The Ins & Outs of Repossessed Car Auctions | Repo Auctions
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The Ins & Outs of Repossessed Car Auctions

What you need to know for a successful repo auction

Repossession auction have been around for a long time and are a great deal for consumers looking to purchase a car for cheap. Since auctions start at bare minimum prices, bidding on a repossessed vehicle can save you a ton of money on a car that you would likely spend a lot on even if you were to buy it used. Repossession auctions are a fantastic (and fun) way to purchase a vehicle, but it’s important to know everything you can about repo auctions and the bidding process before you bid so that you aren’t caught off guard when you want to bid.

How do repossessions happen?

Repossessed vehicles are cars, trucks, and any general auto that is taken back by a bank or other lender when the owner stops making payments or defaults on a loan. It is necessary for the bank to recover their property so that they can pay back their creditors. Repossessed vehicles can be taken in a wide variety of conditions.

What is a repossession auction?

Repossession auctions are the means by which banks and other lenders recover the funds from the original owner. Banks need to quickly liquidate their repossessed assets so they turn to auction houses (like us) who conduct frequent repossession auctions. The auction house will sell the vehicles and will receive a portion of the final bid as payment, then the rest of the money will be used to pay the original owner’s debts.

So how does it work? What should I know about repo auctions?

First things first, check out the item online. We carefully photograph each repossessed vehicle that comes to our lot from every angle, both inside and out. We inspect the cars to the best of our abilities and catalog everything that we find in the online description. It is important to remember that we do 

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not own the car and thus does not know the whole history of the vehicle. The information we can provide gives you a good understanding of what condition the car is in before you decide you want to bid on it. We list everything from the number of miles listed on the odometer to the title status. Speaking of which, it’s a good idea to check in on the title of a vehicle to make sure that it is clear, or to recognize that you are okay with purchasing a vehicle that has some history on its title. Either way the choice is yours. Regardless, having the title with the car will help if you do win, as you won’t have to apply for a title to prove ownership of your vehicle. It is also a good idea to run a vehicle history report if you are concerned with the past history of a vehicle you are considering.

You will also want to look at the general operating condition that is listed so that you know the extent to which the vehicle operates. Here at we are limited to driving a vehicle around our lot, and from there we list any noticeable issues. For liability purposes we do not conduct road tests.

After assessing a vehicle to the best of your ability online, you will want to set up an inspection time to check out the car for yourself to gain a better understanding of the condition of the vehicle. If there is a specific lot contact listed, call or email them to set up an appointment, or contact the auction house directly. is open 6 days a week for potential buyers to come and inspect any items for sale prior to bidding. If you don’t know a lot about cars, bring a knowledgeable friend or family member with you, or hire a mechanic to tag along and inspect the vehicle you have your eye on. Again, for liability reasons you are not able to test drive the vehicles, but you are able to start the engine to test general operations. 

There are a few things that are important to note when you are conducting your in-person inspection. You will want to test the engine and the battery to make sure that you will be able to drive off of the lot. Again, if the vehicle needs some work in order to properly drive – you must consider how you plan on removing it from the auction lot should you win. It is also advantageous for you to consider some of these additional costs when you decide what your maximum bid will be. Factoring in those costs will help you from overpaying for a vehicle. 

Repossession auctions are an amazing way to get a great vehicle for cheap! If you have any further questions about repossession auctions, feel free to contact us here! We would love to help you feel more comfortable with the repo auction process. Ready to start bidding? Check out our upcoming auctions by clicking the button below.

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