You can find announcements of government car auctions in your local newspaper. Secondly, do the research prior to bidding on any automobiles at any auto auctions.
You should know exactly what type of vehicle you want, as well as the estimated value of the car and, if possible, the VIN number in order to do a car history search, and the mileage.
If possible, have a mechanic inspect the vehicle, or you do it yourself. A lot of auctions have a two-day preview period before the actual auction where interested parties may examine the vehicle. However, this does not include driving the vehicle, and auto auctions offer no guarantees or warranties.
You can search for auto auctions in your state online or with your city, state, or federal government offices to find auction sites and dates. Repossession auctions offer cars so new they still have the window sticker as well as high-mileage used, older vehicles at below the sticker price.
Online auctions work just like on-site auto auctions, only you cannot inspect the car prior to purchasing it. All of the information you need about the car is provided so nothing is in question, and the vehicle will be shipped for a small charge to a location of your choice for inspection before finalizing the deal.
Look for companies that, in the case you aren't satisfied, will give you your money back. Select a handful of services that provide what you are looking for and compare them before making a decision on which to go with.
A former employee of an auction company said to always go to the preview period prior to the auction, where you and your mechanic can inspect the vehicle. Check for odors or mildew stains on the carpets – signs a car has gotten wet – and try see if it was jump-started to bring into the auction room – signs the car has some small or major issues.