Impounded, and old cruisers


Hey, does anyone know where cops sell the cars that they impound? Also, how often do they sell their cruisers and get new ones? Where do these sales take place? Anyone have an in?


This probably varies from state to state. Check your state’s government website to see when and where they auction off surplus equipment.


Impounded (seized) cars could be in almost any condition. If they were abandoned by the owners, they’re probably not too good. If they were taken away for criminal activity (e.g., drug running), I’d be a tad concerned about their previous owners coming back for them (unless you take the car cross country).

As for cruisers, remember that they’ve lived a very hard life. Even though they have big engines and HD everything, they’re also driven very hard and for long distances. If you’re the Blues Brothers type, it might be romantic to have a Black and White, but most people would find it a pain. A police department doesn’t surplus old cruisers because they’re tired of the styling – it’s because they’re worn out.


Call you local police department and ask. It’s usually a county or town or city auction held on a regular schedule or once or twice a year, sometimes more often.


You need to contact the government office that impounded them, such as local or state police, ATF, or DEA. They will tell you if there are any sales offerred to the public. Some are only open to registered dealers because of the condition of the equipment.

You might also consider surplus government autos. They are typically base models with high mileage, but they are very well maintained by the motor pool. You need to find the auction and look at the merchandise.


Cars are sold by the authority that either used them or impounded them. Either city, county, or state. They all have their own sales and auctions. An old highway patrol car will be at the state vehicle auction and not a county auction. City police cars or impounded cars will be at the city impound lot and sold from there or if a large enough city, separate auctions. Sometimes once or twice a year, sometimes every month depending on volume. While there may be some deals, you by no means walk away with a good car for a few hundred. They all bring pretty close to retail prices for the condition and you really don’t know anything about the car. Also a lot of governments are leasing cars so they will end up back on the dealer lots or auctions.