Police Auctions in Australia

Police and law enforcement departments across Australia hold regular auctions to dispose of seized goods, stolen and recovered items, unclaimed goods, proceeds of crime, and much more. Ex-police equipment also ends up at auction and is highly sought after. On this page, I will start with where to find these auctions and then provide my experiences with both buying police cars and seized goods.

Where to find Police Auctions

The Police station or department itself does not generally run auctions, usually, the auction will be handled by a third-party auctioneer in almost all cases. Keep an eye on our Police Auction category for upcoming highlights as per below

Latest Auction Notices

Upcoming Police Auctions in Australia from 10/06/24 - Here is our list of current and upcoming Police and Sheriff Auctions we've spotted as of 10/06/24. For more tips,… ...

Notices may also be found in the Saturday edition of the major newspaper in your region and via the commonly used auctioneers such as:

 Police Seized & Unclaimed Goods Auctions

At these auctions, you will find lots and lots of jewellery, mobile phones, iPads, gadgets, etc. Occasionally there are some really odd things too. For example, at one particular auction in Melbourne, I came across a complete large-scale hydroponic system and I can only wonder what that was used for before the boys in blue took hold of it.

Property is usually held for 2 months and if unclaimed, it heads to auction where it must be sold. Commonly seen items at these sales include things like:

  • Sporting equipment
  • Motor vehicles, Auto accessories & Marine
  • Furniture and Electrical goods
  • TVs, video/DVD, stereo, CD players etc.
  • PlayStations, Xbox and game consoles, Mobile Phones (usually lots and lots of phones…)
  • Jewellery (again, usually there is a lot of it..)
  • Power tools and equipment
  • Bikes of all types

Of course, all things are sold as-is and usually, untested. So for expensive items, you need to do more diligence than usual as a lot of the goods, especially electronics, are damaged in some way. Items are sold without reserve, so there is the chance of snagging quite a bargain, which, is one of the big attractions of these sales.

Who will be at this type of auction? Anyone is welcome to register and bid and you will find a lot of second-hand dealers, eBayers, and people who have come to bid on a particular item of interest. Most people at these auctions are skilled hands who know the value of items and are there for buying and reselling.

Ex-Police Vehicles and Equipment at Auction

The Police department’s equipment, such as cars, communication equipment, cameras, and more mostly end up at auction. The equipment is generally well maintained, having strict maintenance schedules, although, they may not always receive the T.L.C. that a private owner/operator would give.

Ex-police interceptors/highway patrol vehicles have an almost cult-like following that makes them popular at auction, one reason for their popularity is that the vehicles often have increased performance specifications, such as better suspension, higher engine output, more robust drivetrain, etc. There are also a lot of other vehicle types, like divisional vans, trucks, buses, and plain standard vehicles that go up for sale.

Most of this equipment and vehicles will end up at ex-government auctioneers such as Pickles and Manheim as part of ex-gov, fleet, and lease sales, see our Car Auction notices for sale updates.

Usually, they are not marked as being ex-police and are simply listed along with all the other ex-government vehicles. To spot them, you’ll need to be familiar with the vehicle models that have been in service, which differs from state to state, and their quirks. By quirks, I mean the additional features, modifications, or traces of where their service equipment was once fitted.

This article was originally published April 21, 2010, and updated Feb 09, 2024.

Rodney

Rodney is the developer of Auctionfinder.com.au, with over 30 years experience in the auto trade working with Ford Motor Company, and later I.T. He is a motor mechanic by trade who greatly enjoys restoring the value in used items and returning them to service. He did this for several years, purchasing used cars from Pickles and Manheim auctions, in both Melbourne and Brisbane, carrying out repairs, and finding new homes for them. In his mid-years, he studied Computer Science at the RMIT, began building websites and dabbling in buying bulk lots of computers at auction and sending them out to new homes via eBay and local marketplaces. He also enjoys travel, the outdoors, and the history of ancient empires.

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