top view new car lined up at an auction

Where Do the Vehicles Found at Auto Auctions Come From?

When you first look at an online auto auction, the first thing you will notice is the sheer number of vehicles that are available for sale. Just about any vehicle type from almost any corner of the globe can show up at one of these auto auctions. While your local sale venues will usually have a good range of their own, for the most extensive selection, online auctions are nearly impossible to beat. With such a vast array of options on offer, many people wonder about the vehicles’ origins. Though there is no one definitive answer to that question, there are some standard ways for cars to end up at an online auto auction, such as:


Salvage Vehicles

Sometimes a vehicle is involved in an accident, but its value is not as high as the cost to repair the damage. In such a case, the insurance company will almost always total the vehicle, which means they will take possession of it from the owner. The insurance company pays out the accident claim and then recoups its losses by placing the vehicle up for auction with a salvage title. These salvage vehicles are usually among the lowest-priced options available at an auto auction, and they can be a bargain for people who don’t mind doing some work on their purchases.

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Failed Dealership Vehicles

A dealership, when it acquires a new vehicle, first attempts to sell it on their lot. If the car remains unsold after a few months, they will begin to explore other options for cashing in on it. One of the best ways to do so is to list them with online auction sites. By making the vehicle available to a broader audience online, the dealership maximizes the chances of selling it. Because the dealer is usually trying to get rid of the car quickly to make room for some new vehicles on the lot, you can sometimes find some bargains when shopping for failed dealership vehicles.

Repossessed Vehicles

Unfortunately, many people purchase cars they cannot afford and eventually find themselves unable to make their monthly payments. Consequently, the vehicles get repossessed; some end up on online auction sites. It is not unusual to see listings for cars that are still relatively new, so you might be able to buy one with just a few thousand miles on it at a fraction of the cost of a brand-new ride.

Ultimately, online auto auctions are merely a collection of vehicles with any number of different backgrounds. As always, it is essential to check out the vehicle history reports to check on the provenance of the ones on which you are interested in bidding. Before long, you will be giving that car a brand new home.

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