When a police department seizes a car, there is a high chance that the owner may not be able to claim it back and it becomes the property of the police department, particularly if the impound fee is not paid. If the car is in good condition, it may be converted into a squad car. In another case, the car is sent back to a live or online auto auction to be sold to the highest bidders. Such auctions are known as police auctions.
Police auctions are a great place to find gems, from modern sedans to collectibles. Let us take a look at whether police impound auctions are worth it or not.
How Do Cars End Up As “Police Seized”?
You may have seen cars that have been branded as “police seized” if you are searching for pre-owned cars to buy. Although this may seem like the cars have been directly involved in a crime, the chances of that are actually pretty low. Instead, most police seized cars have been repossessed due to non-payment on finance agreements. In many other cases, the vehicles sold at police car auctions have been towed away by traffic police and impounded.
Here are some of the reasons why cars may be seized by the police:
- The insurance policy on the car has lapsed. If it has expired, the police can impound your car.
- The car may be parked illegally on roads or public land or if they are becoming an obstacle. This includes broken-down vehicle, which can be towed away by the police.
- A car that is parked in a handicapped spot may be towed.
- If your car is impounded and the owner of the car has not paid the taxes on it, your car may not be released to you.
- Your car may be impounded if you have been driving it with an expired, suspended, or revoked driving license.
- If your car has experienced mechanical failure and is inoperable or too dangerous to stay on the road, it may be towed away.
- A vehicle that is in good working order that has been abandoned on the street may be picked up by the police and sent to an auction house.
With limited storage, the law enforcement department is unable to keep all of these vehicles and sends them to auction houses. However, as you can see, most of these vehicles have a high chance of being in good working condition.
What Happens When a Police Impounded Car Goes to an Auction?
The first step is that the car is given a full mechanical appraisal in order to determine whether it is fit for auction. Aside from the make, model, and year of manufacturing, there are several other factors that need to be taken into account, including mechanical problems.
The expert will find out any surface or structural damage to the car, like dents, rusts, or chipped paint job. All of these things will help find out the estimated value of the car. Once the car has been examined thoroughly, an auction guide price is set for the car. The auction house will write a detailed description of the vehicle, which will help potential bidders make an informed buying decision.
The seized vehicle will then be listed as part of a live or online car auction and will become live for bidding.
Why Should You Consider a Police Car/ Police Impound Auction?
In many ways, a police impound auction is the same as a regular new or used car auction. The only major difference is that a police car auction has vehicles that have been confiscated by the police, insurance companies, finance companies, or banks. Hence, these cars come from a variety of backgrounds.
The major advantage of police car auctions is that they can help you get great deals. These cars are often in very good condition and provide you much better value than you first realize. Since they are pre-owned and the agencies are looking to recoup their cost as quickly as possible, they are offered at quite low prices as well. In fact, the deals are so good that you will find many car dealerships that specialize in such vehicles since they can rack in a tidy sum.
In fact, cars are not the only vehicles that are sold at police car auctions. A large variety of vehicles, including motorbikes, vans, and even boats can be available at these auctions for an affordable price.
In addition, former police cars that have become old or are surplus in requirements are also sold off to auction houses. Every year, law enforcement agencies need to replace many vehicles to keep their fleet well-run so that they offer the best service to the public. If you find police cars in an auction house, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that these vehicles were well-serviced and properly maintained by qualified professionals as squad cars.
Police car auctions can also help you save big on car prices. You can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a relatively new and well-maintained car. You can even buy high-end luxury cars that have been impounded early on in their life as well as vehicles that have been repossessed early on during their financial agreement.
So, in all probability, you may be getting quite a new car that is in excellent shape.
Where to Buy Police Impound Cars on Auction?
Police cars often make part of the inventory of regular car auctions. Depending on your luck, you may find a huge range of police cars or police impound cars going under the hammer. When you go online to look for a car auction that is selling police impounded cars, you may find a whole list of such companies. However, it is important that you perform due diligence to ensure the place where you are buying your used car is credible and trustworthy.
When considering a car from an auction, it is important that you thoroughly analyze the picture of the vehicle and review the detailed description of the vehicle. This includes checking out the vehicle’s history, its manufacturing defects, and its physical condition.
This can help you determine whether the vehicle you are purchasing is worth your while. Some used car auctions like Ride Safely also allow you to send your own independent mechanic to inspect the vehicle that you are interested in so that you can have peace of mind before buying a car at an auction.
Since police cars and police impounded car auctions are very popular, they can generate a huge number of potential buyers, making them fiercely competitive. Even though most cars start from quite a low bidding price, they can rise very high once the bidding starts. So make sure you keep your budget in mind when bidding.
Police cars are a great option to take a look at if you want to get your hands on a cheap car that is reasonably well-maintained. If you want to get a good value car, make sure you find out if it has any defects and get it inspected, if necessary.
If your luck holds, you may be able to buy a used car that requires little to no repairs. Not many people expect their car to be repossessed or impounded so these vehicles are kept in good working order. However, it is important that you inspect the car before buying it so that you don’t get any nasty surprises.
Buying a car is a significant investment. With a police impound auction, you may be able to bag a gem that could cost you twice as much if you were to buy it from a regular car dealership.