an aerial view of various cars lined up in lines and rows ready for local government vehicle auctions

How to Locate Local Government Vehicle Auctions

Government vehicle auctions are the perfect place to find a reliable used car as long as you have a trained eye. These vehicles have reliable history, maintenance records, and more, but where can you find these auctions? Here are some of the ways you can locate your local government vehicle auctions.

Newspaper Government Vehicle Auctions

The newspaper has often been one of the best sources for public government auctions. Most counties and states have switched to selling inventory through websites, but local auctions still occur from time to time. Checking the newspaper on a regular basis is one of the best ways to find out if and when a government vehicle auction is happening near you. Simply purchase the paper and scan through it on a regular basis. Usually, you'll find any up-and-coming auctions in the classified section.

Government Vehicle Auction Websites

Most government agencies have decided to conduct the majority of government vehicle auctions online through various websites. One of the biggest being Not only can you find local sales, but you can bid on government vehicle auctions across the United States. Each listing informs you which state you can locate the car, truck, SUV, van, or bus, and the time the online auction will begin. Most listings are a “live” auction, meaning they’re held on location as well as being open to virtual participation.

The United States Marshals Service also has many online auctions that you can bid on through various sites. The U.S. Marshals website lists current auctions that include plenty of additional information about any item. Like any online auction site, you may be required to pick up or ship your car to receive it. Each listing clearly states the location of each vehicle and when the auction ends.

Public Surplus collects information and vehicles from government vehicle auctions from around the United States so you can easily find them all in one area. On Public Surplus, you can search for specific cars or just browse auctions in your area. On the front page, you can see the various items featured, the location of each vehicle, when the auction will conclude, and the cost of the vehicle. Also, you can access information about the seller, the past bids, and the history of the vehicle. Usually, vehicles are sold “as is,” meaning there is no warranty or claim that the car works. Keep in mind that many successful bidders will be responsible for picking up the item as many dealers choose not to ship cars.

Online Police Vehicle Auctions

State and local agencies want to advertise to as many people as possible, so many choose to promote police vehicle auctions online. You can find these announcements on popular auction websites that the government uses to liquidate inventory. Again, one of the most popular sites is Auctions are announced at the top of the web page and include location and times of the police vehicle auction.

Last Updated: December 13, 2018