Where To Find Ex-Government Cars For Sale

Listings of ex-government cars for sale can help you save money on a near-new, low-kilometre SUV, sedan, EV or hybrid vehicle.

How Does Buying a Car at an Auction Work?

A car auction is a public event where dealers, individuals, and government agencies can buy and sell cars. Dealers need to have cash on hand to accept their inventory of vehicles. Individuals may be looking for a specific car they want to buy or sell. Government agencies may need to get rid of seized vehicles or repossessed cars.

There are two types of auctions, live auctions and online auctions. Live auctions are the most common type of auction because they allow buyers to inspect the items before bidding.

Online auctions are good for sellers who cannot attend the live auction themselves, but it is more difficult for buyers to examine what they are buying because they can’t see it in person before bidding on it. See my bonus tip on minimising the risk at an online car auction.

Buying a car at an auction can be somewhat scary. So this car auction guide looks at the pros and cons and expert tips on reducing risk and bidding confidently.

What Are the Pros of Buying a Car at Auction?

Many Types of Cars Bought at Auction

  • You can buy many types of cars without restrictions on what you can buy. With car auctions, you can get savvy by researching from the comfort of your own home or office. You can check out all the types of vehicles online with new makes and models listed frequently and check the auction condition reports too.
  • Knowing what you need and want the vehicle to do for you, your family, your work, or your business before categorizing the vehicles into specific groups, like Electric, Hybrid, SUV, 4WD, and commercial vehicles will help you get started.

You Can Get Great Deals

  • You can purchase vehicles for less than their retail price, which can be beneficial.
  • Trying to find real bargains can be difficult for those who are not professionals like car dealers. Let’s face it they will always have the advantage because that’s what they do every day. So that’s why you focus on large reputable car auction sites open to the general public.

Balance of New Car Warranty

  • If you’re buying near new vehicles it may still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s kind of like having the best of both worlds.

Can Be Quick and Easy

  • After you have done your homework and gained the knowledge and confidence, you can buy from an auction. Some auctions are open 24 hours

What Are the Cons of Buying a Car at an Auction?

Can’t Always Test Drive

  • Not being able to test drive the vehicle can be hard to accept.
  • Also, you may see the terms, vehicles sold at auction “where-is” and “as is” emphasizing consumers usually have no comeback if something major is wrong.

Not Everyone Can Buy a Car at Certain Auction Houses

  • Some Brisbane dealer auctions are not open to the general public. Just check this before attending so you’re not wasting your time.

Buying From Ex-Government Cars For Sale Brisbane

Discover ex-government cars for sale in Brisbane. If you’re looking for ex-government vans for sale in Brisbane to start a business or buying your first car this can be an excellent way to get a late-model car with a 5-star safety rating. Types of vehicles include:

  • Small & medium vehicles including large family sedans
  • SUVs & People Movers
  • 4WDs
  • Commercial Utes & Dual Cabs
  • Commercial Vans
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Hybrid Vehicles

The vehicles are likely one owner with a good service history and a fully documented service book. Also, most come with a safety certificate and statutory warranty. Government auctions are held around the country like QFleet Auctions in Brisbane.

Do You Save Money at a Car Auction?

The price of the vehicle depends on the competitiveness of anyone at the auction or interested in that same car. If no one else is bidding for it, you might be able to get close to the reserve price.

For types of cars bought at auction and car auction prices paid for vehicles recently sold in your area see Manheim auctions. Their car price guide tells you the make, model, year, location, and other information. You can use this to compare auction prices with vehicle market value for popular makes and models to see how much you can save.

Fleet Car Auctions

Fleet car auction where most vehicles are used as a sales rep’s car. These vehicles may have higher-than-average kilometres but they’re still a great buy because they sell for less than their book value. They nearly always have a full dealer franchise service record and the interior is usually in good condition. Most times the back seats have never been sat on.

There are also vehicles from ex-rental companies that can be worth checking out. They usually have a good service history you can verify with the servicing dealer.

Police Car Auctions Brisbane: Find Your Squad Car Bargain!

Looking for a reliable, well-maintained vehicle at a fraction of the price? Brisbane’s police car auctions offer a unique opportunity to snag a great deal on a variety of vehicles. But before you jump the siren, weigh the risks and rewards:

Reasons for Selling:

  • Fleet Rotation: Police forces regularly upgrade their vehicles, leading to auctions of well-maintained cars with documented service history.
  • Fleet upgrades: Police regularly update their vehicles, making older models available.
  • End of service: Vehicles deemed unfit for patrol duty find new life on the road.


  • Unknown History: Some vehicles may have hidden damage or mechanical issues, so thorough inspection is crucial.
  • Potential modifications: Police equipment removal might leave cosmetic or functional quirks.
  • “As-Is” Condition: Vehicles are sold “as-is,” meaning repairs are your responsibility.


  • Police cars are often sold at well below market value, offering the potential for significant savings.
  • From SUVs to EVS, Hybrid and more auctions offer a diverse range of vehicles to suit your needs.
  • Expect dependable makes and models used by law enforcement.
  • Near new electric vehicles with significant EV car depreciation.

Ready to Bid?

Head to these Brisbane locations for upcoming police car auctions:

  • Pickles Auctions: Geebung (weekly)
  • City Motor Auction Group: Eagle Farm (regularly)
  • Queensland Police Service: Online auctions (periodically)

Research and inspect carefully. Set a realistic budget before bidding. With the right approach, you could drive away with a police car bargain!

