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The pandemic increased awareness of auto auctions online. While socially distancing regulations have lifted, auctions of vehicles haven’t. People are utilizing online and in-person auctions to find good deals on the cars and trucks they want. 

Is it a good idea to buy one from an auto auction? Let’s look at a couple of the risks this type of buying offers and explore the five reasons you should consider utilizing government ones like GSA Auctions. 

Are there risks involved in buying from an auto auction?

An auction, similar to that of the GSA auction, where you can buy cars.
Auction | Getty Images Photographer: David Paul

Buying from an auto auction might save you money, but it can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. According to Hot Cars, one of its most significant drawbacks is that you can’t test drive the vehicle. Being able to drive the car around to check for any issues lingering under the hood is important, but most auction places won’t let you do that. 

Some might allow you to turn the key in the ignition to watch for warning lights and listen to the engine roar to life, but don’t expect to drive it around. 

Another huge disadvantage is that many sales are considered “as is.” This means you won’t get any warranty should there be something wrong with the vehicle soon after you exchange the money for it. 

However, GSA auction sites are a bit different. Here are five reasons to buy from this particular government auction.

1. Well-maintained vehicles

GSA Auctions sell government vehicles, which are known for being well-maintained. In an organization like a government agency, keeping the vehicles in top shape is extremely important, so you know the car had regular oil changes, coolant flushes, and tires rotated. The maintenance and repair work done on the vehicle will also be well documented.

2. Low-mileage cars

GSA Auctions offers vehicles from all types of government agencies, including retired police cruisers. However, they don’t just sell any vehicle. They’re pretty particular about which ones go through the auction site. According to USA gov, they choose cars that are not only well maintained but also with low mileage. The fewer miles it contains, the more years you can get out of the vehicle in most cases.

3. Detailed vehicles

A dirty vehicle will not likely bring a lot of money to an auction. If a site like GSA Auctions wants to offer premium, lightly used cars and trucks, they will ensure the vehicle is clean for the new owner. This includes a more thorough cleaning of the interior and the exterior. 

4. Ready for you to drive

While some public and government auctions may require you to haul a vehicle away on a trailer, GSA Auctions don’t. Since the company is picky about the vehicles they auction off, you can bet the cars are tuned and ready for the winning bidder to drive off the lot. 

5. Significant savings

Some auction houses bring top dollar sales, but that’s usually for classic cars like an Aston Martin or McLaren F1. Government auctions sell vehicles that are from everyday drivers.

According to GSA’s website, the car you bid on through them has only one previous owner, which means it will likely have lower mileage than what you would find on used vehicle lots. You’re also not likely to find a base model of a car. They often have plenty of options and features you wouldn’t find elsewhere for the price many vehicles go for at the auction. 

While buying from an auto auction place is risky, consider checking out one selling government vehicle. A GSA Auto Auction offers decent cars that are well maintained, have low miles, are detailed, and are ready for you to drive. Plus, you’ll likely find yourself with significant savings from your purchase.