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Copart Buying Experience

As promised, here is a quick run down of my Copart buying experience.

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Creating an account is a simple task, takes about 10-15 minutes. It requires a copy of your legal ID. A standard free account limits bidding to $1000, you can only bid on 1 car at a time, and 10% deposit at the time of bidding for any bids over $1000. To upgrade to a premier membership, it is a $400 refundable deposit and a $200 fee. It lasts for 1 year and costs $150 to renew each year.

Bidding was super easy once my account got approved (took about 20 hours). Could only place one bid at a time, but once you get outbid, you can bid on a different lot with no issue.

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There are many lots that require a dealer license or broker to purchase, just varies by state due to differences in laws. In some states, you cannot purchase a salvage title vehicle without a broker (such as Illinois), while in others, only clean title vehicles require a broker (such as Kansas).

Purchasing is easy, as they have a secure credit/debit card payment system. Upon payment, you will receive an invoice/bill of sale.

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Another thing to be aware of is the fees. They can easily surprise you with how many fees there are. A breakdown of the cost for my Grand Prix:

  • SALE PRICE 525.00
  • BUYER FEE 212.50
  • INTERNET BID FEE 39.00
  • GATE FEE 59.00
  • SALES TAX 83.55
  • BUYER PAYMENT 919.05

As you can see, the sales price is only 57% of the total cost. Payment is required within 3 business days and pickup is required within 5 business days, otherwise you will be hit with relisting fees and storage fees.

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The pickup process was very easy for me, but your experience might vary as every location is very different. The Kansas City location let me come in, I gave my member number and the lot number for my car, they got the paperwork and I signed for it, and that was it. They brought the car out on a loader, but let me just drive it away from their parking lot. A lot of locations will be like that, but many others also require all cars to be towed or trailered away. I would recommend calling your location to check. They don’t provide any plates or tags, but will give you a print copy of the Bill of Sale and the title, if they have it. When picking up your car, assume the battery will be dead. Always bring a jump pack or cables, oil, and distilled water.

I also highly recommend visiting the location to view the cars in person before bidding, but that wasn’t an option with their lots being closed to visitors during this crisis. Buying a car sight unseen is always a huge risk, but in my case, it ended okay.

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Illustration for article titled Copart Buying Experience

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask!

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