2. Know what car you're looking for You can find a list of what’s for sale online, either at Govsales.gov (if it’s a federal police auction) or through your local agency/county/department (just Google it). You need to have a decent idea of what you’re wanting to pick up, or you won’t have time to properly vet everything, which could get messy. See above.
Several different federal agencies hold government auctions. The General Services Administration is the granddaddy of them all, because it sells on behalf of other departments. When a federal agency no longer needs something — say, a pickup truck — it reports the truck to GSA, which first offers it to other federal agencies and then to state and local governments or nonprofits. If nobody claims the truck, then the GSA auctions it off to the public, and you get your chance at it.