By: Gov Auctions | 20 May 2013

Buying Ex-Law Enforcement Vehicles at Auction

Some people might consider an ex-police car to be a strange choice of vehicle, but there are actually some very sound reasons for purchasing ex-law enforcement vehicles at auction.


The first and most attractive reason is price. Auctions of ex-government vehicles such as police cruisers are a great place to get a really good deal on a relatively new car. The police department needs to get rid of these vehicles because they have been replaced by newer ones and the price they get for them is a secondary consideration. On a good day, you can pay substantially less for one of these vehicles than you would pay for an equivalent privately-owned model.


Police cars are sometimes required to perform functions not expected of other vehicles, such as riding over curbs and travelling at high speeds. Consequently, they are built with a more rugged frame and suspension than normal vehicles and this is a real bonus if you’re looking for a workhorse that will take the bumps and knocks life dishes out. Police cars often have larger engines and better transmissions as well and are generally built tougher to last longer (up to 500,000 miles, compared with 300,000 miles for consumer vehicles).


Another big advantage of buying a police vehicle is that you don’t have to worry about doing a vehicle history check to determine whether it’s been stolen, has money owing on it or has been involved in an accident. Police vehicles come with all their paperwork in order, making the buying process fully transparent and relatively straightforward.


Like most government vehicles, police cars are subject to regular maintenance and servicing. They are usually fitted with quality spare parts and good tires and you can be fairly confident that they have been looked after mechanically throughout their working lives. After all, a police car has to be reliable, so it is against the police department’s interests to maintain them in anything but top condition for the job they are required to do.


Despite what we see on TV cop shows, 90% of police work does not involve high speed car chases and roadblocks at the edge of town. Most police officers take care of their vehicles and drive them with consideration. They also have special driver training, so they are actually less likely to put their cars through stressful or damaging manoeuvres.


The main drawback of buying an ex-police car at auction is the high mileage that will probably be on it. But if you consider they are built to last 200,000 miles longer than the average consumer vehicle, then that mileage begins to look comparably better. There is also the question of a police car’s somewhat spartan appearance both inside and out. There are no extras or luxury touches and what you see is definitely what you get. But if you’re looking for a car that can cost half as much and last almost twice as long as an equivalent non-government model, then issues such as these seem relatively insignificant when compared with all the advantages.