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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average selling price of your auction cars?

Over the years we’ve seen cars go for as little as $50 and as high as $16,000. However, the average price is usually between $400 to $600. Some go lower, some higher. Typically speaking, the people planning to resell or flip the cars pay less. People wanting a car to drive pay more. As a rule of thumb, since you can’t physically test drive the car, they usually sell for about 2/3’s of their street value if you were selling to a private party. (Back to top)

How many people come to these auctions?

We usually have about 50 registered bidders, but nobody comes alone. So while there may only be 50 or so registered bidders, double that number in attendance from family & friends there for moral support to the bidder. Once the bidding starts, usually only 3-5 people are interested in any one vehicle. So with 100 people in attendance, some aren’t even registered to bid and not everyone registered to bid may be interested in the car you want. It’s an auction—you never know how it’s going to unfold. That’s part of the excitement. (Back to top)

How many cars to you usually have in an auction?

We usually have no less than 14 and no more than 20 although in rare instances, we’ve had up to 25 with space permitting. (Back to top)

Do you ever add more cars to a published list?

No, not usually—unless the auction has been postponed or cancelled, then we might add more cars if space allows. Otherwise, the published list is what will be up for auction on the scheduled day. No more, no less. (Back to top)

I’ve been waiting for a car to come up for auction, how come it never has?

Not all cars that come into our possession will go up for auction. Some are picked up by the owner or insurance company. Some are repossessed by the lending institution. And still, some are deemed suitable only for scrap and will be sent directly to the junkyard once the lien forecloses. (Back to top)

Do you have cars just for sale?

No, we don’t sell cars like a used car lot.  Instead we have public auctions every 2nd Saturday of the month.  We do not sell cars any other way.  (Back to top)

What if I do not want the whole car, can I just buy some parts of one?

You purchase the whole vehicle. It is your responsibility to remove it from our facility and then either register it in your name or legally dispose of it once you have removed any parts you might have kept. If you keep the original lien sale paperwork, we might be able to dispose of the vehicle for you once you are done with it. However, under no circumstances will our insurance allow you to buy the vehicle and then remove the parts you want while still on our property. (Back to top)

Do I need to register for the auction?

Yes. Registration is free and done the day of the auction. (Back to top)

Is there an age limit?

You must be at least 18 to participate and purchase a vehicle. Minors are discouraged from attending, especially small children. Children under 10 will not be allowed. (Back to top)

Is there plenty of room for parking?

Parking is limited. You will need to park along 9th Street. Do not block our driveway, as tow trucks may need to enter or exit the yard at any time. If you plan on bringing a trailer to haul a car, you might consider coming back with it later after the auction and when the crowds have thinned out. (Back to top)

Can I preview the vehicles before the auction?

We discourage getting into and previewing the vehicles before auction day. However, once they are “lined up” near the lower gate, you are welcome to look at them during business hours but will be reprimanded (and possibly banned from participating in the auction) for getting in the vehicles prior to the actual preview time on the day of the auction. On the day of the auction, the preview time runs for 1 hour prior to the actual auction. This is when you are allowed to get into the vehicles and go through them. Not all the vehicles will run. Some may not even have keys. All known problems will be disclosed. We do not allow “tinkering” by the public on vehicles to try and get them started. If it doesn’t start, ask for assistance from an employee. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING IN OR AROUND THE VEHICLES! Please utilize the designated smoking area and dispose of your butts in the proper container. (Back to top)

Do the vehicles have keys?

Not all vehicles have keys, but if they do and you want to use them to start a vehicle, you will be asked to exchange YOUR car keys for the keys to the auctioned vehicle you are previewing. This process has eliminated our problem with theft. Your keys will be returned when you turn in the keys to the vehicle you were previewing. Some vehicles will not need a key. They have been “hot wired” or have the ignition punched out and a key is not necessary. Your auction list will denote whether a vehicle has keys or not. (Back to top)

Can I test drive an auction vehicle?

You may start the vehicle, but liability issues prevent us from allowing a test drive. Many people will “test” the transmission or clutch by putting the vehicle in gear and “standing” on the brake while applying the gas pedal or maybe “creeping” the vehicle back and forth a foot or two. We discourage this practice for safety reasons and you will be asked not to do it. (Back to top)

Why are all the registration tags on the license plates removed?

As of Jan 1, 2004, we must remove all stickers from the plates. Although we do not sell trip permits, we highly recommend that you either re-register the vehicle or get one before leaving our facility. The local police department knows when we have auctions and have been known to make “repeat offenders” out of some of our vehicles upon leaving the driveway. (Back to top)

What do you do with all the stuff you cleaned out of the cars?

Once a vehicle clears the lien process and is slated for auction, drivers clean out the vehicles. Personal items (papers with names & addresses) are destroyed. Items of a “garage sale” nature are given to the drivers who clean out the cars or donated or sent to the landfill. (Back to top)

When is the actual auction?

