Government Fleet Top News

City of Knoxville Holds Surplus Vehicle Auctions

September 19, 2006

KNOXVILLE, TN – Auctions held each month by the City of Knoxville feature vehicles seized in drug raids, DUI arrests, and those found abandoned on the streets, according to the Web site City officials admit that most of the vehicles auctioned off are not in good condition. In fact, they do not even have keys for more about 80 percent of the vehicles.

Experts who buy cars at these auctions say bidders need to look for former fleet vehicles. Those are usually the best buys, according to the report. Most are well maintained by the city garage mechanics.

The majority of the cars auctioned off cannot be driven, according to the City’s fleet manager, David Doyle, who says the key is to look at the car as parts, not as a whole. “Most of them will be purchased very cheaply, in the $100-200 range, and most of them are only good for parts and salvage.”

There is no minimum bid to shop, and the cheapest car sold at a Knoxville auction was $5 for a burned out vehicle. The most expensive was more than $10,000 for a fully loaded Chevy Caprice.

City officials say they make more than $300,000 a year through surplus vehicle sales. All of the money goes into the general fund and is then distributed to various departments. The police department gets the money from drug and DUI seizures.

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