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Top 10 Facts About Cars For Sale by the Government

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In modern America, unless you live in a big city and take public transportation to go everywhere, you need a vehicle to get around, go to work and do all the other chores and activities that modern life demands. While a lot of people go to a local auto dealership to find a car, truck or van, there are a growing number who purchase a cheap repo vehicle at online government car auctions, purchasing cars for sale by the government in order to save a lot of money.

The simple truth is that cars are one of the most expensive purchases that most people will make in their lives, and make on a relatively frequent basis. Most consumers try as much as possible to get a lower price on whatever car or truck they buy but, in a lot of cases, they still pay too much and go into too much debt because they simply don’t know of any better ways to shop. If that’s you, and if saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your next car or truck sounds like a great idea, keep reading to find out the Top 10 Facts About Cars For Sale by the Government.



Why Does the Government Sell Cars?

Before we start, a little bit about why the government, including agencies like the Police, DEA, FBI and IRS, are selling cars, trucks and vans, and why they are so cheap. The fact is, every day across the United States these government agencies (and some others) seize cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and even boats for a wide variety of reasons. Some are taken from drug dealers while others are taken from people who defaulted on their car loans, owe the IRS back-taxes or were involved in criminal activities.

Some of the vehicles being sold are cars and trucks that were used by the respective government agencies, like police cars and vans. In many cases they have been maintained extremely well and are only 2 to 3 years old, making them an excellent value.

Whatever the reason, the vehicles are then auctioned off to the public, usually for prices that are far below retail by thousands of dollars. In fact, in most cases, the price of the cars and trucks being auctioned off are up to 95% less than their normal retail price, a phenomenal amount of savings by any measure. Many of the auctions you’ll find at online government car auctions start at a measly $100.00!

Fact 1 – Anyone can buy a government auctioned car

The truth is, car dealerships LOVE government car auctions because they know they can purchase vehicles extremely cheaply and, since they already have a dealership, they can then turn around and sell them for a handsome profit. But the good news is that anyone can buy cars for sale by the government and save upwards of 90% or more on their next car or truck.

Fact 2 – Live online government car auctions are held every week all over the country

Practically every state in the United States holds car auctions on a regular basis, and some are so busy repossessing and seizing cars that they hold them every week! If you’re looking for cheap repo and seized cars for sale, there’s likely at least one being held in your metro area and in most cases more.

Fact 3 – Why doesn’t everyone purchase seized cars?

Again, many American consumers have no idea about cars for sale by the government because it’s not something that’s advertised and car dealerships are not likely to give you the information you need to go and find a cheaper car somewhere else. (It would, as you can imagine, impact their profit margins a lot.) Also, some people simply don’t like purchasing used cars and trucks and, since all of the vehicles sold by the government have been used (if sometimes only slightly) these consumers aren’t interested in them.

Fact 4 – Government auctioned cars come with a warranty

OK, so the warranty you’ll get with cars for sale by the government is going to be substantially less than the warranty you get with a brand new car purchased through a dealership. On the other hand, you will usually get a 3-month warranty included for free and, if you want more warranty, you can purchase it for a small extra fee.

Also, these cars are sometimes barely used and almost new, with new engines, tires, brakes and so forth, so a warranty isn’t exactly necessary. The truth is, what you’ll save off the retail price far outweighs the saving you might have if you needed to use the warranty.

Fact 5 – You can check the VIN on most online government car auctions

If you want to do your due diligence, which is always a good idea and check the VIN of a car or truck you’re interested in purchasing at a government car auction, in most cases that’s not a problem. Also, there’s nothing stopping you from ordering a CARFAX report on a vehicle you want to buy for even more peace of mind.

Fact 6 – There are no luxury taxes or hidden fees when you purchase a government auctioned car

When you buy cars for sale by the government you can rest assured that you won’t get hit by extra hidden fees when it’s time to pay. Even better, since the so-called ‘luxury tax’ has already been paid by the original owner of the car or truck, you won’t have to pay that either, which can save you a bundle! Do keep in mind that standard title and registration fees do still apply, just like with any car or truck purchase in any state of the US.

Fact 7 – Cars for sale by the government are usually in great condition

As we’ve already talked about, most of the cars, trucks and vans you’ll find at a government-sponsored car auction are relatively new, which means they will be in good, very good and even excellent condition. If it’s a vehicle that was used by, say, the police, DEA or FBI for regular, daily work and duties, the car or van will also have stamped log books showing the entire, complete care the vehicle has received since it was put into service. In any case, with usually less than 40,000 miles, most of the cars for sale by the government are in fantastic shape and would make great family vehicles.

Fact 8 – Many cars auctioned by the government were used by the government

We’ve already mentioned that many of these cheap repo and seized cars being sold at government auction are actually cars and trucks that were used by a government agency. That might not sound like a lot but, if you take a closer look at all the agencies that need and use cars every day, there are actually quite a few sources, including;

  • Federal government agencies like the FBI, CIA, DEA
  • State government agencies like the Governor’s office
  • Police and Sherriff departments
  • US Marshalls
  • Fire departments
  • Emergency departments
  • Non-profit organizations like churches, religious entities and more
  • Educational Organizations like Universities and Colleges

Then, of course, there are the thousands of cars and trucks that are seized, as we mentioned, from drug dealers, criminal organizations and consumers who default on their car loans.

Fact 9 – You don’t have to pay everything up front on a government car auction

If you’re worried that you’ll have to pay everything up front, as is typical with many types of situations, that’s usually not the case with cars for sale by the government. In most online government car auctions you are asked to pay $500.00 as a deposit, although this can change both up and/or down depending on where you live and which government car auction you purchase from. Keep in mind that you’ll need a bank check, money order or EFT at the drop of the hammer (i.e. when the auction ends).

Fact 10 – Car Auctions by the Government are Not Complicated

If you’re worried about online government car auctions being difficult, frustrating or otherwise hard to win, don’t. In most cases, the process is easy and fast and the opposite of complicated and frustrating.


The simple truth is that you can purchase cars, trucks, and vans in great shape, with low mileage, for thousands of dollars less than normal retail prices if you purchase them through an online government car auction. Hopefully, you now know enough about how to do it, and where, that you can purchase your next car for a fantastic price using cars for sale by the government.

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