Can You Really Buy Luxury Cars At Auction?

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Auctions are an untapped resource when it comes to buying cars.Government auctions of seized vehicles regularly feature luxury vehicles.You may have to sift through some economy stuff, but your patience will pay off.
“The premium cars can be found, but be prepared to sift through a lot of Mazdas and Buicks in the hunt for your Maybach or Bentley.”
We’ve all seen them: guys who get mind-blowing deals on some very proper rides. Or, more accurately, we’ve all heard them. They always seem to make a point of loudly telling their buddy what a steal it was, making sure that anyone within a 50-foot radius hears about it, too.

On the one hand, it’s tough to blame them. Who hasn’t wanted to crow about saving money? On the other hand, there’s something to be said for subtlety and keeping figures to yourself. After all, for many years Rolls-Royce only quoted their cars’ horsepower specs as being “adequate.”

Whether or not you advertise your savings to the world is a decision we’ll leave to you. But first things first: You need to seek, find and acquire. Auctions can be an excellent way to find used luxury cars selling at a fraction of their retail value. Just remember to do your homework on your top picks, like you would in any other buying scenario.

That said, if you have the funds in hand and are willing to bid shrewdly on a car you haven’t even been allowed to test drive, the reward may outweigh the risks. Here are some types of auctions to get you started.

It stands to reason there would be a lot of luxury cars at government auctions.

After all, Crockett and Tubbs were always busting the world’s richest drug dealers on Miami Vice, right? Well, yes and no. Here in the real world, cars are indeed confiscated and auctioned as a result of various criminal activities. The premium cars can be found, but be prepared to sift through a lot of Mazdas and Buicks in the hunt for your Maybach or Bentley.

Where to look for auctions online

For starters, browse the U.S. Treasury Department’s seized vehicle auction information at their official site, the IRS site and that of the General Services Administration (GSA). Not only will you find the vehicles, auction dates and locations; the sites also explain the entire bidding and buying process.

You may also want to track down sites for state, provincial and local government agencies. The vehicles there are more often retired agency vehicles, but now and then you’ll see a luxury car hidden among the scores of Malibus and Caravans.

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