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How To Buy Old Police Cars

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Automakers make cars for corporate customers who need a fleet of cars, and thats usually what Ford does for the various police departments in the country. That being said, as Autotrader wrote, that doesnt stop regular civilians from getting their hands on the latest models of cop cars. In fact, in Fords case, its a rather simple process for anyone who wants one.

Indeed, Autotrader said that all someone needs to do is walk into a Ford dealership and theyll be able to buy a brand-new model of whatever cop car Fords made.

With that being said, these cars, such as the Ford Police Interceptor Utility, arent exactly cop cars just yet. They are the cars that the police departments buy, but they dont have sirens, they dont have logos, and they dont have anything that would make a regular person think that its a cop car.

How Topurchase Patrol Cars

July 1, 2003 by Melanie BasichBookmark +

You know your agency needs patrol cars, and that some new ones show up every year or so, but you might not be aware of the intricacies of the process. Keeping that process running smoothly could mean the difference between patrolling by car and walking your beat.

Purchasing vehicles might seem like an easy task, but even if your agency only buys them once a year, there’s a lot of preparation and follow-up that goes into making sure you’ll have a set of wheels on your next shift.

Finding Funding

Of course, the first concern in getting anything purchased at a law enforcement agency is funding. The amount of money you get each year to purchase cars is largely dependent on the money your entire agency is allocated for its annual budget.

The budget approval process usually starts in July, the beginning of the fiscal year for most government entities. A law enforcement agency usually finds out how much money it will be allocated to purchase vehicles for the year in July or August, after the city, county, or state budget has been decided.

Capt. Bob Sedita, fleet manager of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, says his agency has several options for funding.

LASD occasionally receives grants to purchase cars. And sometimes, although rarely, a city that the sheriff’s department has a service contract with puts up money to purchase a car for a special purpose.

Writing the Specs

The Bid Process

The Finished Product

A Lot Of People Are Wary Around Cop Cars

Depending on where you live, a police car might not elicit positive responses from your neighbours. And as you drive around town, you may notice civilian drivers acting differently around you. Typically, people tend to drive slower and more safely around cop cars out of the fear that they could be pulled over.

This might be good news for cautious drivers and folks who get impatient about stoplights and switching lanes. However, it could also be annoying if you just want to get around like an average person.

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Police Vehicles Are Almost Always Well Maintained

Pro: Most police agencies take good care of their fleet and follow the manufacturers maintenance schedule. Police cars are an essential and expensive piece of equipment and are typically maintained with high-quality spare parts.

Con: One of the most popular, and recognizable models of police cars, the Ford Crown Victoria is no longer being manufactured.

Since being discontinued in 2011, many police agencies have been hanging onto their vehicle fleet for as long as possible. Some larger police agencies also bought hundreds of new cars and placed them in storage for future use before Ford stopped making the Crown Vic. While some other, smaller and less financial departments couldnt afford to do this, a whole industry has developed around refurbishing these cars. As a result, instead of selling their vehicles, many agencies are now refurbishing their old cars and putting them back into service.

And ultimately, this will mean that when Crown Vics do come up for private sale, they will be considerably older than in the past.

If Youre Prepared For A Few Compromises You Can Save Thousands On A Well

Vintage Palatka, FL Police Car

The traffic division used to be one of the blue chip branches of British policing, with little expense spared when it came to training, vehicle procurement or maintenance.

That used to make buying an ex-police vehicle a genuinely attractive proposition for private drivers looking for bargains at auction. Ex-police cars were serviced religiously by teams of in-house mechanics to schedules often more stringent than the manufacturers demanded, and that meant you could expect an ex-police car to shrug off high mileages. So if you didnt mind your Rover SD1 or Ford Granada in flat white, and with a couple of holes in the dash and roof where the two-way radio and blue lights were attached, you could pick up a bargain-basement executive motor with as much life in it as a car with half its miles.

Whether ex-police cars can be expected to have been quite as well looked after today as they once were is a moot point, and indeed some police forces buy used cars for their unmarked operations. On the plus side, theres more variety available than in the good old days, and you can still expect many cars to have been painstakingly serviced to manufacturer specs and often beyond.

There are also forces running high-performance unmarked pursuit cars, which means you could also get the chance to bid for hot bargains like the Skoda Octavia VRS, Volkswagen Golf R amongst others.

