East Lansing Police Impound Lot to host annual vehicle auction

The annual East Lansing Police Impound Lot Sealed Bid Vehicle Auction will take place this Friday, at 1800 E. State Rd., in East Lansing. There are a total of 15 cars, two motorcycles and five mopeds being auctioned off. The viewing will start at 4 p.m. and last until 6 p.m.

The auction is a sealed bid auction — people write their bid down and put it into a locked box. The person with the highest bid will be notified if they won the vehicle the following week, Parking and Code Enforcement Supervisor Eldon Evans said.

“There is a small number (of cars) we have this year,” Evans said. “More people are picking up their vehicles. When times are tough you try to keep what you own.”

The minimum bid for cars is $100 and the prices go up from there. Evans said that prices usually average around $700, although the highest price he said he’s ever seen was close to $15,000.

Sometimes people buy the cars just for the parts and sometimes people are able to drive the car away right when they win the bid, he said.

“Some vehicles were involved in accidents and the owner decided they didn’t want it,” Evans said. “Sometimes people purchase those for parts or little projects that they have. (Other) people have been able to come out and put a battery in and drive it right off.”

The cars that make it to the impound lot traditionally are cars that were abandoned. Sometimes the cars are from people that were pulled over for some kind of traffic violation and never received their cars back or choose not to come get it.

There usually are close to 20-25 people at the auctions, depending on how many vehicles are being auctioned off. A combination of MSU students and East Lansing residents usually attend, Evans said.

Hospitality business junior, Jenny Tubergen, said she would consider going to the auction because she needs a car to navigate the area.

“I’m an out-of-state student and I would need a car on campus eventually, just to get around and stuff,” Tubergen said. “Especially because I’m out of state, I need a car up here in Michigan and I don’t have one here.”

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