Popular Mechanics recommends thoroughly examining all vehicles, being skeptical, checking the vehicle identification number and avoiding getting caught up in the bidding process when buying cars from a government auction. Since bidders cannot test drive the vehicles, it's best to be cautious.
At government auctions, cars are usually given lots of polish and paint to make them look as presentable as possible. As a result, potential bidders should pay attention to things such as puddles under the vehicle, an uneven stance and musty smells or wet carpet in the interior for a better idea of the condition of the car. Popular Mechanics suggests going to a few auctions to learn how they work before actually bidding at one.