Deals to be had at public city auctions

August 17, 2011 3:42:29 PM PDT
If you are looking for a used car, you may want to check out the city of Pasadena. This weekend, the city will hold a used car auction, but before you bid there or anywhere else, Action 13's Jeff Ehling has some important tips.

These cars and trucks go to the highest bidder, but you can usually get one for only a few hundred dollars. However, like anything else, do some research before bidding.

From trucks to luxury cars, the city of Pasadena is getting rid of dozens of surplus or confiscated automobiles this weekend.

"This is one of the vehicles we are selling in the auction this weekend -- that happens to be a '98 Mercedes which is in excellent shape," said Vance Mitchell with the Pasadena Police Department.

While some of the cars on the auction block may be diamonds, there is plenty of rough stuff too. Take these decommissioned police cars, they need engines.

Anyone thinking of taking part in Saturday's property auction can come take a look at the vehicles on Friday. The city will let you in the car, but there are no test drives and no guarantee the vehicle's engine will start.

"Some of them, of course, have engine problems and some don't, but most of the time they try to show that. There's a '99 Pontiac; that's a nice little car," Mitchell said.

If you want to bid in your boxer shorts, check out the city of Houston's property auction website. It's a lot like ebay, but the cars and computers are stored at a city of Houston warehouse and the public is welcome to check out an item before bidding.

"You can come out and put your hands on different things; if it is a vehicle, get in, feel the leather on your hands, just get a sense of what you are buying. We want to give our customers a full disclosure about what they are getting into," said Chris Newport with the city of Houston.

Newport says any questions about the products can also be answered online. While there are no guarantees with any item, the staff will tell you if something turns on and works properly.

"You have full information to make the choice that is right for you," said Newport.

So where does this stuff come from? Some is from the cities selling the goods, other things are confiscated by law enforcement and now being auctioned off. The city of Houston told us their auction site adds about $2 million to the city coffers each year.

The city of Pasadena will open the impound yard to bidders on Friday if they want to look.

The city of Houston's website is open 24 hours a day. We have a link to the city's auction site here.

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