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Auto Auction Inventory Sources

by Diminished Value Car Appraiser on July 7, 2018

Q: What are the top sources for inventory at a car auction?

A: Finance and Off lease vehicles comprise the top inventory source at a car auction.

Below is a table listing the various car inventory sources by seller at a dealer auction.

Vehicle Inventory Sources at Auction
1Captive Finance / Off Lease31.86%
2Dealer Consigned / Trade-In21.62%
3Wholesale Units / Repo14.42%
4Non-captive Finance / Off Lease13.16%
5Fleet / Demo Vehicles8.55%
6Manufacturer / Corporate5.30%
7Retired Rental Cars4.84%


Auto Auction Inventory Sources
  1. Captive Finance / Off Lease
    These are vehicles sold by a finance or leasing company, example BMW Finance, Honda Car Finance and GMAC
  2. Dealer Consigned / Trade-In
    These are vehicles taken on trade at the dealership level. Dealers don’t retail most trades; they often dispose of them at auction.
  3. Wholesale Unite / Repo
    These are vehicles repossessed from a buyer who failed to make his monthly payment. Independent companies are in the repo business as most large financial institutions sell accounts to vehicle recovery outfits.
  4. Non-Captive Finance / Off Lease
    Many banks or credit unions now offer car leases. These are often at a higher rate and on specialty vehicles.
  5. Fleet or Demo Vehicles
    These are vehicles that were part of a private company’s company fleet, Uber fleet for example, or, cars operated by a dealer as loaner or manager demo.
  6. Manufacturer or Corporate
    Many car manufacturers offer their executives a company car, these are normally late model cars and usually sold after 1 or 2 years of service.
  7. Retired Rental Cars
    These are cars that were operated as a daily rental vehicle at airports or for collision replacement. Most car rental car companies, however, offer a closed sale to affiliated car dealerships, for example, Enterprise rent a car sells retired rentals to Enterprise Car sales.


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