You could discover such cars while browsing auctions and searching for a gem. Sometimes, the car you’ve been looking for can be found among the police impound cars for sale.
Police all over the country impound cars every day, many of which end up being sold. If you are wondering how can you buy cars from an impound lot, read further and you’ll understand how it works.
Why Do Cars Get Impounded in the First Place
There are several different scenarios involving the impound of a vehicle. Of course, it takes more than just a violation and a routine stop for an officer to impound your vehicle. Generally speaking, the police can seize a car if:
- The vehicle serves as important evidence for solving a criminal case.
- The vehicle’s owner has proven to be a danger to the safety of other motorists.
- The vehicle served for committing a crime.
- The vehicle was abandoned by the owner instead of reclaiming it.
Either way, cars sitting in a police lot are no good to anyone, so they end up being sold eventually.
Why Are People Interested in Impounded Cars for Sale
Sure enough, most impounded cars have sat for a long time, meaning that they are likely to have mechanical issues or damage. However, there are still plenty of great deals out there. They often cost significantly less than equal makes and models offered on the regular second-hand auto market.
There is a chance you can buy a perfectly good running vehicle for a fraction of its actual price. Knowing what to look for and where to search for such deals is key. That is why we decided to share the key information about police impound cars for sale.
How To Buy Impounded Cars for Sale
You can buy impounded cars from an impound lot by choosing one of the two preferred routes.
Police Impound Cars for Sale at a Live Auction
Your first option is to join a live auction and place a bid. This a great opportunity because it gives you the chance to actually see the car you are interested in.
Bidding on an impounded car is a lot easier and much safer once you see what you could buy. Most police departments announce such auctions on a regular basis, meaning that you should follow their websites or social media platforms. You can simply contact your local police department and get some firsthand information about upcoming impound car auctions.
Keep in mind that live auctions require time and concentration. You need to take your time and carefully inspect the vehicle you intend to bid on, or check out a number of different cars that you could choose from later. Test driving a vehicle is not an option.
You need to register and receive a personal bidding number, as you can’t place a single bid without it. Arriving early is all in your favor because you could inspect the cars before the other bidders do.
When you are certain that you could make a great deal, continue with placing a bid. The whole process can take the entire day, but it is usually worth it.
In case your bid is the winning one, you must pay for the car on-site and collect it. This means that you should consider arranging for the vehicle’s transportation in case it is a non-runner.
Impounded Cars for Sale at an Online Auction
The second option you can use to buy cars from an impound lot is through online auctions.
Online auctions are similar to the classic format but there is a key difference: inspection of vehicles is out of the equation. This is considered to be a setback for some bidders, as they are not willing to bid on something they cannot see in person.
Still, there are detailed descriptions and images of every vehicle available. Most auctioneers can even answer additional questions, so the buyers can be more comfortable when placing a bid.
Needless to say, you will pay for the car before you can even see it in person. The vehicle you bought can be shipped to you directly, which is convenient.
The choice is yours. Buying a car based on its description might be riskier, but it is also more convenient. Trust your gut feeling and never bid when you are emotional about your future purchase. Consider its real market value instead.
What Is the Cost of Impounded Cars
The low cost of impound cars is easily explainable. The police don’t sell cars for the sake of profit. They simply want to free some space around their premises.
Still, there are additional costs, including auction fees. Some of the additional costs of purchasing an impounded car include shipping costs, additional costs for repairs, thorough cleaning, etc. All of this indicates that the final value of any impound car for sale is hard to be determined initially.
What to Look for Before Bidding on an Impounded Car
There are several things to look out for before joining an auction. First, make sure you get the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number). Performing a quick check will tell you a lot about the car’s history, including previous owners, damage, and service intervals.
Here are some additional tips you can find useful:
- Set a budget and do not go above it. It is easy to get overwhelmed or even excited when bidding but you need to remember that you are there to strike a good deal.
- Check if the car has a set of keys. Most often, cars that were previously stolen or involved in committing a crime have no keys, meaning that you need to call a professional car locksmith.
- Arrange for the transportation of the vehicle in advance. You may not be sure if you are going to place the winning bid, but you have a good chance of doing so. Having a truck waiting for the auction to end means that you will be able to receive the car as soon as possible.
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Where to Find Impounded Cars for Sale – the Verdict
There are different ways to get your hands on an impounded vehicle. You also have a huge chance to make a hefty profit. All you need to do is be careful and do your homework in advance.
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