As promised, here is a quick run down of my Copart buying experience.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask!