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FAQ: Buying a Car Through Police Auctions

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 19 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
Police Auctions Car Auctions Websites

A number of myths surround police auctions, many of them originating from scam websites targeting car buyers. The UK police force does use certain auction venues to sell off used police vehicles, and they can be the source of good bargain.

Why Are Police Auctions So Difficult to Find?

There is no secrecy surrounding police auctions but there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. There are a number of websites claiming to have information that is not available to the public on police auctions. Many of these websites will actually ask for a fee before they will provide the information on the police auction sites. Information on these auctions is freely available on the internet and paying for these details is simply throwing money away.

Where Are Police Auctions Held?

Police forces from different regions in the UK do not all use the same methods or venues to auction off their goods. Auctions are held around the country at different venues and details can usually be found on regional and local police websites. Not all police auctions will include used cars. Checking on local police websites and emailing them for details will bring up details of where and when the auctions are held.

What Kind Of Cars Are Sold At Police Auctions?

The perception of stolen cars selling at vast discounts at police car auctions is a myth. Police auctions will usually consist of used police cars. When police cars need replaced they will auction off their used models. All official markings and any police equipment will be stripped from the cars before they are put up for auction. These vehicles will have been serviced regularly and will usually be well maintained.

What Are the Downsides to Buying a Used Police Car?

Police cars do put in a lot of miles so the mileage may be a lot higher than regular vehicles. There may also be some cosmetic damage to the bodywork such as scrapes or dents. Removing all the police markings from the car may leave some cosmetic damage to the vehicle’s bodywork. On the plus side, as these are used police cars, they will generally be very safe and roadworthy vehicles. Police cars will usually have the best repairs and parts installed, and be in very good running order.

Are Any Other Vehicles Sold Aside from Used Police Cars?

It may be the case that vehicles that have been seized and impounded are placed in police auctions. Many cars are impounded simply because the driver has unpaid motoring fines for a number of violations. Cars over £5000 are usually placed for auction while less valuable cars are simply sent to the crusher. A great number of these cars are in excellent working order and there is a huge variety of vehicles. Police car auctions are an excellent way to obtain valuable cars at a heavily discounted price.

How Do Police Car Auctions Work?

Police car auctions are just the same as any other type of car auction; turn up and bid for the vehicle. This can be done in person if the car auction is held at a venue. Websites can give details of the vehicles up for auction such as woma.co.uk, which is West Oxfordshire Motor Auction (WOMA). This vehicle auction website has full details of the cars that are to be placed into their auction, including police cars. Sites such as these are well worth checking before attending the actual auction.

How Can I Check the Cars That Are Up For Auction?

Buyers who have little knowledge of cars should bring someone who is experienced in car mechanics to the auction with them. This will be a good way to ensure the vehicle is all that it should be for the price. Buyers should also bring car market value guide books to compare prices. Getting to the auction early will allow buyers to inspect the vehicles at their leisure and to view the vehicles on offer.

Where Else Can I Find Details of Police Car Auctions?

Scanning local and regional newspapers is another good way of finding information on police car auctions. These adverts will usually be placed under the Public Notice sections of the newspaper. They should give details of the venue being used and the times and dates. It may be possible to contact the auction house directly for additional details. There are regular car auction venues that will sell used police vehicles, and details of these can be found in telephone directories or via the internet.

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