Used car shopping can be a drag. Hours of going from used car dealership to dealership, dealing with inexperienced salesmen that just want to turn you over to the finance manager, who will keep you waiting while he checks your credit and cooks up a deal that you’ll agree to just so you get this done and go on with your day….

Or you can spend days searching craigslist, waiting for email responses to find out that the car has already been sold (thanks for taking your ad down) or it’s still available, and when you get there, it is far from the condition they claimed in the ad.

One time, I went to look at a Mustang Convertible… The seats were worn completely out, and had been switched side to side. The clips that hold the seat belts were on the wrong side of the seats… oh, and the guy that told me I could come see it, wasn’t even home… It was only a 45 minute drive to get there.

Or all the Chevy and GMC trucks I’ve gone to look at, and the owner’s act like it’s news to them when you tell them it’s got a blown intake gasket… then he walks you out to his back shop to show off his big-block four-speed Impala… It was clean enough to eat off of…

Or the V-6 Camaro with NOS… He failed to mention the laughing gas until I showed up in his driveway…. Burnt valves anyone??? He was pissed at me because I lost all interest as soon as he put the hood up. It had a big bottle bracket between the rear seats. The cops love to see those…

Or the cute little VW convertible from a private owner… that when we went to see it, was sitting on a little buy-here-pay-here lot…

Or the woman who is selling her car, her husband was a mechanic for 22 years, and you pop the hood, and the dirt in the engine bay somehow is older than the car.

And living in Ohio, don’t even get me started about rust…

I love cars. I hate used car shopping. If only there was a way to get to look at several vehicles in one location, and have the piece o mind that you got it for a fair price. Oh, wait, there is…

The Greater Cleveland Auto Auction is known for it’s dealer-only vehicle auctions, but did you know that they also conduct auto auctions that are open to the public?

The GCAA is a great place to pick up a deal on used car. Buying a car at an auction is not for everyone, but if you are handy under the hood, and don’t mind getting a little greasy, there are deals to be had. The bidders set the final bid, and most cars sell for less than Kelly Blue Book values.

The GCAA conducts public auto auctions every Friday morning. They start with inoperable vehicles at 9:30am, and the better used cars start rolling across the block at 10am. They only sell to the public for one hour, and then the regular dealer-only vehicle auction begins.

Get there early to do your inspections before the sale starts The lot opens at 8am for inspection. Once they start taking bids, be prepared for a fun and fast-paced spectacle. If you see someone you know across the sales floor, resist the temptation to wave at them.

Here are the highlights of the Greater Cleveland Auto Auction Policies. Make sure you know what you are getting into before sales day.

  • The sales lot opens at 8am for vehicle inspection. You are not permitted to start or test drive the vehicles.
  • Just as on any used car dealership, the vehicles are “AS IS”. NO WARRANTIES WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • All vehicles are sold on an “if” to the highest bidder at the time of the auction. The seller has an hour to decide if they want to accept your bid.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license or a state issues ID to purchase vehicles.
  • You must register before you are allowed to purchase vehicles. Without a bidder badge, you cannot purchase vehicles.
  • The title can only be reassigned to the individual who was the successful bidder on the vehicle. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Leave your kids at home. Children under the age of eighteen (18) are not permitted in the auction bays.
  • If you are the successful bidder on a vehicle, you must place a $400 cash deposit on the vehicle at the sales block.
  • You must pay for the balance of the vehicle (in cash or bank certified funds) by Monday at 4:00 PM. Failure to pay for vehicles will result in a forfeiture of your $400 deposit and a loss of future buying privileges.
  • You will have to come back to get the car. Vehicles purchased in the public sale are not available for pick-up during the dealer sale (Friday 11:30 – 2:30 PM)

The Greater Cleveland Auto Auction is located on Engle Road, just Northwest of the Snow Road interchange of I-71. GCAA on Google Maps

Greater Cleveland Auto Auction Website

My parents worked for the GCAA as porters during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, when the GCAA was located in Berea, on the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

My first car came from the GCAA.