Melbourne Car Auctions – The How and Where

Melbourne has a very active car auction market and here we will highlight all the different types of auctions, how to buy at auction, and where to buy.

Types of car auctions in Melbourne

Ex Government Car Auctions

Most passenger cars in this category will average around 60,000 km although quite often you will see vehicles with less than 20,000 km. They have had factory scheduled servicing and many will have some factory warranty remaining.

Ex-government commercial vehicles are another story. They too will have had factory servicing although it is rare, but not impossible, to find anything with low km. Generally, they range from 60k to 160k km.

In Melbourne, these auctions take place at Manheim Melbourne (Altona North) and Pickles Melbourne (Sunshine) and are open to public.

Ex Lease and Fleet Cars

There are numerous leasing companies disposing of vehicles on a regular basis in Victoria including Fleetpartners, Leaseplan,

The bulk of these are sold as “Fixed Price Vehicles” coming with the balance of rego, roadworthy certificate, and any remaining warranty. Some auction houses also offer in-house warranty. Pickles Melbourne located at Sunshine offers fleet vehicles with fixed price.

Many also go to auction. Usually, they are factory serviced but will have higher km than ex-gov vehicles. It’s rare to find lease vehicles under 60,000km and many may have 100k+ km.

Ex-Rental Cars

Avis, Budget, Thrifty, etc all clear their cars out before manufacturer warranty ends and they all end up at auction. They usually always have full factory service history and they usually have low km ranging between 30-60,000 km.

Like fleet and lease cars, they are often sold at fixed price. Most will have some factory warranty remaining.

Dealer Auctions

Exactly as the name implies. Usually, is car manufacturers clearing stock and the auctions are open only to that brand’s licensed dealers. An exception is Central Motor Auctions of Sunshine North who offer dealer only auctions for used vehicles (they do offer fixed price vehicles to the public).

General Auctions

Up until this point, I have focused on low risk, quality cars, low km, with warranties in some cases, and now we turn to the general auction category.

There is always something wrong with vehicles in this category. They are either high mileage (over 200k), have been trashed, have some minor damage, have a mechanical issue, they are older, or not popular with the market in general.

There is always some work to be done before making a good car out of them, and you have to weigh up those costs and effort and in turn what you are willing to bid.

You CAN find great value cars in this category, but you need to understand that it is also the dumping ground for problem cars. If you know how to fix those problems, OK, this might be a good place to hang out.

Prestige, Luxury, Exotic, Collector and Rare Car Auctions

Pickles, Manheim, and Shannons hold regular auctions for prestige, luxury, and rare cars. This category requires a lot of research on the vehicle in question prior to bidding.

Luxury, prestige, and supercars always have a history, sometimes good, sometimes bad. They may have been damaged and repaired, imported and you may need to clarify km (could be wound back before import) and the ability to re-register the vehicle, have mismatching engine and vin numbers, and more, all of which can all seriously affect the true market value.

Most reputable auction centers will have done that work for you, but regardless it is a must to do your own research prior to bidding.

Repossessed Car Auctions

These vehicles are repossessed by finance companies when the owner has failed to meet obligations. These vehicles can go cheaply as they are often poorly maintained and/or damaged. Of course, you’ll have to factor in the costs of repair and whether any previous neglect will shorten the life of the vehicle.

Salvage Auctions – Written-Off Vehicles

This category includes vehicles usually purchased by wreckers, metal recyclers, and vehicle repairers. There are three classifications,

  • Repairable Write-Offs – Can be re-registered if repaired correctly and pass a Vehicle Identity Validation (VIV) via Vic Roads, and a roadworthy check.
  • Statutory Write-Offs – cannot be re-registered (anywhere in Australia) due to the type of damage they have suffered be that saltwater damage, major crash damage etc.
  • Inspected Repairable Write-Offs – these are vehicles that were Repairable Write-Offs and have been successfully repaired and re-registered. Hail damaged cars are often labeled as Inspected Repairable Write-Offs even though the hail damage has not been repaired, they are able to be reregistered in Victoria without needing a VIV (unless the vehicle came from out of state).

If you are buying a vehicle in this category you’ll likely be in the industry, or at least mechanically minded and well aware of costs involved and relevant laws of which you can find more at Vic Roads.

Salvage Auctions – Stolen and Recovered Vehicles

Stolen and recovered vehicles claimed under insurance will be listed as either Repairable Write-Offs or Statutory Write-Offs depending on how much damage/stripping was done.

In some cases with Repairable Write-Offs, it’s just a matter of getting a replacement key (noting that it can be expensive with late-model cars), getting a VIV check and roadworthy and away you go. In other cases, they have been trashed, with major engine and trans issues, underbody damage from kerb jumping, or major stripping.

Abandoned Vehicles

Local councils hold auctions from time to time for vehicles that have been impounded (Illegally parked etc.) or abandoned. They are clear title unless stated otherwise.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find anything decent here but those seeking parts, scrap metal, or repairers may be interested.

You can find these auctions by keeping an eye on your local council website or local paper classifieds.

Sheriffs Auctions

In Victoria, Sheriffs will often seize goods according to warrants related to outstanding fines and court judgments. This may from time to time include vehicles and they are cleared by Nationwide Towing in Melbourne via eBay. You can view current items here.

Warranty, Cooling-Off Periods, and Registration

  • When buying at auction, there is no statutory warranty or cooling off period that would apply when buying from a dealer (unless you buy it off the floor, aka fixed-price or buy it now.)
  • If the vehicle has Victorian registration, you have 14 days to get a Roadworthy certificate and present it to Vic Roads.
  • Auctioneers have conditions of sale and you should read them clearly before bidding
  • Check with Consumer Affairs Victoria for more info and Vic Roads for registration concerns.

Buying at Car Auction in Melbourne

  1. Do a lot of research on the type of vehicle you want to buy. Many particular vehicle models have well-known faults which may be costly to repair and it’s best to avoid those.
  2. Understand the costs involved eg. buyers fees, towing costs, roadworthy costs, repairs etc. registration costs etc.
  3. Register at the auction, get your bidding number, and read the conditions of sale carefully.
  4. The time to ask questions is before you bid!
  5. Inspect the vehicle (everything looks better in photos than it really is)
  6. Confirm all the vehicle specifics eg. is it a GT or just a car with GT stickers?
  7. Watch people bidding on cars you are not interested in to understand the process
  8. When you are satisfied, bid on the vehicle of choice
  9. If you are successful, you’ll need to pay a deposit and usually the balance within 24 hours.
  10. You’ll need to arrange towing. Pickles and Manheim both have services to assist with that or you can arrange your own, expect to pay between $99-300 depending on the distance.
  11. If you are driving the vehicle from the premises, make sure you have a permit from Vic Roads if required and INSURANCE.

Where to find car auctions in Melbourne?

The two main auctioneers holding regular weekly sales are Pickles (Sunshine) and Manheim (Altone North). Apart from those already mentioned, there are several smaller auctioneers who often have vehicles that are part of larger business closure etc auctions such as Abbeys or Slatterys.

Check our list of auctioneers in Melbourne and visit their respective websites for upcoming sales.

Also see out Auction Notices for sale highlights and upcoming vehicle auctions in Melbourne

