Inspect the vehicles. Attend the preview times (sometimes a day or two before the auction or earlier that day), and check out the vehicles that fit your interest. During these times, you can carefully look at the car's interior and exterior, and you can start the engine but not go out for a test drive. In all cases, the vehicles are sold as-is, so take into account the possibility of costly mechanical problems. The auction company will sometimes provide information only if it's critical to the safety of the vehicle, but all vehicles in these auctions are deemed roadworthy. It might be a good idea to take your trusty mechanic along to the preview so you can get his or her gut feeling about the vehicle.
Going, going, gone! Live auctions are always exciting and entertaining whether you're the bidder or not, and government auctions are no exception. Make sure you don't miss your cue to bid. If you're not clear on how bidding progresses, ask one of the auction company officials. Some items will have an undisclosed set minimum bid (reserve), while most items will be offered without reserve. Most auctions will also accept in-absence, written bids if the bidder follows special procedures and the bid is received more than a day before the auction.
Do your research. Check Kelly Blue Book for the proper price for the vehicle, including its mileage and apparent condition. Always downgrade the condition by one ranking for government auctions. Also, do some smart used-car research, such as checking Consumer Reports for reliability and the frequencies of particular repairs, and checking our road test information if it's a recent model vehicle.
But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t good deals to be had at local auctions, because as intimidating as it may sound, there’s a reason dedicated bidders still show up to these things every week. You just have to remain skeptical and attentive if you want to take home the right ride, because you never know what might show up, and by using these 10 tips, you might land a gem.
These programs are meant to benefit taxpayers as a whole, but could they benefit you, the individual taxpayer? Can you bag a bargain at a government auction? "GSA's goal is to maximize return to the federal government," the GSA spokesperson said. So they're not giving this stuff away. In fact, the government sets "reserves" or minimums for the most valuable property it auctions off. But judging from a wide tour of current government auctions and bids, there are still opportunities to walk away with valuable goods for a great price. Here's a look at who's selling what, where, and for how much.

These programs are meant to benefit taxpayers as a whole, but could they benefit you, the individual taxpayer? Can you bag a bargain at a government auction? "GSA's goal is to maximize return to the federal government," the GSA spokesperson said. So they're not giving this stuff away. In fact, the government sets "reserves" or minimums for the most valuable property it auctions off. But judging from a wide tour of current government auctions and bids, there are still opportunities to walk away with valuable goods for a great price. Here's a look at who's selling what, where, and for how much.


Interstate Auto Auction is an auto auction open to the public located in Salem, NH. Our public car auctions sell vehicles from dealer trade-ins, repossessions, lease ends, donated cars and more. At Interstate Auto Auction we want you to buy with confidence. You can TEST DRIVE any of the vehicles before the auction!! Feel Free to review our cars online. We also encourage you to read our about us page and our very helpful and transparent FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS GUIDE which answers over 20 questions that you may have about how we operate.
Age and nationality requirements. A bidding individual must be at least 18 years old to participate in government car sales. Unlike private auctions, which sometimes require a license to bid, a government car auction is generally open to the public. No special license is needed. However, in order to transact business with the federal government, a social security number or tax identification number is needed. If purchasing the vehicle for a company, then a Power of Attorney certificate is required

If it looks too good to be true, chances are it is, and there’s a simple reason why. While bodywork is expensive, it pales in comparison to the kind of profit a car will turn if a high-bidding buyer doesn’t notice it. A thorough pre-bid inspection should hopefully illuminate any issues prior to putting down your money. For more info on what shoddy bodywork can hide, don’t forget to read our write-up on nine ways you can tell if a car has been in a wreck.
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