Impounded Cars for Sale

car at auction

You can find low cost car deals through repossessed or impounded cars. Buying impounded cars for sale can be an investment adventure or a simple click of your computer mouse. Whichever route you choose, you're sure to get a great price.

Buying Impounded Cars

Impounded cars come from law enforcement agencies, FBI, IRS, and the DEA. Bank and finance company-repossessed cars are also impounded and put up for sale at auctions.

The Easy Route

You can find many online websites that have done the research for you. Websites like Government Auctions are impounded car auction sites where you pay a fee to join. The cost to join varies per website; expect to pay a one-time fee of $30 to $50 for joining.The impounded cars for sale on these websites are thoroughly searched by these online venues including the vehicle's entire history. You'll be given a clear explanation of when the car was impounded and what part of the country it came from.

Do It on Your Own

The other way you can find cars for sale that have been impounded is by calling banks, finance companies, and law enforcement agencies and asking them when and where they'll be holding their next impound auction. Often, these auctions are held in a large county and you'll find impounded cars represented from all over your state. While you may have to travel a bit to attend these auctions, the deals you can get are worth the drive.

Impounded Auction Buying Tips

Keep these tips in mind if you attend a car impound auction:

  • Whether you choose an online auction site or an in-person auction, don't go in determined to buy only one make or model of car. These are impounded cars, and while you may have a big selection, they probably don't have the exact make and model you want.
  • Watch out for auction fees, both online and offline. Before you buy, ask about fees.
  • Visit your first auction, watch how things are run, and don't buy anything. Learning through others is your best bet.
  • Take along a friend who is knowledgeable about cars to help you choose the right one.
  • Ask for an auction brochure upfront to see what impounded cars will be available. This is important because they may be offering vehicles you don't even want.
  • With your brochure in-hand, visit Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book and see how they value the impounded vehicles you're interested in. Use this value as a guide and don't bid above it.
  • Before you buy, if you can't drive the vehicle home or buy it online, seek out good vehicle transport companies. A reliable transport company charges between $600 to $1,000 to transport cars in the United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Inform your insurance agent that you will be attending an impounded car auction and let them know you may need to insure the vehicle immediately after you buy it.
  • Lemon Laws do not apply to used or impounded vehicles in most states, so be cautious when you buy. Call your state's Attorney General's office and ask about the lemon laws for used vehicles in your state.

Words of Warning

Remember that impounded cars were confiscated from people who could not keep up with payments. This means there is a good chance that basic maintenance was not performed on the vehicle. Getting a Carfax report or asking hard questions about the previous use of a car are indispensible tools in getting a quality vehicle. In many cases, your state's lemon law will not protect you.

Making Your Purchase

Finding an affordable and reliable vehicle is possible if you are prepared before you bid. Impounded cars can be true gems if you plan ahead and utilize well-researched goals. Find out as much as you can before attending any auction and have set bids in mind and stick to your limit.

Impounded Cars for Sale