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Can I Buy Retired Police Cars

Yes, you can.

When Police agencies upgrade their fleet of vehicles, they sell the old ones to the places where they have been refurbished and sold. Mostly these cars are sold to the smaller police agencies that cannot afford new police cars. But there are no such restrictions to sell these cars to the general public without lights or decals. There are numbers of reasons for people to buy police cruises:

  • Many of the buyers want to get the car that is built differently. People usually look for their alternate rims, modified suspension, and armor installed in the doors and roof. Maybe even want similar bulletproof glass that can go on the vehicles.
  • The features present in old police cruisers make people feel safer. These police cars are made of built-in steel intrusion plates in seatbacks, and doors are modified to stop armor-piercing bullets.
  • You just want to make sure that you are not impersonating an officer or disobeying any local laws if you were to own an exisiting retired police vehicle.

Ford police cars can go from zero to 55 miles per hour just over five seconds that is an exciting feature for speed lovers.

Transporting Thenewly Purchased Car To Your Home

Vehicles that are seized by police are usually in good enough condition for you to simply buy it and drive it home. But in some cases, the car you just bought may have been sitting in the car impound for long enough so the battery is dead and it just wont start. If the car isnt in a condition to be driven, you can always sell it right away to the car junkyard or hire a transportation service.

When buying a vehicle at a car auction, you must be ready to take the car out of the premise right after your hands on the keys. If you plan to drive the car back to your home, going to an auction by yourself is not the best idea. Someone else will have to come with you so that you can transport the two vehicles at the same time. Most people come with a designated driver to drive the newly purchased car back home after the auction.

Another option is to hire a transport company. Using a freight delivery service will save you time and do not expose yourself to additional stress. The major drawback is that youll have to make the arrangement with the transport company beforehand, without even knowing if you will actually buy a vehicle that day.

Before you go to the police car auctions, arrange everything with the company in advance like the precise location where to pick up the car and where to deliver it. This is an excellent option if the auction is at a considerable distance from your place of residence or if you are using an online car auction service.

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Conduct Your Own Forensic Investigation

Has the transmission been recently replaced? Has the engine received recent repair work? What about the suspension? These are the three big expense components of most police vehicles, and to figure them out, you need to contact the official who posted the online listing. Or, if the government agency in question isn’t online quite yet — yes, that still happens — contact the maintenance department and find out who keeps these records.

Either way, ask the official when you can come by and see the records in person, and whether there is a specific time of day when you can inspect the vehicle. Every place has rules and policies that are set in stone.

Not All Police Interceptors Are Created Equal


Cars that are used by the police in the line of duty will usually have cloth front-seats and a vinyl back-seat combination and you should expect to find wires and holes wherever there was police equipment that has been removed. This also applies to the dash where police computers, radios and other equipment will have been installed and removed without any thought to the cosmetic mess left behind.

Black and white versions of these vehicles will usually be cheaper at the auctions than all black models, or other single color variations such as white, gray or silver. Most retail buyers prefer all-black police cars if they can get them so be prepared to pay more for any model that isnt the traditional black and white.

If you fancy something a little swankier you will be able to find Police Interceptors that have a full cloth interior and none of the hanging wires or gaping holes that blight active duty models. These models also tend to been abused far less than their active-duty counterparts and have probably been used previously by government employees or, in some cases, police officials that dont tend to find themselves engaged in high-speed pursuits on a regular basis. Due to their lower mechanical wear and interiors that are a lot more retail-friendly, these models inevitably command higher prices at auction.

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Buying From A Specialist Ex

As well as chancing your arm at a police vehicle auction, you can purchase ex-police cars from a specialist dealer. The advantage of pursuing the dealer route is theyre likely to have addressed some of the issues youll find at auction filling in holes, and refitting audio equipment for example.

Gareth Brooks runs, which buys vehicles at specialist auctions, refurbishes them and sells them on. We dont include a warranty in the price, although buyers can pay extra for one, says Brooks. Our cars have also covered more miles than those youll find on other forecourts and theyre less likely to be pristine drivers seat wear isnt unusual. But we do slot in a radio, MoT them, replace any missing trim and if necessary well refurbish the alloys.

Most importantly, these cars will be on the button mechanically and the bodywork will be very tidy, so if youre looking for honest and cheap transport, an ex-police car can provide excellent value for money.

