Step-by-step guide on how to buy cars from IAAI auction website


IAAI is a USA salvage car auction website. This article exposes the Step-by-step guide on how to buy cars from IAAI. Check the steps below!

In the last two decades, the number of salvage vehicles coming out from the United States annually has hit an enormous 5 million plus. Not only is this figure on the high side, it is also constantly increasing.

These salvage cars are in turn moved to salvage yards from where they are auctioned to international buyers who buy and then resuscitate these vehicles for resell in their local markets. That's why the steps to buy cars from IAAI - a used car auction website in the US are frequently searched online.


IAAI is a popular salvage car auction website on the global scale

African countries with Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic are the top destinations of the products of USA and Canada salvage car auctions. Looking on the bright side, this situation is a win-win situation for car sellers and car buyers in Nigeria. Given that a greater percentage of the Nigerian population cannot afford the price of brand new cars, buying foreign-used ones of affordable prices is the next good thing. The sellers’ on the other hand sometimes import these pre-owned vehicles from abroad at ridiculously cheap prices, fix them up and then sell them off at great profits.

However today, improvement in online car buying now ensures that anyone can bid/buy and import their cars via car auction websites abroad even without being a car dealer.

This article by will focus on a step-by-step guide on how to buy cars from IAAI.

 1. Overview of IAAI

Insurance Auto Auction Inc. popularly called IAAI is an auction company with headquarters in Illinois, USA.

IAAI helps both local and international buyers buy pre-owned vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUVs and motorbykes at online auctions.

While auction websites such as Auction Export are bidding companies, IAAI boasts of over 150 car yards across the United States and Canada from where the auto needs of their large base of local and international customers are serviced.

Cars sold on IAAI online auctions fall into different categories such as total-loss vehicles, recovered stolen vehicles, trade-in vehicles, accident vehicles etc.

To buy from IAAI, you can bid live or on their website via internet or proxy bidding. Further down in this article, we will discuss a step-by-step guide on how to buy cars from IAAI.


To buy from IAAI, you can bid live or on their website via internet or proxy bidding

IAAI has been in business since 1982 and has become a big time player in the industry. The company works in partnership with insurance companies, car dealerships, car rental companies and private sellers to deliver salvage cars at competitive market prices.

This step-by-step guide on how to buy cars from IAAI will help you bid/buy cars on the IAAI website.

2. How to buy cars from IAAI

This step-by-step guide will help you register and start buying auction cars on the IAAI website.

2.1. Register IAAI account

You can register a free account on the IAAI website ( but to buy/bid in online auctions you must upgrade your account to either a public account or a business licensed account. If you happen to be in the US or Canada, you can also register in person at any IAAI location.

Below are the requirements and privileges of registering a paid membership with IAAI.

  Types of IAAI accounts & benefits


Public account


Licensed business account

Annual fee  $200  $200

All the privileges of a free account.

Access to public auctions.

Bid online, on site and via proxy.

All the privileges of a public account.

Access to all auctions where your license permits you to bid.

Add bidders to your account.

Buying notes Buy instantly via Buy NowTM. Must provide proof of business license.

>>> Another option for you to buy cars from the US: How to buy cars from Auction Export detailed guidelines

2.2. Buy cars

As a registered public buyer, you have access to four options of buying on the IAAI website. Those options include:

  • Bid

The bid option allows you to participate in live auctions.

  • Pre-bids

Place pre-bids before commencement of live auctions of which the highest pre-bid is submitted by proxy representation during live auctions.

  • I-Buy Fast

If you do not want to waste time participating in pre-bids or live auctions, you can simply utilize the iBuy Fast option to purchase your vehicle immediately.

  • Licensed Broker

There are some inventories (vehicles) on the IAAI website that are only open to licensed business account holders. As a public account holder, you can only employ the services of a licensed broker to buy such vehicles. These licensed brokers are experienced buyers who help individuals and businesses to acquire any type of vehicle at IAAI auctions.


IAAI offers a variety of options for you to buy cars

2.3. Complete payment

After you have won a bid or used the I-Buy Fast option, you have until 4.30 pm the next two days to make payment.

IAAI has a list of flexible payment options for both local and international buyers. From Nigeria, you can make payment for your purchase through money transfer.

See more information on IAAI payment here.

2.4. Transport and ship cars to Nigeria

After you have concluded payment for your purchase, you have up until 4 days from the day you won the vehicle to move your vehicle from the IAAI facility. For example, if you won the bid on Monday, you have until 4.30 pm on Friday to transport your purchase out of IAAI storage facility. Failure to do so attracts extra storage charges of about $40 for every extra day spent.

Alternatively, you can choose the IAAI Transport delivery option during checkout and payment and IAAI will deliver your purchase anywhere you want in the US or Canada for onward shipping to Nigeria.

>>> For your reference: Top 3 shipping agents to help you ship cars from the USA to Nigeria


It takes between 45 – 60 days for your purchase to arrive Nigeria

3. Final notes

Now that we have discussed the step-by-step guide on how to buy cars from IAAI, you should also know that before you bid, you can have your vehicle inspected by a vehicle inspector if you are not satisfied by what you see in pictures. Your hired vehicle inspector will provide you with an independent assessment of the damages of the vehicle.

In general, it takes between 45 – 60 days for your purchase to arrive in Nigeria after you have arranged transport for your purchase. While this takes quite a long time, it is quite a cost effective method of buying cars from the USA and anada.

>>> You have come to the end of this article, read more car buying tips and useful driving tips on!

Juliet Onyeachonam


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