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Buying Used Cars from Auto Auctions in the United States For Exporting Overseas

Buying Used Cars from Auto Auctions in the United States For Exporting Overseas


Auto Export Guide

Auto auctions are often considered as a genuine option to buy some good used cars at a reasonable price in the United States and selling them later with respectable profit margins. Moreover, buying used cars from US auctions and exporting them overseas doesn’t need much mechanical or legal knowledge. In this article, the Car Auction Network is going to present a complete guide about purchasing vehicles from car auctions and selling them overseas to earn revenue.

Auto Auction Types

Some states in the US only allow dealer-only auto auctions but most states like Texas and California also allow the public car auctions. Online sales are also very popular in the United States. Below are the various types of auto auctions and their descriptions:

Buy Used Cars from Public Auto Auctions

If you are looking for pre-owned good quality vehicles at modest prices, then public auto auctions are the right place to buy used cars and trucks. Fundamentally, public auto auctions are open for the general public without any specific restriction.

Where Do Vehicles Come From at Public Auctions?

It is a misconception that public auto auctions sell repossessed or government seizures, but in actual, mostly vehicles that are being sold into open sell-offs come from businesses or charitable organizations. Firms want to sell their used cars to get the latest models, and non-profit organizations display donated cars into public car sales to get funds. In the same token, government firms also vend their used vehicles but such automobiles are only related to their transportation departments, and you shouldn’t consider them repossessed or impounded ones.

How to Participate in Public Car Auctions?

To participate in a public auto auction, the buyer would have to explore the places where local public vehicle auctions are going to take place. Mass media ads, car blogs, and search engines will help the buyers to make themselves aware regarding the sales’ venues. Similarly, it is also a good idea to visit official websites of non-profit organizations regularly because such NGOs sell donated vehicles directly into public car sell-offs.

After knowing the exact venue of the public auto auction, buyers need to enroll themselves into this sale registration formally. The buyer who wins the bid would have to pay an auction fee to the auction company. This auction fee could be 5–15% of the bidding price of the vehicle but this often varies a lot depending on which auto auction you attend. Public auctions tend to have higher fees than dealer auctions.

Buy Used Cars from Dealer Auto Auctions

If you are a dealer and looking for later models and used cheap vehicles in bulk to sell outside the United States, then dealer auto auctions should be your desired destination. Ordinarily, dealer auto auctions are closed for public bidding, and only people have with auto dealership licenses are allowed to attend these dealer-only auctions.

Where Do Vehicles Come From in Dealer Auto Auctions?

Every year, millions of vehicles are sold at dealer-only auctions at meager prices. These vehicles come from a variety of sources that we are going to describe below:

Off-lease Vehicles: The cars that have hit the end of their lease contract are referred to as off-lease vehicles. The closed auctions like dealer-only auctions are considered the best places where lessors or financial agencies sell their off-lease cars.

Fleet Vehicles: Rental or supply chain management companies have a good stock of fleet vehicles that are consisting of an array of different sizes and models of trucks, vans even luxury cars. Yes, fleet vehicles are also being displayed for bidding in dealer auto auctions at justifiable prices.

Off-rental: Rental companies also elect closed auto auctions to sell their vehicles. Like off-lease cars, these are too old model ones but could be sold at a reasonable price after making some changes by auto dealers later.

Repossessed: As we have already told you that public auto auctions don’t offer repos, but in dealer-only auto auctions, you will definitely find a variety of repossessed cars. As an advantage, licensed dealers get good repossessed cars at fewer prices because most financial institutes only prefer to compensate for their loss.

Furthermore, older model vehicles are also presented in dealer auctions, but most of them don’t meet the quality standards and are out of warranty. On the contrary, insurance agencies even choose this auction style to get some amount for salvage vehicles because dealers can fix them and sell them again.

How to Attend Dealer-Only Auctions?

As compared to a public auto auction, it is effortless to attend a dealer auction only if you have a dealer license. To find a nearby dealer auto auction, you just need to Google your query and will get the answer but keep in mind that almost every state of America makes it essential to have a verified dealer license to participate in a dealers-only auction. By the same token, with a dealer license a buyer can also conduct online bidding with the following sites:

ADESA: It is one of the pioneer online vehicle auction operators of North America where buyers only need to get registered on this site to participate in live wholesale dealer auctions.
Manheim: This is another US-based automotive auction company that conducts both online and traditional dealer-only auctions in Australia, North America, Asia, and Europe.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a dealer license and you want to get vehicles like a dealer, then you should go with online public auto auction bidding sites that don’t have the restriction of a dealer license.

