The Fastest Way To Find A Car You Want At An Auction

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Car Guide

Do you already know what vehicle you want next or are you still looking? Have you researched the make and model online to find out if there are chronic problems like brake rotors sticking or keyless entry failures with that particular car or truck? You can find out a lot about the vehicle by reading the complaints from owners online or reviews from the manufacturer.

If you already know which vehicle you want, you can bid on a Dallas car auction — they have a variety of auto auctions that run daily, where you can bid on cars from insurance auto auctions. When you use an online site like, you get the convenience of shopping from home, where you can stay on the couch with your favorite beverage and bid for your next car. Sometimes you have the option to pre-bid, too, so you don’t have to worry about bidding live.

Online car auctions make it easy to find the car you’re looking for. Most car auction sites have a robust search engine that lets you find your vehicle by using the following:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Year

You can also use body style, engine specs, or classic vehicles within the auction site for a more refined search.

If you haven’t decided on an online car auction, use Google to find an auction site that has the car you want. Search by using the year, make, and model with the word “auction” afterward, and you’ll have a list of auction sites for you to consider. Sites like Copart, IAAI, and have many auctions running at once, and they have large inventories, so you have a better chance of finding the car you’re looking for. A search for a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette may bring up a long list of current auctions for that car.

Once you decide on a site that has the car you want, there may be a lot of those makes and models for sale on that site. You can narrow your search down by choosing the auction location or any other pertinent information like color, mileage, engine type, fuel type, and drivetrain.

What to Look for in Auction Cars

As you shop for the right vehicle to bid on, the vehicle description will tell you a lot of things about the car like the following:

VIN – The vehicle identification number is listed on the auction site. If you can’t see it, you may need to register for an account before they will reveal it to you. The VIN will help you find out more about the vehicle, such as service records and owner information.

Odometer – The odometer reading options include Actual, Not Actual, Exempt, or Exceeds Mechanical Limits. Today’s cars all have the ability to read six digits plus tenths of a mile, so you may never see an Exceeds Mechanical Limits on the listing unless you’re searching for a classic vehicle.

Damage – The primary and secondary damage is listed on the auction site. It will tell you if the car has been stolen, totaled, or what body parts have been damaged.

Loss – Insurance loss vehicles will list what type of loss it was. It will say if it was a collision, fire, theft, or another type of loss.

Start Code – This lets you know whether the vehicle starts.

Other information you might find on the vehicle description page can include whether the airbags deployed during the accident. Interior photos should show you the steering wheel or the headliner area where the side curtains are located.

The listing page will also let you know where the auction is being held, as well as give you a limited vehicle history section. You may wish to have a vehicle history report pulled through a third-party company that specializes in these reports.

If you want the vehicle inspected before bidding, you can hire a third party who is authorized by the auction site to come and do a physical inspection. They will write a report that will help you decide on the vehicle before bidding.

Other things to consider when bidding on your vehicle include:

  • Budget for taxes, fees, transportation, and other expenses;
  • Know how much you want to spend and don’t overspend;
  • If you miss the auction, there are always other cars;
  • Know how much the car is worth by checking out sources like Kelly Blue Book;
  • Know how much damage you’ll need to repair to get the car on the road;
  • Know how you’ll pay for the car since many banks won’t lend money on a wrecked vehicle;
  • Know how you’ll get it home.

With a little research and patience, you can find the car you want at an auction. There are many cars and websites to choose from, so take your time and keep looking until you find the right vehicle for you.