of ex-cop cars but I assume they are mostly attended by used car dealers who specialize in reselling these.

    In your price range you should look at less deirable used cars: most US sedans, Nissan Sentra, Mazda Protege, Mazda 3, maybe some Hyundais. I feel these offer more value in your price range than the highly desirable Civic, Accord, Camry and Corolla. Private sellers would be preferable, since you can take your time examining the car, take it for a test ride or even bring it to a mechanic before plunking down the cash.
     


  4. af1snaikboi

    af1snaikboi Senior member

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    Thank you,

    Im a bit weary about trusting craigslist, but hope I can find someone around me that knows what they are doing.
     


  5. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I'd think many of the cars would not have been serviced routinely or treated well. You'd really have to know how to evaluate cars to reduce the risk of getting a lemon.
     


  6. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    Thank you, Im a bit weary about trusting craigslist, but hope I can find someone around me that knows what they are doing.
    Another suggestion to find cars besides Craiglist and Autotrader, is to browse Ebay Motors within a certain radius to find cars that you think you may like and in your price range. You don't have to bid on them right away or at all but you can contact the seller to go see the car in person and then decide whether to bid or make an offer outside the auction.
     


  7. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    Another suggestion to find cars besides Craiglist and Autotrader, is to browse Ebay Motors within a certain radius to find cars that you think you may like and in your price range. You don't have to bid on them right away or at all but you can contact the seller to go see the car in person and then decide whether to bid or make an offer outside the auction.

    Good strategy.
     


  8. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    I wouldn't do it. Those big car auctions work for dealers because they have the staff, parts, and facilities to rehab cars. They're buying in volume. If they get one stinker, it's a cost of doing business that they can build into the selling price of the cars they can re-hab and flip. For a one-shot buyer, the risks are just too great.

    There is simply no way to inspect these cars enough at auction to know what really lurks beneath the surface.
     


  9. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    But speaking of dealers, it's not all that hard to find somoebody with a dealer's license then you can go to the dealers' auctions.

    My brother has a small side business that includes a body & paint shop so he holds a dealer's license. He purchased a two year old loaded SUV for a very small fraction of the resale.

    Ask around and somebody will know somebody that can purchase for you. Lot's a fleet cars etc... clean, recent models.
     


  10. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    The real dealer auctions, like Manheim, are best for finding 3-4 year old or younger cars outside of OPs price point of $6K. These are usually sold under "green light", meaning no major issues, often by the financial arm of the manufacturer (Ford Credit, BMFS, etc.) A lot of these cars are lease returns or corporate use cars. I bought a couple of cars this way a few years ago.

    Buying older cars at dealer's auctions you need to know what you are doing or have the ability to repair them inexpensively.
     


  11. af1snaikboi

    af1snaikboi Senior member

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    I did find a 04 Civic LX with 127k miles for an asking price of $4200, which sounds like an okay deal, and also a 05 Civic for about $5300.



    Do smaller used car dealerships mark up prices alot more than private sellers? I may head out to a few this week.
     


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