Are you in search of the perfect car at an unbeatable price? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best online car auction sites in the USA to help you find the ride of your dreams without breaking the bank.
These auction platforms offer an exciting, convenient, and efficient way to bid on a wide range of vehicles, all from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a first-time buyer, our guide will provide you with invaluable insights into the world of online car auctions. So, buckle up and get ready to discover the ultimate way to find amazing deals on cars across the United States!
What kind of vehicles can be found on online car auctions?
Online car auctions offer a wide variety of vehicles, including:
- Used Cars: A selection of pre-owned vehicles available for auction.
- Salvage Cars: Auctioned vehicles that have been damaged but may still have value.
- Government and Fleet Vehicles: Vehicles previously owned by government agencies or corporate fleets.
- Classic and Vintage Cars: Auctioned vehicles that are considered classics or vintage.
- Luxury and Exotic Cars: High-end vehicles available for auction, including luxury and exotic brands.
- Motorcycles, ATVs, and Other
- Recreational Vehicles: Auctioned two-wheelers, all-terrain vehicles, and other recreational vehicles.
Top 10 Best Online Car Auctions Sites in the USA
1. Acv Auctions
Acv Auctions is the leading digital wholesale vehicle marketplace in the United States, bringing unparalleled transparency and trust to the buying and selling of used cars, trucks, and SUVs.
ACV Auctions is a free online car auction site that you should check out if you’re looking for a free online car auction site.
This company uses industry-leading vehicle condition reports, so you’ll know everything there is to know about the vehicles you’re looking at.
ACV Auctions’ vehicle auctions last only 20 minutes and provide you with access to thousands of car dealers. One disadvantage of online car auctions, as previously stated, is that you cannot inspect the vehicle in person.
ACV Auctions is aware of this issue, which is why the Audio Motor Profile was created (AMP). You can listen to high-definition audio recordings of the cars’ engines with this feature, giving you an unrivaled inside look at your potential auction purchase.
ACV Auctions offers free registration and low buy fees. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that their transaction platform is secure.
The ACV Auctions app makes it easy to transfer car titles. The company offers free sign-up and low buy fees. Their secure transaction platform will also give you peace of mind.
- Convenient online platform for dealers to buy and sell vehicles, saving time and effort without physical presence.
- Nationwide access to diverse vehicle markets across the US, expanding dealer inventory options with convenient online auctions.
- Detailed reports with media enable informed decisions, enhancing transparency in online vehicle auctions.
- Exclusive for licensed dealers, limiting access for non-dealers in vehicle purchases.
- Buyer’s fees impact vehicle costs, potentially affecting overall affordability for buyers.
- Limited in-person inspection may hinder accurate evaluation of vehicle condition and performance.
2. eBay Motors
On eBay Motors, you can buy new and used cars and parts for fixing, updating, and maintaining your existing car. The site provides a straightforward way to browse through vehicles, categories of products, events, and brands of cars, motorcycles, pickup trucks, and SUVs.
To bid on a vehicle, you can simply visit eBay Motors, find the car of your choice, and then bid on it. The rules for bidding on eBay Motors are the same as those for traditional eBay, and there is no auction fee.
Wide US inventory for diverse vehicle selection, expanding buyer options
- Flexible bidding with buyer protection for convenient and secure vehicle purchasing.
- Private seller variability may require buyer caution in assessing vehicle condition accurately.
- Competitive bidding may result in higher purchase prices compared to other platforms.
3. Copart Auto Auctions
Copart Auto Auctions is one of the world’s largest car auction houses, offering services in 11 countries. The site sells over 3 million vehicles a year, so it’s reputable.
Copart is the online auction site to use if you’re looking for non-repairable, clean title, and salvage cars. Cars, trucks, classic cars, motorcycles, industrial vehicles, and more are available on this site. It’s the way to go if you’re looking for a reputable auto auction site that will deliver exactly what it promises.
The great thing about Copart is that there are no minimum bids or reserves, so you can only bid what you’re comfortable with. Furthermore, they have a mobile app that allows you to place bids from anywhere.
Another great feature you’ll get is pre-bidding, which means you won’t have to wait for the auction to start to place a bid; you can do it ahead of time. Remember that you must have a full dealer’s license to participate in Copart’s auctions.
Bid what you feel comfortable with, as there are no minimums or reserves. In addition, they offer a mobile app that allows you to place bids on the go. Furthermore, you can place a bid before the auction begins, so you don’t have to wait until the auction starts.
- Wide salvage and used vehicle inventory, unique buying opportunities at lower prices.
- Nationwide coverage, multiple auction locations for diverse vehicle options.
- Limited inspections, relying on provided information for vehicle condition.
- Membership fees impact vehicle cost, buyer awareness needed.
