The 7 Best Online Car Auction Sites of 2019

Looking for a great deal on your next car? Try an online auto auction!

Need a new car? Try searching from the comfort of home with an online car auction. Online car auctions feature a great selection of both new and used vehicles at good prices, with the ability to search by make and model to find exactly what you're looking for. Here's a list of the top seven online car auction sites to check out.

Before bidding, know how much you're willing to spend and stick with that number. Know the value of the vehicle you're bidding on, and check the auction site's rules for information such as minimum bid, fees, and more.

01
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Best Car Auction Website on a Platform We Trust: eBay Motors

Screenshot of eBay Motors online car auction site
What We Like
  • eBay Motors works the same way as traditional eBay. 

  • The many filtering options help you find the exact vehicle you're looking for.


What We Don't Like
  • You'll need to figure out your own transportation and shipping after the auction is won if you didn't purchase the vehicle locally. eBay doesn't do that for you.


A leader in online car auctions, eBay motors is easy to use and the best auction website for finding exactly what you're looking for. Registered users of the traditional eBay platform can use eBay Motors immediately.

Simply log onto eBay Motors, find a vehicle of your choice, and start bidding. All the same traditional eBay rules apply to eBay Motors, and there's no auction fee to bid on vehicles listed.

02
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Best Online Car Auction Site for Fixer-Uppers: Salvage Bid

Screenshot of Salvage Bid online car auction site
What We Like
  • There are many vehicles in great condition on Salvage Bid that just need some TLC to get up and running again.

  • Cars on this site are extremely affordable.

What We Don't Like
  • The premium membership will cost you $200 a year, regardless of how often you use it.


  • For live auction bidding, a premium membership is required.


Ready to give your next vehicle some TLC as long as it saves you thousands? Salvage Bid has you covered. This auction website is strictly for as-is vehicles, often selling for as much as 75% off the retail price.

To get started on the platform, you'll need to register. Salvage Bid offers a free membership that allows you to bid only during preliminary bids. You also only get to purchase one vehicle on the free plan. For $200 a year, gain access to the Premium plan, which unlocks every auction and feature on the website. Live auctions require a Premium plan.

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Best Website for Dealer-Only Access: Auto Auction Mall

Screenshot of Auto Auction Mall online car auction site
What We Like
  • You get access to dealer-only auctions, saving you thousands off the retail price of your vehicle.

What We Don't Like
  • After spending cash on a vehicle, you'll be required to pay Auto Auction Mall a $299 fee for allowing you entry into the auctions on its website.

Auto Auction Mall provides those without a dealer's license the ability to bid on dealer-only auctions. These auctions often involve vehicles listed at wholesale prices, potentially saving you thousands. There are thousands of vehicles available of all different makes and models here.

Auto Auction Mall requires a security deposit of 10% of the amount you wish to spend. However, Auto Auction Mall's membership is free for everyone and registration is simple. If you do win an auction, you'll be required to pay Auto Auction Mall a $299 fee for its services.

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Best for Finding a Clean Title: A Better Bid:

Screenshot of A Better Bid online car auction site
What We Like
  • It's easy to find vehicles with a clean title here.

  • The website is simple to use and navigate.


What We Don't Like
  • Payments can be made only by wire transfer after vehicle purchase.

  • Residents of Florida who purchase a vehicle are also charged a higher transaction fee of $399 for premium and $499 for basic membership.

We all know how important a clean title is when purchasing a vehicle. This means the car or truck hasn't sustained any severe damage and is of high quality. A Better Bid makes it easy to find only vehicles with clean titles using its website. Although the site also offers used and salvaged vehicles, clean titles are separated for easy access.

A Better Bid offers free registration to browse. However, to bid, you'll pay a fixed transaction fee of $250, plus applicable fees that are determined after your purchase. The Premium Membership will cost you $150 annually but gives access to a discounted transaction fee and five free vehicle history reports.

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Best Auction Website for All Types of Vehicles: Purple Wave

Screenshot of Purple Wave online car auction site
What We Like
  • Purple Wave is free to use and only charges a 10% buyer's premium after an auction is won.


What We Don't Like
  • It takes a bit of searching to find vehicles that are not tractors or commercial-grade vehicles.


Maybe you're looking for a car, or maybe you're looking for a tractor. Whatever the case may be, Purple Wave has it. This auction website is home to thousands of vehicles, including cars, trucks, tractors, semi-trucks, and trailers, and even construction equipment. If you're looking for something special, this is where you'll find it.

The Purple Wave platform is free after registration and there are no fees. However, there is a 10% buyer's premium added to the end of every purchase price to be paid along with your invoice. For bids of more than $10,000, you might be required to provide a bank letter of guarantee or a credit card pre-authorization.

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Best Online Auto Auction Website for the Experienced: IAAI

Screenshot of IAAI online car auction site
What We Like
  • IAAI offers flexible payment options and brokers to assist with vehicle transportation and shipping.


What We Don't Like
  • You're only able to bid on auctions open to the public.


IAAI, or Insurance Auto Auction Incorporated, is the best online auction for the experienced. Providing services to licensed dealers as well as non-licensed buyers, IAAI makes it easy to find a high-quality vehicle. IAAI offers broker services for non-licensed individuals who wish to bid on a vehicle.

As a public buyer without a license, you'll be charged a $200 annual fee for IAAI's service. You're eligible to bid only on auctions that are open to the public and on inventory available to the public.

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Best Hidden Secret for Dealers and Non-Dealers Alike: Cranky Ape

Screenshot of Cranky Ape online car auction site
What We Like
  • The fee is lower than others on this list that charge fees.

  • Dealers and non-dealers are both welcome for the same price.


What We Don't Like
  • The website isn't as user friendly as the others on this list.

Cranky Ape is an exceptional online auction website for vehicles of all types. Dealers and non-dealers are able to bid online after account registration. Cranky Ape does charge a $50 fee for first-time users, but it drops to $45 each year after that.

Cranky Ape allows you to set an absentee bid, letting the website bid on your behalf up to your max. The website also lists vehicles for Buy Now privileges, meaning you can skip the online auction and purchase directly.