The Abilene Vehicle Impound is having their first vehicle auction of the year at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The impound has been hosting auctions since the mid-’80s as an alternative to letting impounded cars rust away. Impound coordinator Janice Holden said she sees the impound lot and this auction as beneficial options for damaged and/or abandoned vehicles.
“By having our own impound facility in which to store and auction abandoned vehicles, we are able to follow through with the Keep Abilene Beautiful initiatives,” Holden said. “Revenue generated from the sale of the vehicles is deposited into the general fund of the City of Abilene.”
Though many of these vehicles have been taken off the streets for varying reasons and could possibly have dead batteries, the estimated 220 cars sitting in the impound lot will all be available to the highest bidder.
“Some of the vehicles are in running condition, but we do not know which ones,” Holden said. “We do not try and start the vehicles. The vehicles are sold ‘as is.'”
Anyone with a picture ID can purchase a vehicle but must register before the auction begins. Rick Tomlin, public information coordinator, said once the auction begins, any unclaimed vehicles are fair game.
“The first day they can preregister is March 25 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” Tomlin said. “The day of the auction they can go in early and preregister then.”
Holden said once the vehicles are sold, all purchases are final, and buyers must pay with cash or a check with a guarantee from the bank from which it is drawn immediately following the completion of the auction.
“If the buyer does not complete the purchase within the required time frame, they are banned from attending future auctions,” Holden said.
Holden also said vehicles impounded under the city’s junk vehicle ordinance will be sold only to licensed salvage dealers to be demolished.
“It’s often surprising to see how many vehicles are in running condition when they are removed after auctions,” Holden said.
The auction may be a good place to start looking for a lost car, but Tomlin said it will be a hard place to find a new one.
“Most of these vehicles aren’t drivable,” Tomlin said. “You might find a good one, but for the most part, they aren’t road ready.”
The auction will take place March 28 at 2349 Sandy St. in the Abilene Impound Lot.