Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 8, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Used police cars can be sold to and utilized by the public if the vehicle no longer looks like a police car
  • Former police vehicles may have some wear and tear, but they are well-preserved and usually have minor cosmetic damage
  • Online car auctions are safe for purchasing retired police vehicles if the agency is reliable, dependable, and offers good customer support

It may be surprising to learn that there is a demand for old, retired police cars for everyday commuters. While these vehicles may be several years old and may have been pushed hard throughout their time in the force, they will likely have minor cosmetic damage and remain well-preserved. Selecting the perfect make and model of a former police car, SUV, or pickup truck can be a cinch with some online car auctions that carry large inventories and provide good customer care.

Finding local makes and models that police departments use can be challenging and time-consuming. Googling “police car auctions near me” may not bring up the most trustworthy options. Using one of the online car auctions listed in this article will make your search easier. Not only are these online agencies vetted, but they are also reliable and offer ideal customer support.

Used police vehicles are notorious for their enhanced safety features and quality performance. Because of this intentional care, you may be eligible for discounts with some auto insurance companies. Enter your zip code into our free car insurance comparison tool to determine which companies have the best rates for your needs.

What makes and models are police cars?

There are several sporty and aggressive-looking cars that police departments across the United States use. The most famous of these cars is the Ford Crown Victoria. This make and model has become an icon for the police force and has made hundreds of movie appearances throughout the decades to display the grandeur and speed of the police department.

As times change, however, police departments around the country have begun using several different vehicles. The makes and models of new police cars include the Chevrolet Caprice, the Chevrolet Impala, and the Dodge Charger.

SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Dodge Durango, and the Ford Expedition have given the police force plenty of utility and resources for large-scale operations. These vehicles may be familiar as the K-9 unit SUVs that are often out on patrol.

Many police departments use large-scale utility vans like the Chevrolet Express. This vehicle allows for broader transportation and utility, making it an obvious choice for heavy-duty work and public needs.

Pickup trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F-150 are additional primary vehicles for the United States police departments. Again, these pickup trucks are big on utility and reliability.

Typically, United States police forces utilize American-made muscle cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks known for reliability and horsepower. As these vehicles get older, require increasingly more maintenance, or become less efficient, the police department will auction them off and replace them with a newer model or a similar vehicle.

As you can see, there are a lot of potential options when it comes to old police cars for sale.

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What cars are available at online auctions?

There are two types of vehicles found at online car auctions. These types are salvage titles and clean titles. A salvage title is a car that has been declared a total loss by an insurance company at some point. A salvage title may indicate that the vehicle was in a severe accident and deemed too expensive to repair. Salvage cars can be easy to find, and some consumers often try to buy salvage cars directly from insurance companies, but insurance companies will not sell salvage vehicles.

A clean title denotes that the vehicle has never been declared a total loss by an insurance company. However, not having been declared a total loss does not indicate that a car will not have significant damage and need repairs.

The Best Online Car Auctions for Police Cars

The online auto auctions listed here sell plenty of cars, including former police equipment and vehicles. These companies sell other automobiles and also have a large inventory of retired police cars. Some of these auctions are free to use with a registered account, while others charge fees for membership and administrative costs.

Alongside dependability, these auction sites are known for shining customer reviews and targeted wares. These sites stand apart from the rest due to the detailed and thorough information they provide about the vehicles listed for purchase.

Cars commonly found at these online auctions include vehicles that police impound for no insurance, government surplus vehicles, or abandoned vehicles.

eBay Motors

eBay Motors is notorious for its reliable customer service, detailed auto descriptions, and accurate information. Here, you can find dozens of Ford Crown Victoria, Dodge Charger, and Chevrolet Caprice models from the last decade.

Prices for these cars range from several thousand to several tens of thousands, depending on the year and quality of the vehicle. Additionally, these cars have been painted and stripped of any indication of their use in the police force. Decals, paint jobs, or words are removed from police vehicles prior to their being sold.

eBay Motors is the ideal place to search for a former police car that fits your needs. Not only does eBay Motors offer the vehicle identification number so that consumers can view accident reports, but they also offer an AutoCheck report for purchase. The AutoCheck will search for the number of owners, ensure that the title is clean, and verify that the odometer is working.

Auto Auction Mall

Auto Auction Mall is a publicly accessible platform for everyday consumers to bid on and purchase used cars with salvage or clean titles. Auto Auction Mall has plenty of inventory to choose from and excellent customer reviews.

While Auto Auction Mall has fewer products to select from than its competitors, they have plenty of thorough and detailed information for buyers to peruse. Vehicle information like the vehicle identification number, mileage, and engine model is available on the car’s sale page and is easy to locate. In addition, a search for the make and model of the retired police vehicle you want to purchase will provide multiple pages of options.


Copart sells nearly every type of vehicle, including dozens of retired police or government vehicles. Simply searching the term “police interceptor” or the make and model of a police car you are seeking to purchase will pull up multiple pages of search results regarding your inquiry. With pictures, the current bid, and the vehicle identification number, Copart offers everything you need to feel at ease purchasing their products.


IAA sells dozens of SUVs, cars, and pickup trucks that have been utilized by the police department for several years. Searching for the make and model of your ideal retired police vehicle will uncover many results.

The vehicle information listed on this online auction is thorough and detailed. IAA lists critical information like mileage, interior pictures, and the current bid.

IAA is set apart because of its customer reviews and reliability. Having served hundreds of thousands of happy consumers, IAA is an obvious choice for dependable customer service.

Retired Police Cars Can Be Reliable and Inexpensive

Not only are police cars meticulously maintained, but they are also reliable and inexpensive. Using one of these dependable online retired police cars auction sites to find used police vehicles near you can significantly reduce the cost of purchase. While these cars have been used and may have higher mileage, they also boast a competitive price and quality performance.

Now that you know some of the best online auctions for browsing ex-police vehicles for sale, you are on your way to becoming the owner of one of the many makes and models of the police force.

Insurance premiums are not likely to increase due to the make and model of used police cars. However, your premiums may rise as a result of a car’s history. If you know your vehicle’s accident history and you want the best estimates for auto insurance, consider using our free car insurance comparison tool.