5 Best Auto Auctions in America

Whether you are in the market for a new car, or you just want to see what vehicles are selling these days, a good place to start is at a car auction. Online auto auctions can give you a good idea about what people are getting for their vehicles. Salvage auctions sometimes offer great deals on salvage vehicles for sale.

What are the Best Auto Auctions?

best auto auctions
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This is a list of some of the best auto auctions that the United States has to offer:

1. SCA Auctions

Online salvage & insurance auto auctions such as SCA Auctions offer online bidding on more than 300,000 vehicles from any one of 200-plus sites nationwide. You do not need a car dealer license to buy from SCA, and you can bid and buy from anywhere with wifi connection. They are 100 percent online and carry vehicles that are slightly damaged, repairable, and clean. They also offer salvage title cars. You will find cars, trucks, boats, trailers, and much more at SCA Auctions.

Some of the vehicles that SCA has up for auction are “Buy It Now” vehicles that you can either buy at the price listed, or you can bid on them live as if you were attending an in-person auction. SCA auction is a trusted broker of IAAI.

2. Barrett-Jackson

When it comes to exciting collector cars, there is nothing like a Barrett-Jackson auction. The 2019 USA Today Reader’s Choice Contest named Barrett-Jackson America’s Number 1 Attraction for Car Lovers. They auction classic cars off in places like Palm Beach, FL; Scottsdale, AZ; Houston, TX; and Las Vegas NV. Their auctions are televised on the History channel and have been known to draw over 500,000 people to their live auctions across four venues. They are considered leaders when it comes to collector cars.

The auctions give people a chance to “ooh” and “aah” over some of the most customized rides in the history of automobiles, as well as watch people spend copious amounts of money to buy them. Each car comes with a history, and it is not unusual to see celebrities mingling about in the crowd.

Barrett-Jackson began in 1971 in Scottsdale, AZ, and is still going strong today. If you get a chance, check out a Barrett-Jackson auction. Whether in person or on television, the chrome shines, the cars impress, and the prices will surprise you.

3. Mecum Auctions

Where Barrett-Jackson delivers nostalgia, Mecum Auctions delivers performance and speed. From motorcycles like 1940s Knuckleheads to a 1953 Divco Milk Truck, you will find something that grabs your attention. Don’t be too surprised if you see Dodge Daytonas and Challengers on the auction block selling for astonishing bids.

Mecum Auctions hosts car auctions throughout the United States, and they are considered a world leader in collector car and motorcycle sales. They also have a Road Art division that features all things related to vacations to “nostalgia-land,” where Tootsie Roll neon signs and Harley Davidson pinball machines deliver the right amount of smiles and dollars. Anything that would enhance the home, garage, or barn is can be found here.

Mecum Auctions started in 1988, and their first auction was at the Rockford, IL airport. Like Barrett-Jackson, many of these auctions are televised; you will find them on the Motortrend channel.

4. Hemmings

Quincy, Illinois is the home of the very first Hemmings Motor News, which was founded by Ernest Hemmings in 1954. They have gone from a four-page magazine to a classic vintage automotive icon. The first magazine, Hemmings Motor News, begat more magazines, which begat an online place where you can buy and sell collectible cars and trucks. Some of the magazines under the Hemmings name include Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Muscle Machines.

Hemmings has used their publications to keep car clubs together, explore the collector car hobby, and follow auctions of classic cars. They offer buyers’ guides and profiles of cars, their owners, and the latest technology for the market. It would not be out of the question to find a 1971 Volkswagen Thing for sale right alongside a 1954 Ford F250 pickup.

Hemmings is located in Bennington, VT, and two times a year they put on a Musclepalooza where people show off their muscle cars while competing on quarter-mile tracks. If classic cars are your thing, then check out Hemmings.

5. Copart

In California in 1982, Copart was founded. What started as one salvage yard and quickly grew into a leading place where you can buy vehicles online. They have offered advanced online technology that allows buyers and sellers to connect online, and they have over 200 locations in 11 countries online. They offer more than 175,000 vehicles for auction daily.

They specialize in auto salvage title, used, and wholesale vehicles from many sellers like insurance companies, banks, and even local governments. They have over 8,000 acres, and you might find a classic or exotic car among the vehicles up for auction. It is not unusual to find trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, or RVs among the vehicles. Because they sell over 2 million vehicles annually, you can find DIY projects, parts cars, and fixer-uppers too.

Here are some more places to shop for your next ride:

6. USA-Auto-Online.com

USA-Auto-Online.com carries a large selection of vehicles from any one of 170 lots in the United States. They offer more than 40,000 cars for sale. They specialize in damaged vehicles from across the country and buy from other auctions like Copart. They are based in New Jersey.

7. Manheim

Manheim ran its first auto auction in Manheim, PA in 1945. Today, they put over 6 million vehicles up for sale annually. That includes cars, trucks, vans, and more. They are part of Cox Enterprises and are environmentally conscious. They are based in College Park, GA., and are open to the public.

8. Skipco Auto Auction

Skipco Auto Auction is a leading Ohio auto auction site. They held their first auction in 1978 and have moved from auctions on a field to a 12,000-square-foot building. They have four lanes and are open to the public. You will find RVs, trucks, motorcycles, campers, boats, and cars.

While some auto auctions stand out because of their specialized inventory, if you are just looking for a regular car, you can always find one at a smaller auction.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.