4. Auto Auction Mall
Auto Auction Mall is a one-stop shop with an impressive array of vehicle options. This is the LEGENDARY database for salvage, pre-owned, and used cars.
Auto Auction Mall is a dealer-only auction site where non-dealership licensees can bid on vehicles. This online auction site is a veritable gold mine, with a large selection of salvage vehicles, as well as used and pre-owned vehicles. They have over 200,000 live auctions going on at any given time.
While membership is free, you will be required to pay a $299 fee if you win a car. This is a one-time payment that grants you exclusive access to dealer-only vehicle auctions.
What sets Auto Auction Mall apart is that they provide a variety of auto financing options to help you get the vehicle you want and need.
Some of the car financings deals they advertise, for example, require no down payment and have extremely low-interest rates. You can even pre-qualify for auto financing without affecting your credit score!
If you ever need assistance during the bidding process, you’ll be happy to know that Auto Auction Mall has a customer support team on hand to help you out.
- Wide vehicle selection from multiple auctions, international markets, expanding buyer options.
- Detailed inspection reports, buyer protection programs, safeguarding buyer interests.
- Membership and service fees, additional costs to consider for buyers.
- Limited in-person inspection opportunities, potential challenges in evaluating vehicle condition.
5. Auto Bid Master
With AutoBidMaster’s online auto auctions, the general public and businesses can buy a wide range of repairable cars, trucks, and SUVs at very affordable prices.
AutoBidMaster is actually a registered Copart broker. That means that when you join AutoBidMaster, you’ll also have access to Copart’s inventory! There’s nothing to lose by signing up for this vehicle auction site because it’s free.
AutoBidMaster, like many other online auction sites, offers repairable salvage vehicles as well as used cars at very low prices. Without a dealer’s license, you can browse their inventory of over 162,000 vehicles.
This company is committed to updating its inventory on a daily and weekly basis, so you’ll almost certainly find new vehicles whenever you log on. You never know what you’ll find, as they occasionally stock motorcycles and quad bikes.
The company’s experts can assist you during the entire car-buying process in English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and French regardless of whether you are buying a vehicle for personal or professional use.
Whether you want to purchase or sell a car at an auction site is up to you. Your car will need to be transported to or from your home by someone who is familiar with your requirements. To satisfy your demands, have a look at these 5 top car shipping companies.
- Salvage and used vehicles, unique buying opportunities at lower prices.
- Detailed inspection reports, buyer protection programs for added safeguards.
- Membership and buyer’s fees may apply.
- Limited Opportunities for In-person Inspection
6. Capital Auto Auction
The Capital Auto Auction is a live online car auction company based in Washington, DC. A range of vehicles is available for every need and budget, including family minivans, sports cars, boats, campers, and motorcycles.
It’s free to browse Capital Auto Auction if you register. Bidding is charged, however. To participate in the auction, you must have a valid U.S. driver’s license and be over 18.
- Affordable prices for budget-friendly vehicle options.
- Wide selection of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, and more for diverse choices.
- Exciting auction format for buyers who enjoy bidding and potential savings on market value.
- Capital Auto Auction vehicles may have undisclosed issues, requiring thorough inspection due to lack of warranties.
- Extra Fees, Capital Auto Auction may charge additional buyer’s premiums and fees, increasing vehicle purchase cost.
- Limited chances for buyers to inspect/test-drive vehicles before bidding, affecting evaluation of vehicle condition.
IAAI is an online car auction run by Insurance Auto Auctions. IAAI, which was founded in 1982, has a long and successful history of auctioning automobiles.
This is another site that sells salvage vehicles, as well as insurance auctions, as the name implies. Total loss, fleet lease, recovered theft, and dealer trade-in vehicles are among the other vehicles they offer.
Another selling point is that you can bid on IAAI even if you don’t have a dealer’s license. You only have to pay a $200 annual fee to do so. One disadvantage is that you can only bid on auctions open to the general public, which means you may miss out on some high-end vehicles that are only available to licensed dealers.
- IAAI offers a wide variety of salvage and damaged vehicles for buyers seeking project or parts vehicles.
- IAAI auctions offer salvage and damaged vehicles at discounted prices, providing potential cost-effective options for buyers.
- IAAI has widespread auction locations across the US, providing convenient access for buyers to salvage vehicle auctions.
- IAAI vehicles may have significant damage, and buyers should be aware of the risks associated with purchasing damaged vehicles.
- IAAI provides limited or no warranties on vehicles, increasing risks for buyers of salvage or damaged vehicles.
- IAAI auctions are competitive, driving up prices and leading to potential overpayment by buyers.
Manheim conducts both physical and online auctions for used vehicles. Their physical auctions take place at numerous locations across the United States and other countries, and are known for their large selection of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, and more.
The online auctions are conducted through their advanced online platform, Manheim.com, which provides buyers and sellers with a convenient and accessible way to participate in auctions remotely.