The auction begins immediately following the posted 1 hour preview time. Order of vehicles will be on the list provided starting with #1. Depending on the number of vehicles, the actual auction time is very short. Usually, less than 20 minutes to get through a typical list. The actual auction takes place inside our shop. At 5 minutes prior, the call will be made for everyone participating in the auction to move into our shop. You should make sure you are registered at least 15 minutes prior to this so the auction can be started on time. (Back to top)

Is there a minimum bid?

Minimum opening bids are posted on the auction list. That is where the bidding will start. Increments will be as follows:
  • $50 to $500…….$25 increments
  • $500 to $1,000….$50 increments
  • Over $1,000……..$100 increments
If you want to jump the bid higher than the posted increments…say from $250 to $500….then just stick your hand up and shout “$500”. The auctioneer will then make the next bid at $550. If there are no takers, you will get the vehicle for $500. The auctioneer reserves the right to determine when the bid is FINAL….not the bidders! Once “Sold” is announced, the bidding for that vehicle is over. (Back to top)

What if I can’t be there, can I call in with an opening bid?

Yes and no. We will accept phone-in opening bids from recognized regular buyers. A “recognized regular buyer” is at the sole discretion of Consolidated Towing management and we turn down more than we accept. However, we highly discourage this practice because a phone in the bid will be the opening bid on a vehicle. The auctioneer will not start a vehicle at the posted minimum bid and then try to bid it up against the “reserve” of the phone in bid. If there is a phone in a bid at a particular auction, the vehicle and the amount will be posted. The auctioneer will also announce it again at the start of the auction. (Back to top)

Does Consolidated Towing ever bid on vehicles?

Occasionally the owner or management will be interested in a vehicle but will still allow it to go up for auction. Sometimes public interest turns out to be higher than what we expected and we would rather make money than keep the vehicle. Consolidated Towing reserves the right to bid on such vehicles. (Back to top)

What if I bid on and win a vehicle I don’t want?

This is not good. Take advantage of the preview time and pay attention to the list and vehicle that is up for bid during the auction. However, if you end up winning a bid on a vehicle you don’t want, you will be required to pay $50 or 20% of the selling price, whichever is greater in order to maintain good standing at future auctions. Failure to pay the renege fee will result in being banned from not only any more auctions, but we will also enforce the right to refuse service for any other business transactions (including emergency road service) and towing. (Back to top)

What sort of payment do you accept?

Full payment is to be made immediately following the auction. We accept CASH, VISA, and MASTERCARD. Recognized regular buyers may be allowed to write a check, depending on the circumstances. However, that is the exception, not the rule. “Recognized regular buyers” are at the sole discretion of Consolidated Towing management. (Back to top)

What if I don’t pay for the vehicle immediately following the auction?

Failure to make full payment within 1 hour immediately following the auction will result in the vehicle being moved to our inner yard. A $50 relocation fee will be assessed along with a $10 fine for each hour you are late until 5 pm on the day of the auction. After 5 pm, a $40 per day storage fee will apply. Failure to settle up and pay for the vehicle after 72 hours will result in the vehicle being disposed of at management discretion. The vehicle will either be re-sold at a future auction date or sent to salvage. Failure to make good on your bid will result in your being banned from any further auctions and we will enforce the right to refuse service for any other business transactions concerning you and Consolidated Towing. (Back to top)

I just won a vehicle and am ready to leave, now what?

Sorry, you will have to wait until the entire auction is over. It usually doesn’t last longer than 20 minutes. Once the last vehicle is auctioned, begin forming one line in front of the cash register and we will begin accepting payments. Once payment is received you will be issued a receipt and we will radio an employee monitoring the vehicles to mark your car as paid. You then need to step into the next line for paperwork processing. Under no circumstances can we issue paperwork under a different name than the person registered and standing right before us. (Back to top)

After purchasing a vehicle, do I receive a title?

No, you will receive a bill of sale from us along with the necessary lien paperwork that allows you to register the vehicle in your name with DMV.  For vehicles NOT registered in Oregon, you will be required to take the paperwork and the vehicle to DMV for a VIN inspection.  For vehicles registered in Oregon, the paperwork alone will suffice at DMV.  We charge a $15 paperwork fee on EACH vehicle purchased. (Back to top)

Can I have you put the vehicle in my wife’s name?

We will not issue paperwork in the name of a spouse, relative, or anyone else who is not physically present and registered as a bidder. No exceptions! (Back to top)

I am nervous about participating in an oral auction, what sort of protocol am I expected to follow?

Keep your registered bidder number handy, you will be asked for it if you are the highest bidder on a vehicle. Be mindful of your hand, head, or other body motions. You don’t want to be mistaken for placing a bid when you meant to just scratch your ear! Pay attention and speak up if you are not being noticed. Every attempt will be made to spot all interested bidders, but once the vehicle is announced sold, the final decision is left up to the auctioneer on whether all bidding ceases. If you do not plan on staying for the entire auction, please exit quietly and be considerate of those still participating in the auction. (Back to top)

There was a stereo in the car before the auction, I bid on that vehicle and won it, now it is missing. What are you going to do about it?