Another specialist dealer is the Ex-Police Car Centre in Brierley Hill, W Mids. The companys Nicola Finney tells us: The amount you save varies significantly it comes down to what we pay for the car. We dont look at trade guides we simply buy the car, refurbish it, then sell it on.

According to Finney, many customers buy ex-police cars for peace of mind. Most cars have had one owner and come with a full history, she says. There are no concerns on finance, yet you still make big savings.

Should You Buy A Used Police Car

Now that youve seen the pros and cons of buying a used police car, do you think a used police vehicle is for you? If you like the look of the vehicle, appreciate the extra space and decreased capital cost, and dont mind paying more for fuel, then its a great option, especially if you do your homework.


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What Are The Disadvantages Of Buying A Police Car

With all this in mind, you might be eager to pull up to your nearest auction and buy the cheapest available police car. But buyers be warned: there are some trade-offs youll have to endure if youre really dead-set on a police vehicle.

Here are the four most significant disadvantages of buying a police car:

Police Car Auctions: How To Buy Seized Cars The Correct Way

Pin on Police Cars 1

Police car auctions grow day by day at an alarming rate mostly because police officers seize large numbers of vehicles from drivers all around the country on a daily basis. Seized cars may be taken back by the owner only if he pays the penalty fine within a certain period of time. It often happens that the cars remain in the police garages, as the vehicle owners dont always have the cash to buy back their cars, meaning that the vehicles will stay in the ownership of the police.

Due to a large number of seized vehicles, police departments occasionally put thecars at auction so they can free up some space. Then is a really good opportunity for the public to buy a used vehicle at a much lower price than it would normally be sold at dealers and independent car sellers.

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Used Police Cars Have Massive Trunks And Lots Of Interior Space

Pro: Police cars are designed to have a large amount of trunk space as they have to carry a lot of equipment. That means these vehicles will be great for running errands, carrying around large bulky items like strollers or groceries. You will also find that there is a considerable amount of legroom in both the front and rear seats.

Con: As a result, used police cars in the United States, unlike those used in many European countries, arent small. This can make parking in inner-city areas and within tight building parking areas more of a challenge.

What Features Are Illegal To Have On A Decommissioned Police Car

Old squad cars make good second-hand purchases because although theyve been through a lot of strain theyre durable, powerful, and available at liquidation prices. Basically, if you want an American-brand sedan with a V8 for a couple-thousand dollars, this is how to obtain it. Some people love owning old police interceptors as collectors items other people love the feeling of being mistaken for a real police car.

2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit

After a police agency replaces an old model with a brand-new one with updated features and capabilities, they will relinquish the old model for purchase, oftentimes through public auction. Most police departments will not put any work into physically disassembling the law enforcement accessories from the vehicle before the auction apart from the absolute essentials like stripping it of its official logos and badging. Some police departments make the extra effort to disconnect and possibly remove the sirens and lights, but not always.

Thus, the cars up for auction typically possess these attributes, giving the buyer the impression that the vehicle is acceptable to drive as is.

The majority of buyers who have just purchased a cheap car from an auction will not be turning around and spending money on repainting it or filling the gaping holes left by the spotlight, antenna, bullbar, or light bar. If the cars are sold like that at auction, why would it be the buyers fault for possessing it in its sold condition?

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Fact: You Can Buy A New Police Car Right Now

Heres something you probably didnt know: You can go buy a new police car right now. You do not have to be a member of a police force. You do not have to be a government fleet buyer. You dont even have to lie to the salespeople and tell them youre someone other than a midlevel IT worker whose week is highlighted by a cross-the-cubicle paper-into-trash-can bank shot.

All you have to do to buy a brand-new police car is just head down to your local Ford dealer and pick one up. See the Ford Explorer models for sale near you

I discovered this last week when I went searching for a Chevy Caprice PPV to use as the daily Autotrader Find. What happened was, I typed in “police” as my keyword, and I assumed a bunch of used cop cars would show up but then, there they were: a large inventory of brand-new Ford Explorer police vehicles.

Of course, these models are not fitted with sirens, or a giant LED light bar, or some sort of police insignia on the door. But theyre out there right now: Most of them are white, they have that little chrome police-style hubcap in the center of black steel wheels, and many of them even have an LED alley light mounted on the A-pillar. They also include a column shifter , vinyl rear seating, and a lot of cool blank switches so you know that your car was made for workhorse duty.

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