The bidding started out fairly tame. Individuals there bought a beat up Impala for $525, a Chevy Astro van for $425, and the shittiest Chrysler PT Cruiser I have ever seen for $300. As for the awesome Ford Escort wagon? Well, it didn’t do so hot, in part, Kevin told me, because it’s so light and has low scrap value, and because parts are in low demand:
Government auctions are a great way to snag a retiring cop cruiser on the cheap, and being owned and run by the feds, you better believe it’s going to have records of every oil change, spark plug, and water pump that went into the damn thing. Nevertheless, it’s always best to remain objective, because even though it’s being sold by the United States government, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been thrashed. The competition at these things can also be pretty fierce at times (cab companies love old Crown Vics), so if cop cruisers and confiscated drug trafficking cars aren’t your thing, there are probably other options out there for you, like public auctions.
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.