Melbourne & Victoria-Wide Car Auction Notices

  • Auction Notices – VIC Classic Car & Bikes – June - VIC Classic Car & Bikes at GraysOnline featuring over 70 Australian and International Classic and Unique Cars End time: 30/06/2020 8.30 PM AEST View Auction Vehicles include 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 KR “King of The Road” 428ci V8 Manual Fastback 1974 Porsche 911 Manual Coupe 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 540ci Big Block V8 Automatic Coupe […]
  • Auction Notices: Unreserved Scania, Yutong, Mitsubishi & Toyota Buses - Unreserved Scania, Yutong, Mitsubishi & Toyota Buses Unreserved Scania, Yutong, Mitsubishi & Toyota Buses VIEW SALES Location:  Fawkner, VIC Sale assets including: 2 x Yutong ZK6930H RWD Automatic Bus Mitsubishi Rosa RWD Automatic Bus Toyota Coaster RWD Manual – 5 Speed Bus 2 x Toyota HiAce Commuter RWD Automatic Bus
  • Auction Notices: Classic Cars & Auto Memorabilia – Shannons - Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction features over 100 classic vehicles, memorabilia and numerical number plates from Melbourne and Sydney.‌ ‌ Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction features over 100 classic vehicles, memorabilia and numerical number plates from Melbourne and Sydney. View Auction   Lots include Display Cabinet – In style of Bowser in Shell Livery (1.5m […]
  • Auction Notices: Upcoming Car at Pickles NSW/VIC/QLD/NT/ACT/SA - Upcoming Car Auctions at Pickles NSW/VIC/WA/ACT 10/05 onwards Wagga Wagga Online Motor Vehicles – Date: Ends Sun 10/05/20 7:00pm AEST (0d 6h 8m) – Location: Wagga Wagga, NSW – View Auction Adelaide Online Vehicles – Date: Ends Sun 10/05/20 8:00pm ACST (0d 7h 38m) – Location: Adelaide, SA – View Auction Dubbo Online Motor Vehicles – Date: […]
  • Auction Notices: Upcoming Car Auctions at Pickles NSW/VIC/QLD/NT/ACT/SA - Upcoming Car Auctions at Pickles NSW/VIC/QLD/NT/ACT/SA SA Government & Council Vehicles – Date: Wed 06/05/20 10:00am ACST – Location: Adelaide, SA – View Auction Corporate, Fleet & Other Vehicles – Date: Wed 06/05/20 11:30am ACST – Location: Adelaide, SA – View Auction Government, Fleet & Other Vehicles – Date: Thu 14/05/20 4:00pm ACST – Location: Alice Springs, NT […]
  • Auction Notices: VIC – Government Car Auction - Fleet & Government Car Auction – pick up VIC Quality Fleet and Ex-Government Cars – Cars On Offer Including SUVs, Family Cars & Light Commercial Vehicles Auction Closes From: Wednesday 22nd April 8:30pm (AEST) Inspection: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm (Excluding Public Holidays) Collection: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm (within 5 business days […]
  • Auction Notices: VIC Melbourne – Manheim Wednesday Car Auctions - Manheim Wednesday Melbourne Car Auctions Wed 18 Mar 10:00 am AEDT – Altona North (VIC) –  Melbourne Clearing Lane 4 including 210 lots of mostly ‘U’ grade vehicles with high km’s. A few grade 1 and 2 cars. Wed 18 Mar 10:00 am AEDT – Altona North (VIC) – Melbourne Commercial & 4X4 including 120 […]
  • Auction Notices: VIC Melbourne – Prestige Vehicles inc. Tesla, Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo - 75 Lots will go up for auction in the Manheim Prestige Auction – Thursday 12 March at 6pm at Gordon Luck Avenue, Altona North VIC. Many of the vehicles are finance company repossessions, ex-lease vehicles, and ex-rental cars including Lamborghini Gallardo, numerous AMG Mercedes, Ferrari 360 Modena F1, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Porsche 911 (996) Carrera […]
  • Auction Notices: VIC Melbourne – Massive Vehicle Auction - Over 700 vehicles will go under the hammer at an on-site car auction at Manheim Melbourne. The bulk of the vehicles are between 2000 and 2016 model year with a mix of sedans, hatch, wagons, and light 4wd. There are a few low mileage vehicles yet the bulk are high-milers. Visit http://www.manheim.com.au for catalog Manheim […]
  • Auction Notices: Melbourne Storm-Affected Vehicles - Pickles Melbourne are holding a Storm-Affected E-Salvage Auction including a range of range of Repairable write-off and Statutory write-off cars including some light commercials. Auction starts: Friday 13th March at 10am AEDT Auction ends: Wednesday 18th March at 2pm AEDT 20 listings are WOVR N/A, 2 are Inspection Passed Repairable W/O, 1 is Statutory W/O, and the […]

eBay Motors Auctions Melbourne – New Listings

1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible Hard Top

AU $40,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jul-12-2020 17:11:50 EST
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MAZDA 2 NEO 2007 5 DOOR HATCH 122000KM, GOLDEN RED METAL, ONE OWNER

AU $4,950.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jul-15-2020 16:45:35 EST
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FORD FALCON AU 2002

AU $275.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jul-12-2020 10:10:14 EST
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1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

AU $19,900.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jul-11-2020 18:12:26 EST
Buy It Now for only: AU $25,900.00
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1956 Ford F250 pickup with complete AU 302 Fairlane Ghia donor vehicle.

AU $12,500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jul-11-2020 16:41:22 EST
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2004 Ford Focus LR CL Red Automatic Hatchback

AU $350.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Saturday Jul-11-2020 16:35:09 EST
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car

AU $1,500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jul-11-2020 16:00:21 EST
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Toyota seca csx

AU $450.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jul-11-2020 14:09:36 EST
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FORD XP FALCON UTE PROJECT 1966 1965

AU $1,850.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Jul-14-2020 14:01:40 EST
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ford falcon bf ute

AU $5,000.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jul-10-2020 20:50:31 EST
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Toyota landcruiser BJ42LX 1982 For restoration , runs great

AU $8,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jul-8-2020 20:34:29 EST
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Toyota Camry SXV20R 2.2ltr

AU $202.50 (4 Bids)
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Ford Focus XR5 Turbo

AU $3,500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jul-9-2020 15:50:32 EST
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1964 Ford Econoline Hotrod Shop Truck.

AU $14,500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Jul-7-2020 14:44:33 EST
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2001 Ford Mustang COBRA Convertible Car

AU $4,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jul-12-2020 14:04:03 EST
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1966 FORD MUSTANG RHD CONVERTIBLE CALI CAR,RED ON RED PONY INTERIOR

AU $29,405.00 (42 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jul-8-2020 16:32:05 EST
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peugeot 407 hdi v6 coupe ford holden vw bmw mercedes

AU $2,500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jul-8-2020 23:28:27 EST
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1957 Ford F100 SWB V8 Manual Pickup

AU $11,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jul-6-2020 20:12:05 EST
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