Buy Used Cars from Online Auto Auctions

The popularity of online automotive auctions is snowballing in the US since last few years. Online auto auctions are not only desired destinations to buy a new car but if you have a plan to sell or export a used car overseas, then these online platforms could also be a great place to get used vehicles. Withal, buyers should keep in mind that before bidding online they must have 10% of the cost of the automobile in their account. Here, are some top online auto auction sites from where you can purchase a used car via bidding live.

eBay Motors: With a user-friendly interface and convenient bidding process, eBay Motors is considered a leader in the online automotive auction industry. It operates just like the eBay and buyers can use filters to pick the wanted vehicle.

Salvage Bid: The dealers or individual buyers who are in search of extremely affordable used vehicles should visit Salvage Bid. It grants the free membership to users but to join live bidding buyers must have a premium membership that costs $200.

Purple Wave: an incredible place where bidders can access a variety of vehicles including trucks, tractors, cars and trailers etc. This auction forum doesn’t ask for any advance charges for bidding but only get 10% of purchase after the deal. However, if you try to bid for $10,000 or more, you would have to provide them with a guarantee letter from your bank.

IAAI: another a good online auto auction platform that offers free bidding service to licensed dealers. Nevertheless, if a bidder doesn’t have a license, then he/she will have to pay annual charges of $200 and can only participate in public auctions.

Buy Used Cars from Police Impound Auctions

Police impound auctions are a type of government auction where police and other state or federal law enforcement agencies sell their impounded vehicles and also drug seizure cars. The interest of buyers in police impound auctions has increased tremendously in the United States because of low rates. At such auctions, it is easy to get an almost new vehicle fewer than 20% to 90% from its market value.

What Cars are Sold in Police impound Auctions?

Generally, people think that police impounded automobiles are the vehicles of the murderers or the property of drug dealers – that is not always the case. In fact, the cars that are displayed at police impound auctions could also be the property of companies which are involved in frauds or have become bankrupt.

Fortunately, these seized cars are available in good condition; probably many of them don’t look like pre-owned ones. Likewise, the main agenda of law enforcement agencies to organize such auctions is to recover a reasonable amount of money; that’s why they don’t care a lot about prices. However, police auctions don’t allow the buyers to take a test drive before the purchase so that is a potential drawback of these kind of sales.

How to Find Police Impound Auto Auctions?

The agencies like FBI, local Sheriff or DEA that hold such auctions give ads in local newspapers. To find police impound auction advertisements, buyers should read the ‘legal notice’ section of the paper. Similarly, police seized vehicles auction listings are also available at auction listing sites. To receive regular updates about seized automobile auctions, it is better to obtain the membership of corresponding websites. Gov-Auctions is considered a reliable auction listing platform in this regard. On the contrary, few law enforcement agencies also hire third-parties to sell impounded cars into different kinds of auto sales.

How to Participate in Police Seized Car Auctions?

Indeed, participation in police held sell-offs is not arduous. First of all, you need to figure out the location and timings of the police auctions from the relevant listing site or newspaper. Otherwise, it is also a good idea to call at the nearby police station to get exact details. Then, bidders need to register themselves to attend police held sales. Hopefully, related authorities will guide you further.

Things to Consider While Buying Vehicles from Auto Auctions

Buying pre-owned vehicles from auto auctions could save a lot of money especially if you are buying them with the purpose to sell overseas. To fulfil this task wisely, you must consider the following things while bargaining vehicles at sell-offs.

Do Your Research

Bidding without doing your homework at auto auctions is not going to benefit you at all. That’s why it is vital to conduct proper research in advance to know the exact value of your desired vehicles. To avoid overbidding and making incorrect buying decisions, Kelly Blue Book, local classified listings and Edmunds will assist you. Without regard to, Kelly Blue Book only tells the retail prices in favor of auto dealers and to explore wholesale prices; you will have to be armed with exact information especially if you are attending a public or police seized auto auction the first time.

