How to Bid on Auction Cars at Alabama Auto Auctions
Welcome to Alabama Auto Auctions! Buying a used car or truck at a car auction in Alabama is a fun and exciting way to saves lots of money. This site was designed to educated new buyers to the auto auction process. Once you visit an auction yourself, you will quickly see how easy the process is; in fact, most first-time auction buyers find the experience to be a lot of fun!
What do I need to bring with me to a car auction in Alabama?
This is the easy part. All you need is a valid driver’s license (so that the car you purchase can be titled in your name) and your form of payment. Almost all auctions accept cash and many also accept credit cards (Visa & Mastercard). If you do not want to carry around thousands in cash to the auction, you bring around $500 and most auctions will accept this as a deposit until you can go to the bank to retrieve the rest of your payment.
Also, it is recommended that you bring a flashlight so that you can thoroughly inspect the vehicle you are interested in before bidding in the auction. Not all, but many public car auctions in Alabama are held at night with little light visibility. You are also welcome to pay a mechanic to come with you and look over the car before the auction starts.
What about car insurance? Do I need to already have it before I come?
This is handled entirely on your end, but the state of Alabama requires you to have insurance before you drive the car off the auction lot. After buying a car or truck at an auction, you can obtain insurance over the phone or come back the next business day. Most auctions offer their own insurance if you do not already have an insurance carrier.
What if I have never participated in an auction before? How do I know what to do?
Don’t worry! Many car buyers at auto auctions are first-timers so you will not be alone. The auction staff are specially trained to ease buyers into the process and to help them along the way. There are usually “ring leaders” that act as an intermediary between the bidder and the auctioneer. Just tell them how much you wish to bid and they will handle the rest. You will be surprised at how painless and easy the process is. In fact, it was designed that way.
Where do the auction cars come from? Are they salvage or flood-damaged vehicles?
This is a common myth about car auctions. All defects, including salvage title history or prior flood damage, are required to be announced before the bidding starts. A small fraction of 1% of auction cars in Alabama are salvage title history. These are typically sold to dealers for parts and not sold to the public.
Most auction cars in Alabama are from: local dealers, private sellers, tow and police impounds, bank repos, and local title pawn companies.
Can I look at the auction cars before the auction starts?
Yes, of course! In fact, we implore you to do so. We want to make sure that the car you bid on is exactly the one that you want. All inventory is available for inspection prior to when the public auctions start – typically, an hour or two before. You can crank the cars up and put them into gear but most auctions do not allow test drives.