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The Ins and Outs of Auction Car Shipping Services

Auction Car Shipping Services

Are you interested in auction car shipping? Well, as it stands right now, the coronavirus isn’t going anywhere. We’ve discussed the pandemic’s impact on the auto shipping industry before, and we think it’s safe to say that those are the conditions we’ll have to continue to operate under for quite some time moving forward.

And while the country may be opening back up, the question remains: for how long? The coronavirus has already pushed a lot of people’s spending to online outlets, especially when it comes to cars. 

With the ability to go to different dealerships in-person severely hampered, online auctions are becoming much more common for people looking for a new vehicle. And when you buy cars online at auctions, you’ll inevitably need auction car shipping services. And that’s what we’re talking about today.

We’ll cover the top online auto auctions, what you can reasonably expect when you shop from them, and how you can get the most out of your auction car shipping services with American Auto Shipping.

Copart – Overview

Copart is perhaps the most popular and most often used of the major online auto auctions. It is easily accessible, free to join, and they provide numerous pictures of every vehicle at their auctions. They have over 200 locations in 47 states and also a presence in Canada.

This is a big reason why Copart auctions are so common. Copart also has a system designed for businesses and other license holders that give them access to more vehicles. 

As such, places like used car dealerships, salvage depots, and other businesses have access to many more vehicles than the public, making it a go-to for many companies that are in the business of buying cars online.

Most of the auctions that we ship from are Copart auctions. They definitely dominate the online auto auction and auction car transport industry.

Copart – What to Expect

Copart offers the ability to bid on multiple vehicles and track your vehicles through a dashboard. They also offer watchlists where you can keep an eye on vehicles you may be interested in as well.

The ability to peruse pictures of each and every vehicle they have is a great way to ensure you’re getting exactly what you pay for. Copart auctions also make sure that each vehicle is able to start when they first arrive. However, vehicles can sometimes sit a while, so be careful when booking shipment for a Copart vehicle as they may have arrived in running condition but no longer actually run.

Most auto shippers are familiar with Copart and will require you to give a booking number and a lot number when you book your shipment. The lot number is where the vehicle is physically located, and allows the Copart auction to find it quickly. The booking number confirms that it was indeed you who purchased the vehicle.

Manheim – Overview

Manheim, much like Copart, is an auto auction company with hundreds of locations nationwide. They operate over 125 live auction sites and registers approximately 8 million used cars every year.

Manheim tends to focus more on the business side of it, providing a great outlet for wholesale auto dealers to move inventory. Customers can become a Manheim member and get access to thousands upon thousands of vehicle auctions at any given time.

Manheim makes it very easy for used car dealers and other wholesalers to find inventory for their lots, or to move vehicles on their lots that haven’t sold. This is a great way for owners and managers of used car dealerships to find and move inventory.

Manheim – What to Expect

Manheim’s website may not be as clean as Copart’s, nor is it as accessible to the public, but they do provide public auctions. This allows individuals to find vehicles at low rates, especially ones that are repossessed (one of Manheim’s largest markets, actually), or those that now have salvaged titles.

Like with Copart, you’ll need to have a lot number and a buyer number. This allows employees at the auctions to quickly find your vehicle and make sure that you are the actual buyer. In fact, both Manheim and Copart will never release a vehicle to a carrier unless they provide both those pieces of information.

In order to search inventory with Manheim, you have to become a member, which limits who can use it. However, if you are already a member and are looking to buy and ship a car from an auto auction, it’s hard to beat Manheim or Copart. There’s a reason both are at the top of this list.

Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) – Overview

Insurance Auto Auctions, or IAA, is yet another of the “big boys” in the auto auction business. They allow customers the ability to shop inventory and look at all of the different auctions that are going on. IAA has over 190 locations across the United States and customers can look at inventory from each and every one.

Like with Copart and Manheim, potential buyers must register with the auction first. Once registered, you can look at inventory at live auctions that are currently underway as well as look at past auctions and auctions that are past the bidding stage.

IAA has a heavy focus on recyclers and dismantlers – companies that buy cars and basically just strip them for parts. However, they also offer public auctions for non-parts cars, especially if you’re in the market for a new (to you) vehicle. They also offer help in overseas buyers, including help with finding a quality international transportation company.

Insurance Auto Auctions – What to Expect

IAA tends to focus more on those that are looking to offload vehicles, especially dealership with inventory that hasn’t sold. They also offer exclusive deals for people donating vehicles, especially for charity. This means that IAA tends to be the best bet if you’re looking to flip a car you already own.

Like with Copart and IAA, you’ll need some information from the auction if your carrier is going to a physical location to get it. IAA is a bit different from Copart and Manheim in that regard, so make sure you talk to someone at the auction to ensure you have all the paperwork you need.

Ultimately, though, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these companies. If you’re looking to buy a car online at a good rate and have it shipped to you, an auction is a strong starting point.

Auction Car Shipping Services – An Overview

One of the most important things to understand about auction auto shipping services are that they’re pretty common. For the most part, picking vehicles up at an auction is fairly easy for most carriers provided they have the information that they require. 

While there are some on the road that won’t do any type of auction, the major auction sites are solid pickup locations in the eyes of most carriers.

This means that, so long as the price to ship is good, it shouldn’t be too hard to find carriers willing to take freight out of auctions. Again, that’s assuming that the price is good.

However, it is vital that you have both the lot number and buyer number and that you give it to your auto transport representative when you book your order. Not having that can cause delays and even cancellations.

Also, in recent months there has been a large backlog of cars coming out of most major auction sites. This has led to long lines for carriers to actually get those vehicles loaded. This can cause delays in your shipping schedule, so keep that in mind.

Auction Car Shipping Services – How to Book

If you’re buying a car at an auction, however, you’ll likely have to find a shipper yourself. You can definitely talk to the auction house about potential options, but chances are they’ll leave you to figure it out yourself.

That’s why we highly recommend giving us a call. We work with all the major auctions and we ship vehicles from them almost every single day.

Make sure that when you call you let us know it’s coming from an auction. Also, make sure that you double-check to ensure that your vehicle actually is running. Again, vehicles can sit for weeks or even months at auctions. That amount of time can turn a running vehicle into a non-running vehicle.

You should be able to ask the auction if they can make sure it still starts and drives. However, have some extra money set aside in case they cannot get it running or rolling. This will require extra money to the carrier to get it to move.

Interested in shipping a vehicle? Get a free binding quote to ship it right here at American Auto Shipping. Just fill out our free online quote request form and you’ll see your binding price estimate right there on your screen.

You can also give us a call any time at 800-930-7417. Our representatives are auto transport experts. They can answer questions, give advice, and give you a quote right over the phone. No matter what you need, American Auto Shipping is here to help.

Dave Armstrong
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