We will make every attempt to secure vehicles and prevent damage or theft. However, we assume no liability for vehicles or their contents before, during, or after the auction. Should damage or theft occur while the vehicle is still in our possession because you failed to take it away immediately following the auction, Consolidated Towing, Inc. will not be held responsible. (Back to top)

How long do I have to remove a vehicle I purchased?

Removal of the vehicles is expected immediately following payment. Usually, you have a couple of hours on the day of the auction. However, if you have purchased multiple vehicles or need to make other arrangements, discuss your options with Consolidated management. If you have not made arrangements and the vehicle is still on our property after 5 pm on the day of the auction, we will relocate it to our inner yard ($50 fee) and begin charging $40 per day for storage. Even if you have already paid for the vehicle if you fail to keep us notified of your intentions these fees will apply and must be paid prior to releasing the vehicle. If, after 72 hours, we are still in possession of “your” vehicle and the fees have not been paid, we will begin the lien process for a Private Property Impound and more fees will be incurred. In short, pick up your vehicle immediately following payment or make arrangements with Consolidated management….not just any employee in an orange vest! (Back to top)

Can I work on a vehicle in your yard after purchasing it so that I can drive it away?

Working on vehicles in our yard or anywhere on our property is strictly prohibited. You are limited to changing a tire for purposes of transporting or driving the vehicle. Prolonged attempts to get a vehicle running in order to drive it away are not to be done on our property. For insurance purposes, the work must be done on your property! (Back to top)

What if I can’t drive the vehicle away?

Most people bring a car trailer or car dolly to haul away their purchases. However, if you have no other means to transport the vehicle, we will be happy to tow it for a reduced rate at our convenience. If you wish it to be towed immediately, you will need to pay RETAIL rates. (Back to top)

What if I brought a trailer (or car dolly) and need help loading it?

Free help is at our convenience. Usually, we will have an employee available to assist you. However, free help releases Consolidated Towing, Inc. from all liability to the vehicle you just purchased, the trailer or car dolly we are loading it on, and the tow vehicle. (Back to top)

I lost the lien paperwork you gave me, what do I do now?

There is a $30 fee for processing a request for duplicate paperwork. You must provide the MAKE, MODEL, YR, PLATE, and DATE of the auction. If you do not have the correct date, an additional $10 will be charged for every date we have to search for your vehicle. Duplicate paperwork is just what it means, DUPLICATE. We will not remake paperwork to any individual other than the one noted in our records. Requests for duplicate paperwork are usually fulfilled within seven (7) days. PAYMENT must be made in advance. If additional searching is needed because of incorrect information provided, you can pay those fees at the time of pickup. (Back to top)

Are the auctions ever canceled?

There is always the possibility the auction may be canceled due to weather conditions, illness, or business demands beyond our control. Every attempt will be made to hold a scheduled auction, but if you are attending from out of town, feel free to call the office at 541-389-8080 to be sure the auction is still on schedule. (Back to top)

Is there a limit to the number of vehicles I can purchase?

Consolidated Towing, Inc. does not limit the number of vehicles you purchase, but there may be restrictions according to DMV on the number of vehicles you purchase and sell every year without obtaining a dealer’s license. Consolidated Towing, Inc. does report all vehicle purchases to DMV. (Back to top)

What does ABANDONED mean?

Towed by order of the police for being left (abandoned) on a public roadway. The vehicle could have major mechanical problems and be completely trashed or it might have a minor problem. Sometimes we will attempt to get an abandoned running and have a key made or we will “punch” the ignition. However, most abandoned vehicles are not runners. (Back to top)

What does PPI mean?

This is a Private Property Impound, towed by request of a landlord or private property owner under proper notification for an abandoned or illegally parked vehicle on their property. These vehicles usually do not run, however, from time to time, we will have a key made or attempt to get them running. (Back to top)

What does IMPOUND mean?

The vehicle was towed because the driver didn’t have a current or valid registration or insurance. The driver might also have been driving under the influence of intoxicants. Usually, an impound will run as it was running when the driver got pulled over and the car was towed to our facility. However, as with all vehicles purchased here, there is no warranty expressed, implied, or written. With all our auction vehicles it is purchased AS IS, WHERE IS. (Back to top)

What does ACCIDENT mean?

The vehicle was towed because it was involved in an accident and likely has damage. It could be extensive or minor. The only way to know is to preview the vehicle. (Back to top)

Is there any warranty for a vehicle I purchase?

None. Vehicles purchased via the lien sale auction are bought AS IS, WHERE IS. There is no warranty expressed written or implied. There are NO refunds once a vehicle has been purchased. All sales are FINAL. (Back to top)

What about other vehicles in your yard, can I look at them?

No, you can only preview vehicles for the current day’s auction. If you are caught wandering in our yard attempting to view other vehicles, you will be escorted off the property and possibly banned from future auctions. (Back to top)

I see a car through your fence that I am interested in, when will it be up for auction?

There is no telling if or when a vehicle will be up for auction. Many cars are in our yard for various reasons and many will be picked up. Therefore we do not engage in speculating about the possibilities until a vehicle is actually on the auction list. So please don’t waste our time asking. When you see it on the list, you will know. (Back to top)