Best auction to buy cars

Various sorts of car auctions are great places to buy salvaged cars, heavily or lightly damaged cars, or even cars in stellar condition. These are mostly populated by car flippers and dealers which indicates that they are often brimming with amazing deals, but not all auction sites are reliable and worthy of consideration.

Most cars sold at auctions consist out of cars that were sitting at a dealer’s lot for way too long, confiscated cars for insufficient payments, various trade-in cars, and all sorts of damaged cars. This means that with such a wide variety, a car auction is equally interesting both for dealers, mechanics, and private owners.

The best auction sites are Gov-Auctions, ACV Auctions, Copart, IAAI, Auto Auction Mall, and AUTOBIDMASTER. RM Sotheby’s, Worldwide Auctioneers, and Bonhams only auction out high-value classic cars and supercars, but they can also sometimes offer more approachable cars for an enthusiast.

Be that as it may, more than 9 million cars are sold on auctions every year. This only further reiterates that auction sites are a great place to search for cars. However, always be sure to follow all the security instructions, and don’t get emotionally involved and overbid on a car.


Car auctions are a great place to find a used vehicle. Gov-Auctions is a great place to find lots of auctions. You’ll have unlimited access to the largest online source of US Government auctions for every state in the US.

At low prices, you can find 10,000s of high-quality pre-owned Government vehicles. Each week thousands of listings are added!

ACV Auctions

With more than a thousand dealers participating, ACV Auctions is one of the most successful auctions sites out there. The best thing about ACV  is that they offer extensive transparency which is essential to make sure that the car you are buying is in its advertised condition. Sing up for ACV is free and the purchasing fees are low as well.

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One of the largest issues with car auctions is that they don’t enable you to inspect the car thoroughly before you bid on it, but ACV offers various methods of reassurance such as engine listening, high-def photographs of vulnerable car areas, and a free of charge 10-day arbitration protection.


Since 1982 Copart has been the leading auction site when it comes to auctioning salvaged cars. With more than 2 million cars sold each year, Copart is available in 11 different countries with more than 135k cars in the inventory. There are no minimum bid limits which means that you can sometimes buy a car for little to no money.

The only potential gripe with Copart is that in order to participate in an auction you have to acquire a dealer’s license. Nevertheless, the entire bidding process with Copart is extremely easy, reliable, and safe, especially because you can bid on the go using nothing but your smartphone.


Also founded in 1982, the IAAI auction site enables you to bid on a wide variety of different cars such as salvaged cars, damaged cars, insurance claim cars, recovered theft cars, dealer trade-in cars, and fleet leases.

You don’t need a dealer license to take part in public IAAI auctions, but they sometimes do private auctions which are only available for those with a dealer’s license. To participate in any public car auction, you are required to pay $200 per year. IAAI offers all sorts of payment options which makes the entire process as painless as possible.

Auto Auction Mall

Auto Auction Mall is one of the best auction sites out there because it consists out of mostly dealers’ cars, and they don’t require you to have a dealer’s license to take part. Furthermore, the membership is free, but you are required to pay a $300 fee if you win a car.

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However, the best thing about Auto Auction Mall is that they offer financing without any initial down payments. Moreover, interest rates are minimal and they also offer a helpful customer service support team that can help you with whatever it is that is bothering you.


Autobidmaster is not exactly on the same level as all the other auction sites previously listed, but you will be pleased to know that Autobidmaster is actually a Copart broker company which means that they also offer the entire Copart inventory. There are no registration fees which means you will not have to pay anything to take part.

Autobidmaster predominantly offers repairable salvage vehicles, they also offer used vehicles for fairly attainable prices. To access their inventory, you don’t even need a dealer’s license.

FAQ Section

Is it worth it buying cars at car auctions?

It depends on what you want and how knowledgeable you are about the entire process. Auto auctions can be a great place to buy undervalued cars, but only if you know what you are doing. As previously stated, most of these auction sites offer online auctions which means you can’t even take a look at the car you are interested in.

This means that you will not be able to inspect the car or let anyone else inspect the car for you before you pay your winning bid. This makes the entire process a bit gambling-like, but it is still a great place for scout for potential deals.

What are all the different types of car auctions?

Firstly, there are salvaged car auctions. These auctions mostly consist out of ‘’total loss’’ cars as insurance companies like to call them. The best auction type is a dealership overstock auction which happens whenever a dealership wants to get rid of all the cars that have been sitting on the lot for too long.

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Repo car auctions consist out of cars usually repossessed by banks and there are many different rental car fleet auctions as well.

 How does an online car auction site work?

We are living in a pandemic that has shifted many businesses online to protect our health and stop spreading the virus. This means that most car auctions are not being carried out online in real-time. Some sites such as ACV Auction only enable you to bid in a certain short period, others enable you to do so even before the bidding process officially starts.

You don’t have to sit and wait for the entire process to end, you can just place your bid and the site will notify you later if you’ve won or not. The entire process is fast, easy, and cheap when compared to live auctions.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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