Car Knowledge

In both public and government auctions, most of the time attendees only have to do a visual inspection because auction employees will not allow any sort of test drive. Here, we are sharing basic things to examine autos at auctions:

• Always start a car to know whether it starts without any delay or not.
Check the oil to examine the engine value. If oil is milky brown, the head gasket has blown. The clean tan oil refers to the normality, and black oil tells about the bad maintenance history of the vehicle.
• Pay attention to the vehicle’s idle speed. Irregular speeds can indicate issues with engine sensors or much worse.
• Be careful with automobiles that emit frazzle smoke because it is a symptom of a bad engine. Unless you are willing to repair the engine and the it is cheap enough.
• Try to check the automatic transmission by putting it into drive to know either it is working smoothly or not.
• Pull the transmission fluid dipsticks, and look for bits of shaved metal or engine coolant mixed in with the oil. These are signs that it will need engine repair.

Check the VIN

Inherently, VIN refers to the vehicle identification number and before finalizing any bid at a car auction, you must verify the VIN. This identification number is usually imprinted on several places of the car – typically, the easiest way you can see it is where the dashboard joins the windshield on the driver’s side. On the contrary, if you find a vehicle with different VINs at different locations on the car, this means there may have been some major bodywork done and you should keep this in mind when bidding on the vehicle.

Be Careful With “As Is”

Usually, vehicles are sold at auctions with the condition of “as is”. This “as is” means there is no guarantee, warranty or legal option to make any claim against seller once you finalize the deal. This is quite common at car auctions but is something important to keep in mind.

Bring Cash

In this world of digital currencies, it sounds ridiculous to bring cash to auto auctions but you will have to accept that cash is still king in the auction industry. It will be a significant setback if you lose any excellent vehicle because of the absence of money. At least carry enough to leave a cash deposit on a vehicle after winning the bid. You may then go and retrieve the rest of the balance.

Arrive Early

Whether you are participating in any public auction or a government auction, arriving early would always be beneficial for you. It will allow you ample time to inspect the vehicles before bidding and to familiarize yourself with the auction’s rules and procedures.

How to Export Used Vehicles from the United States?

Exporting a used vehicle from the United States to any other country sounds difficult, but with proper documentation and by following legal obligations, you can proceed smoothly.

In the first place, all auto exporters of used or new vehicles must comply with the regulations of United States Customs and Border Protection under the Code of Federal Regulations at 19 CFR 192 et seq to trade abroad. These provisions further define the operations for clearing customs and necessary paperwork.

What Documentation Is Required?

It is essential to complete all necessary paperwork before exporting used vehicle overseas. First of all, the automobile must have a product identification number (PIN) or VIN because Customs wouldn’t permit the exportation of the motor in the absence of this number according to Section 192.2.

As it is about the exportation of used cars; therefore, CPB demands a ‘Certificate of Title or a Salvage Title’ from the vehicle owner. So, you must have the original or verified copy of the Certificate of Title. In this same token, it is being advised to carry more than two copies as prevention. Keep in mind that you will have to hand over the certified copy of Certificate of Title to relevant CBP officials before the 72 hours of the departure of your automobile. It doesn’t matter either vehicle is traded abroad via air cargo or shipment.

In addition, it is also significant to ask the port director about the location of the port where he will examine your vehicle and documentation.

Foreign Companies or Non-U.S. Residents
If you are running an overseas company or not a resident of the United States then you will have to follow these additional steps subsequently described documentation requirements:
Non-U.S. resident needs to hire and empower a U.S. broker to list export data to AES from his side because foreigners can’t file export information to the Automated Export System (AES).

Then, handover all required data including your overseas passport number to your authorized broker.

Access the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) from your hired broker or agent.

Hire a Shipping Company

Indeed, it is also essential to hire an international shipping company which will deliver your vehicle in the other country. Online reviews, expert advice and surveys would help the exporters in the selection of right shipping firm.
Shipping Options and Carrier Types

The person who is selling used auctioned vehicles abroad must ask the desired shipping option and trailer types from the foreign buyer.

Door-to-door Shipping Service: If your customer is willing to get the car at nearest desired destination in abroad then it is the fair choice. Although it is an expensive service.
Terminal-to-terminal Shipping Service: If you are selling cars in bulk or to a car dealer then this shipping service is preferred.

Enclosed and Open Auto Transportation Trailers: Carriers matter a lot to take care of the car whether you are shipping it via vessel, train or cargo. Open auto trailers are considered cheap, but they are unable to provide proper protection to the vehicle. That’s why if you are shipping luxury cars then you should go with enclosed auto trailers.

In brief, the primary purpose of sharing this article with our readers is to provide a complete guideline about how they can buy used cars from different kinds of auto auctions in the US and how they can them export those cars to other countries to resell.