Why Do Cars Go To Auction?

 In Auction, Blog

It doesn’t matter what’s being sold. They could be items from an estate, baseball cards, or even storage units. But auctions are an exciting way to find a hidden gem and get it for cheap. There are people milling around, different lots being inspected, and the staccato delivery of the auctioneer spurring interested parties into action.

Auctions are a great way to move a lot of products very quickly and can help both buyers and sellers alike. Auction house prices are usually a little bit lower than retail prices because they are priced to move, so to speak. The best-case scenario for a seller is having two bidders working against each other can really drive up the price.

For the most part, it’s no different for vehicle auctions. Perhaps the best-known auto auctions are staged by Mecum Auctions. Here you can pick up a classic ‘65 Mustang, a ‘70 Cuda, or even shell out $3 million for a Ferrari.

Why Do Cars Go to Auction?

In the case of Mecum, serious collectors are selling vehicles to make room in their collection for other cars. The vast majority of auto auctions in the United States, however, aren’t as flashy. Customers may be looking for a project, parts, or even dealers looking to buy the cars to beef up their inventory.

Cars end up at auction for a variety of reasons. An insurance company has “totaled” a car, pays the owner, then has to get rid of the car. Dealers sell cars at an auto auction they couldn’t sell on the lot. If a car is repossessed by a bank, they may use auctions to get it off the books.

In the case of Chappelle’s Towing auction, we auction off cars that have been impounded and never claimed. Before we auction any car, however, every required effort is made to reunite the vehicle with the owner. In fact, it’s the law.

Who can attend an auction?

For the most part, there are two types of auctions people can attend: car dealers and the public. A dealer auction is limited to those that own a car dealership or have a dealer’s license. A public auction is open to everyone, including dealers. In addition to attending an auction in person, there are also online auctions for both dealers and the public.

Some public auctions do require interested parties to register before entering the auction. This includes a copy of a driver’s license or even a small cash deposit. There a few reasons for this, but mainly it’s to make sure everyone is there for legitimate reasons.

How Do Auto Auctions Work?

Car ready for auction at Chappelle's Towing Battle Ground WAInterested in attending an auto auction? Chappelle’s Towing holds an auction every other Thursday at our Vancouver and Battle Ground locations. Of course, we don’t get too many impounded McLarens. But customers can find quality “first” cars for teenagers, work vehicles, or autos that need a little TLC.

It’s a pretty straightforward operation at Chappelle’s Towing. Doors open at 8 a.m. to let bidders inspect the cars they might be interested in. A list of available cars can be found at our main Vancouver and Battle Ground auction pages. All we require is a copy of a driver’s license and to sign in to receive a bidder number. Then it’s off to the races!

A few things to remember when the bidding begins:

  • The bidding process can be exciting and fun – but bids must be between $5 and $500.
  • Every vehicle needs to have at least two bidders.
  • Vehicles sold at auction come as is! Consider bringing a friend that knows their way around crankshaft to spot potential problems during the preview time.
  • If you bid, be prepared to pay – cash only!
  • Cars must be paid for by 4 p.m. of the auction and picked up by 5 p.m. the next day.

Auto auctions are a great way to get out and get the adrenaline pumping, too. Many times, the auction price is a few hundred dollars less than a lot. That means you’ll have a little extra money left over for fuzzy dice (or new brake pads).

Chappelle’s Towing has been in the towing business for nearly 40 years. Our main objective is to make sure stranded motorists and their vehicles make it to a safe place ASAP. Unfortunately, many cars have been abandoned and we need to impound those vehicles.

Through our auctions, however, we’re able to find new homes for these cars at sensible prices. Want to feel the rush of competing with others and pick up a needed second vehicle? Come check out a Chappelle’s Towing auction. We look forward to seeing you!

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