Repossessed Car Auctions: Unleash the Deal, or Uncover a Dud?

Find your dream car at a fraction of the price! Repossessed car auctions offer exciting opportunities, but also potential pitfalls. This guide will equip you to navigate the world of repossessed vehicles in Brisbane.

Reasons for Repossession:

  • Missed Payments: The most common reason, is often due to financial hardship.
  • Breach of Contract: Failing to comply with loan terms.
  • Insurance Issues: Expired or inadequate insurance coverage.
  • End of Lease: Vehicles returned after the lease expires.

Risks to Consider:

  • Unknown History: Limited information on maintenance, accidents, or repairs.
  • Potential Damage: Vehicles might have hidden issues or wear and tear.
  • “As-Is” Sales: No warranties or guarantees, buyer beware!
  • Competitive Bidding: Auctions can get heated, leading to overspending.

Benefits to Seize:

  • Significant Savings: Prices are often well below market value.
  • Wide Variety: Find diverse makes, models, and years.
  • Quick Purchase: Get your car on the road fast after winning the bid.
  • Potential Gems: With luck, you can score a well-maintained vehicle.

Where to Buy in Brisbane:

  • Pickles Auctions: Brisbane’s largest auction house, offering online and live auctions for repossessed vehicles.
  • Manheim Australia: Holds regular auctions in Brisbane, including repossessed cars, trucks, and machinery.
  • Grays: Operates online and physical auctions across Australia, with a selection of repossessed cars in Brisbane.
  • Independent Auction Houses: Several smaller auction houses in Brisbane also hold repossessed car sales.

Remember: Do your research, inspect vehicles thoroughly, set a budget, and bid wisely! Happy hunting!

How to Buy a Car from Auction?

How to Research and Prepare?

After you have done all your research online and you want to attend an auction be prepared by registering to attend before you arrive to cut the queue. Note down the lot numbers of the items, print out the auction catalogue, and check out payment options like cash or bank cheques. If paying by credit card, what are the charges? Also, make sure it’s a public auction, not a dealer-only auction.

I also suggest you take advantage of the free buying guides. This will help you attend an auction and understand the process. After reading you should have a complete overview of the process and understand the ins and outs to make you a confident buyer.

If you know exactly the type of car you need or want, have educated yourself in the market, know exactly how much you want to pay and have an absolute upper limit (can’t exceed) you are nearly there.

Most auction sites encourage you to check the vehicle out in person to eliminate any possible misunderstandings, however, this favours the auction sites too because inexperienced buyers can end up buying with their emotions and paying more. So go in with a clear plan and budget and stick to it!

What to Know Before the Auction

  • Know the absolute maximum you are prepared to spend and know more! Remember you have to include the administration fees, car insurance, and other on-road costs so make sure you calculate that in. Knowing how much to pay is important but you need to offset the risk too. This is important if you’re buying from an online car auction sight unseen.
  • Make sure the savings cover any surprises when you drive away. What I mean is, you usually can’t test drive the vehicle you’re interested in you may find some mechanical issues when you drive away. Like, in the drive-line or transmission, the clutch may be slipping. If you have paid well below market value then it doesn’t hurt so much when you need to put money back into it.
  • Also, as a rule of thumb, make sure your bid is well under market value to allow for what is required for Roadworthy and any transmission/driveline/engine faults when you drive the car. If you have to put money back in the car you want to have something worth spending money on and it doesn’t go over market value because then it’s an expensive and pointless exercise.
  • Remember the maximum price you are prepared to pay and stick to it. Also, remember there will always be another opportunity if you miss out.
  • Avoid salvage titles unless you know the severity of the true underlying problems. These are cars written off by insurers due to a variety of reasons ranging from accidents, water damage, vandalism, etc

Do a Pre-Inspection

Now, let’s be honest I reckon you’d have to be pretty lucky to find a repossessed car in perfect condition but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist either.

Learning to inspect a car at auction is similar to buying a car from a private seller except in most cases you can’t test drive. By this stage, you should have gathered the details about the vehicle including the vehicle identification number (VIN) from the condition report online.

  1. The first thing to do is check if a car is under finance for free with a PPSR certificate using the VIN. You can do this from the comfort of home so it’s a good place to start. You can get a better understanding of the vehicle’s history and if there’s any finance owed. You can see other important information you need to know before continuing, like if it’s a repairable write-off.
  2. Once you have done all the checks you can do from a computer you should physically inspect the car before bidding.
  3. Take the time to inspect the overall vehicle and establish if the vehicle’s condition inside, outside, and underneath is consistent with the age and kilometres travelled. Also, does everything match the auction’s condition report including kilometres travelled?
  4. Ask to view the logbooks and more importantly the service book. Look for the servicing dealers or service centres then call them to verify servicing, recalls that have been done and any outstanding and reported problems.

In Summary

So, is it worth buying a car in an auction? If you’ve read this article and:

  1. Done all the necessary online VIN checks for any red flags on the car history report.
  2. Inspected the vehicle in person so you have minimized some risks
  3. Have a budget – the price you’re prepared to pay for the car and stick to it
  4. Control your emotions (easier said than done)

Then you should be more confident to bid on the car of course, if you don’t like a risk I understand buying a car at auction may not be for everyone.

Disclaimer: This information is for general guidance only and does not constitute financial or legal advice. Always conduct due diligence before participating in any auction.

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