If you want to get a good buy on a used car, why not try getting one from a police auction? These auctions are held by official police garages, impound lots, or towing services. In large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, public auctions of seized cars are held weekly. Just call your local police garage to find out when they are having the next scheduled auction. You can also check your local newspaper for announcements about upcoming police auctions.
What can you expect to find at a police auction? These usually deal with cars that have been confiscated from traffic rule violators and people with unpaid traffic fines. If the owner does not claim a car within a week, it can be put up for auction. At the police auctions, the cars are sold “as is” with no warranties or guarantees. You will not be able to return a car after buying it, and you will find it very difficult to get a reimbursement should you seek one.
For these reasons, you should think hard about buying a car at a police auction. You cannot always depend on the quality of the cars sold. Police seized cars can vary a lot in quality, but most of them are at least in running condition when they are confiscated. It would be better to attend the type of police auction that is held weekly. With other auctions, you may not know how long a car has remained unused in the impound lot, and whether the lack of maintenance has caused any degradation in its condition.
You need to make sure that the car you get at a police auction has a clean title. It rarely happens, but stolen cars do get sold at police auctions now and then, and you definitely do not want to buy one of those. The best thing to do is to obtain the vehicle identification number of the car before the auction and run it through the Carfax website, where you can get its vehicle history. This will tell you if the car has a clean title.
by Joseph Ducat