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How to buy a car through the U.S. Government Auto Auctions

Any opportunity to purchase a quality vehicle at a reasonable auction cost should be investigated, so we did. Here we offer some tips and tricks to ensure that you get the best possible deal if you choose to purchase from a U.S. Government Auto Auction.

What they are selling

Lots of cars
The cars generally sold at auction are vehicles that were purchased as a fleet by the General Services Administration or GSA. They are then leased to other federal agencies and sold at auction at the end of their leasing period.

These cars are usually less than three years old and have only known moderate transport work. Ignore the horror stories you hear about vehicles being repossessed from felons and re-sold at Government auction.

In fact, the models you will find for sale at a GSA auctions will generally have known exceptional maintenance and have some of the most common amenities, chances are it will be a reliable option.

How does the auction process work?

Auction Gavel
It can be intimidating to make it to your first GSA auto auction, however if you have the moxie here is what you need to know.

Check out the GSA website, it is well organized and easy to navigate.

From there you can:

  • Search for auctions in your area
  • Find specific vehicles
  • Get complete ‘how to’ instructions straight from the horses mouth
  • Find out more about the GSA fleet sales division
  • Ask for help

    Truly the best way to learn is by doing. Although they mainly cater to large volume car dealers, the GSA is happy to help independent buyers find a good car at a reasonable price. The website offers a great deal of information, and it is easy to email them should further clarification be required.

    Tips to bid and buy once you get there

  • Make sure you have read and digested their Terms and Conditions.
  • Register for the auction immediately upon arrival.
  • Utilize the inventory list as a checklist for your physical inspection of the cars that interest you.
  • You may turn an engine over, but don’t try to take it anywhere. The GSA does not allow you to test drive the auction vehicles.
  • Use the mock auction to prepare for the real bidding process, that’s what it’s there for folks.
  • Be sure you have some form of immediate payment in your hand.
  • An option worth the hassle

    It may be an overwhelming hassle to visit the U.S. Government car auctions to buy a car, but it is well worth it.

    They will offer you fair deals on cars who have only known moderate use. Although they may not offer the newest, most innovative or the fastest vehicles on the market, they do offer a reliable and economical buying option.