The Most Popular USA Online Car Auctions

Online car auctions are a great place to pick up a new or used vehicle and save some money in the process. The wonderful thing about online auctions – as with online anything, is the convenience.

Rather than waiting to attend a private or government auction and heading out across town only to find nothing that you wish to bid on, you can search by make and model.

This and the fact that you can surf through multiple vehicle auction websites at once, make online auctions an ideal way to purchase a vehicle. But, as is the case with vehicles: not all sites are created equal.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through 5 of our favorite online car auctions and some of their pros and cons – but first, a question almost every new bidder asks at least once:

How Do Cars End Up at Auction?

There are a few ways that vehicles can end up being sold at auction. Often, as is the case with the majority of newer vehicles, they come from dealerships that simply couldn’t sell them. Car dealerships don’t like to let their vehicles sit and will often opt to recoup their losses by auctioning them off.

This frees up their showrooms or lots for more product that will, in theory, move quickly and sell at a higher price. Another route to auction is through rental car companies. As they update their fleet they need to get rid of older vehicles. To do this efficiently, rental companies put cars up for auction as well.

Other vehicles can end up being sold at auction through repossession or are simply being traded in by the original owner. It’s important to keep in mind where the vehicle is coming from, the mileage, and the condition.

If you aren’t car-savvy, it can be helpful to have a friend who knows their automobiles help out and have a look through the different sites with you. This brings us to our next section:

What Kind of Different Online Car Auction Sites Are There?

Here are our top 5 favorite online car auctions:

  • Cranky Ape

This online car auction is a hidden gem. Their fee is low and they welcome dealers and non-dealers alike at the same price. You can find vehicles of all types here – the only improvement we can suggest is making the site a little more user-friendly.

  • Auto Auction Mall

If you are an auto-dealer then you will love Auto Auction mall. This site is dealer-only access and allows you to save thousands on the retail price. The only downside is a $300 fee that you pay for accessing the auctions if you win.

  • A Better Bid

This site is great for finding a clean title on your prospective vehicle. A Better Bid sorts out the cars with clean titles that you can find them easily.

  • Purple Wave

This site is a great place to start searching, as a novice. It is free to use, however, when you buy it charges a 10% premium on the price after the auction is one. This site is great for commercial and farm equipment as well.

  • Insurance Auto Auction Incorporated (IAAI)

This online car auction site is good for those who know their vehicles and are confident and experienced with them. This site provides services to licensed dealers and makes it quite easy to find a high-quality vehicle. The only drawback is that IAAI charges a $200 fee per year to use their services.

So there you have it – a quick run-through of online car auctions, how they work, and which ones to try.

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