About Military Surplus Vehicles

by Kevin Freeman

Most people think of buying clothes or camping equipment when they think of military surplus. What many don't know is that the U.S. military also auctions off surplus vehicles for a significant savings to the buyer.


One of the more prominent reasons to buy military surplus vehicles is that the U.S. military usually keeps a rigid maintenance schedule on every vehicle in their fleet, whether it is used for combat or for civilian purposes. When problems are detected, military mechanics tend to fix them promptly, thus extending the overall life of the vehicle. Buyers at most auctions are worried about the possibly hidden condition of their purchases, but military surplus auctions are much more forthcoming about the condition of each of their vehicles.


There are an astonishing number of vehicles to choose from when looking through military surplus auction lists. Ranging from pickup trucks to 2.5-ton haulers, boats and heavy equipment, the selection of vehicles available is diverse. For buyers looking to aquire spare parts, there are also parts auctions for various vehicles, including aircraft parts. Occasionally, entire aircraft frames are sold, but must usually be dismantled for scrap under the supervision of Department of Defense personnel.

Time Frame

Military surplus vehicle auctions can last for two weeks, and the website, listed in the resources section, will sort the auction lists according to time left in the auction if desired. Once a bid has been placed, the site continually updates to show the latest bid, but delivery time is completely up to the buyer, as delivery is the buyer's sole responsibility.


As with most auctions, buying military surplus vehicles is an "as is" purchase. Bidders are given information about each vehicle before the purchase, but are not given any guarantees or warranties as to the vehicle's estimated life from the time of purchase. Buyers should use caution when considering prospective vehicles, and always look through the vehicle description before bidding.


Potential buyers for military surplus vehicles tend to see the price of the bid as the total price that must be paid, and will bid based on that idea. When bidding on an item, it is important for buyers to also consider how the item can be transported to them, how much the process will cost, and how much tax will need to be paid on the purchase. Taxes are charged by the military surplus organization, and are due upon payment for the item.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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