The auction process is known to be efficient, transparent, and well-organized, with detailed vehicle information, condition reports, and vehicle history reports provided to potential buyers.
Manheim offers a wide range of vehicle inventory, including both dealer consignment and fleet/lease vehicles. They work with numerous automotive manufacturers, dealerships, rental car companies, fleet management companies, and other industry stakeholders to source their inventory.
Manheim is known for its transparency in providing detailed vehicle information, condition reports, and vehicle history reports, which helps buyers make informed decisions. However, as with any used vehicle auction, there is always a risk of hidden issues or surprises, and buyers need to carefully review the information provided and conduct their due diligence.
- Wide selection of vehicles
- Auction formats, Manheim offers various auction formats, including in-person, online, and simulcast auctions.
- Professional inspection and grading
- Established reputation, Manheim is a well-known and reputable company in the automotive industry
- Limited opportunities for inspection and test-drive.
- Professional-oriented auctions, Manheim primarily caters to professional dealers and buyers.
- Manheim may charge additional fees on top of the winning bid, such as buyer’s premiums, administrative fees, and transportation fees, which can add to the overall cost of purchasing a vehicle.
ADESA is another well-known name in the automotive remarketing industry, specializing in both physical and online auctions.
They operate a large network of auction locations across North America and offer a wide range of vehicles for sale, including cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and more.
ADESA is known for its comprehensive vehicle condition reports, detailed vehicle information, and vehicle history reports, which provide buyers with valuable insights to make informed purchasing decisions.
They also offer additional services such as transportation, financing, and vehicle inspections to assist buyers and sellers throughout the auction process.
The platform offers advanced search options, real-time bidding, and transaction functionalities, making it convenient for buyers and sellers.
ADESA.com also provides comprehensive vehicle information, including condition reports, photos, and vehicle history reports, helping buyers assess the condition and value of the vehicles. However, like any online platform, users may encounter occasional technical issues or complexities related to registration and bidding.
- Wide Selection of Vehicles
- Efficient and Fast Process
- Access to Wholesale Pricing
- Competition and Bidding Wars.
- Buyers may have limited time to inspect vehicles before bidding.
- ADESA auctions may charge additional fees such as buyer’s premiums, transportation costs, and other fees.
Barrett-Jackson is a prominent auction company specializing in collector cars. They host high-profile auctions in multiple locations across the U.S., showcasing a diverse inventory of classic cars, muscle cars, sports cars, and more.
Their auctions are known for live televised broadcasts, attracting a large audience of car enthusiasts. Barrett-Jackson has a team of experts who carefully vet each vehicle before auction, providing buyers with confidence in their purchases.
They offer bidding options in person, absentee, and online, accommodating different buyer preferences. Additionally, Barrett-Jackson provides concierge services for buyers and sellers, including registration, bidder support, vehicle inspection, and transportation.
They also offer a VIP experience for enhanced auction participation, with exclusive perks for VIP buyers. Events at Barrett-Jackson auctions often feature live music, entertainment, and vendor booths, creating a festive atmosphere. Seller’s fees are charged based on the value of the vehicle, and Barrett-Jackson also provides authentication and documentation services for vehicles, ensuring transparency and trust in the auction process.
- Well-established and reputable auction company with a successful track record in the collector car industry.
- Diverse Inventory, Offers a wide range of classic cars, muscle cars, sports cars, and other unique vehicles, providing buyers with a wide selection to choose from.
- Highly competitive auctions with potential price inflation and higher winning bids.
- Limited Budget-Friendly Options: Focuses on high-end vehicles, limiting affordable options for budget-conscious buyers.
Our Methodology: How We Evaluated the Best Online Car Auction Sites of 2023?
- Research: We conducted extensive research to identify the top online car auction sites in 2023, considering factors such as reputation, user reviews, and industry expertise.
- Evaluation: We evaluated each car auction site based on criteria such as vehicle selection, auction process, ease of use, customer service, and pricing transparency.
- Comparison: We compared the shortlisted car auction sites based on their features, benefits, and drawbacks, to determine the best options for car buyers.
- Analysis: We analyzed the auction process, bidding system, and potential risks associated with each car auction site, including factors such as limited warranties, competition among bidders, and pricing trends.
- Ranking: Based on our research and evaluation, we ranked the top 10 online car auction sites for 2023, providing insights to help car buyers make informed decisions.
- Disclaimer: Please note that our rankings are based on our research and analysis, and individual experiences may vary. We recommend conducting further research and due diligence before participating in any online car auction.
3 Steps to Buying a Car at an Auction
You can find a better chance of finding the specific vehicle you are looking for at an online auction because there are more sellers and bidders.
Here’s what you need to do before you go to an auction if you want to buy a car.
