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As part of its Surplus Property Program, the Operational Services Division (OSD) hosts about ten live vehicle auctions and numerous online auctions throughout the year. These events feature a wide selection of vehicles that have been retired by Massachusetts state agencies and range in price to meet a wide variety of budgets.

We recently caught up with State Surplus Property Coordinator Ted Bunnell for a vehicle auction overview, including the most unusual vehicle he’s seen at a state surplus auction.

pictures of vehicles

A sampling of the vehicles available at a recent OVM auction.

Q: How does a vehicle end up at a state surplus vehicle auction?
A: When a state vehicle has reached the end of its lifecycle and it has been determined the unit no longer is cost effective to operate, the agency will remove it from the fleet.

Q. Who is eligible to purchase vehicles at auction?
A. During the auction preview days, state agencies and Massachusetts municipalities have the opportunity to acquire vehicles for a nominal fee before they become available to the general public. The live vehicle auctions are open to the public. Typical buyers include car dealers, repair shops, and even families shopping for a used car.

Q. You mentioned that OSD also offers online auctions. How does a buyer retrieve the vehicle once it is purchased online?
A. It is the buyer’s responsibility to pick up the vehicle. We have vehicles that are retired from Nantucket to Pittsfield, so we always make the location very clear.

Q. What is the most unusual vehicle you have seen at a state surplus auction?
A. On rare occasions, an antique vehicle will become available for auction. I recall there was a 1952 Dodge Truck that was retired after having been stored in a garage for decades. It generated a great deal of interest.

The purpose of the Surplus Property Program is to ensure that the Commonwealth realizes the maximum benefit from State-owned surplus property. To learn more about State Surplus Property, please visit https://www.mass.gov/surplus-property-program.

Upcoming Vehicle Auctions:

Westborough OVM Auction
Viewing: Wednesday, August 15
Auction: Saturday, August 18

Ayer State Police Auction
Viewing: Thursday, August 16
Auction: Friday, August 17

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