1. Register for the auction
A simple form with your contact info is all it takes to register for an online auction. The auction house will also require you to provide a credit card number if you win a vehicle. The forms aren’t difficult but register as soon as possible before the end of the auction.
2. Do your research in advance
It’s easy to get carried away at an auction, so know your maximum price before you bid. Even cars go fast, and bidding on them can take less than a minute.
Research the prices of the cars before you attend the auction. If you know which models are scheduled, then use industry guides to find out what each one is worth. Before the auction, you may be able to inspect the vehicle either online or in person.
It is extremely important to keep your research in mind when bidding. If your bid does not win, you will not be able to rebid, but if your bid wins, you will receive the vehicle. There may be hefty penalties if you withdraw from the auction, and the seller may not be able to sell the vehicle even after the auction if a better offer is received.
3. Transport your auction car the right way
The item you purchased at the auction will need to be transported back with you. It is possible that you will bring a friend or hire an auto transport service, but you should take the following into consideration beforehand.
- Numbers of cars you buy. Is there a trailer big enough for you to tow the potential car(s) you want? Do you plan on buying one car or more?
- Car Types. When you buy a salvage car, you might not be able to drive it until the title is updated. You don’t want to put too many miles on a classic car.
- Distance. An online auction might not be convenient for you if you don’t want to drive far to retrieve your car. The best way to move your car across the country is to hire a professional car transport company, but keep in mind that an enclosed carrier will cost more than $1,200 for a cross-country trip.
Top 10 Tips For Finding The Best Online Car Auctions
Here are ten tips for finding the best car auctions:
Research reputable auction websites: Look for well-known and reputable online car auction websites that have a good track record of conducting reliable auctions with a wide range of vehicles.
Check auction reviews and ratings: Look for reviews and ratings from previous buyers to get an idea of the quality and reliability of the auctions.
Verify auction licenses and certifications: Check if the auction website or auction house is licensed and certified by relevant authorities to conduct car auctions.
Understand auction fees and terms: Review the auction fees, terms, and conditions to ensure you understand the costs involved and the rules of the auction.
Set a budget and stick to it: Determine your budget for buying a car at auction and stick to it to avoid overspending.
Research the vehicles: Conduct thorough research on the vehicles available at the auction, including their make, model, year, condition, and market value.
Inspect the vehicles: If possible, inspect the vehicles in person or request detailed inspection reports to assess their condition and potential repair costs.
Know the auction bidding process: Understand the auction bidding process, including the rules, increments, and timeframes, to participate effectively.
Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the vehicles, auction process, or any other concerns you may have before placing a bid.
Be cautious of salvage or rebuilt titles: Be cautious of vehicles with salvage or rebuilt titles, as they may have undergone significant repairs or damage, and may have limited resale value or insurability.
Remember to do your due diligence, research, and carefully assess the vehicles and auction process to increase your chances of finding the best car auctions and making a wise purchasing decision.
In addition to these 10, there are other online car auction sites that feature major auction houses. Nevertheless, keep in mind that not all of them are safe to use. Ensure that the site you are bidding on is accurate before you bid, as not all are worth the effort.
You should use a site that accepts bids from all customers or work with a third-party middleman to get your bids through the site. The following 10 auto auction sites are among the best on the market, with eBay motors ranking first for consumers and dealers internationally.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Top Online Car Auction Sites in 2023
Get answers to common inquiries about the best car auction sites, including bidding process, payment options, vehicle conditions, and more.
- Are these car auction sites available internationally?
Some of the car auction sites on our list may operate internationally, while others may be limited to specific regions or countries. It’s important to check the individual websites for their availability and coverage areas.
2. Can I bid on a car without registering on these online auction sites?
Generally, registration is required to participate in online car auctions. Each site may have its own registration process and requirements, so it’s best to review their terms and conditions for details.
3. What are the payment and shipping options for vehicles won at online car auctions?
Payment and shipping options may vary depending on the auction site. Some sites may require full payment upfront, while others may offer financing or installment options. Shipping options may also vary, including local pickup or delivery, or third-party transportation arrangements. It’s important to review the payment and shipping policies of each site for specific details.
4. Are there any additional fees or charges associated with buying a vehicle at an online car auction?
Yes, there may be additional fees or charges associated with buying a vehicle at an online car auction. These may include buyer’s premiums, transaction fees, taxes, and other charges. It’s important to review the auction site’s terms and conditions for a complete understanding of any additional fees or charges.
5. What condition are the vehicles sold in at these online car auction sites?
The condition of vehicles sold at online car auctions may vary. Some sites may offer vehicles in “as-is” condition, while others may provide detailed information about the vehicle’s condition, such as salvage, used, or refurbished. It’s important to carefully review the vehicle descriptions, condition reports, and any available photos to assess the condition of the vehicle before bidding.
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