Sheriff's Sale of Seized Vehicles

View properties to be auctioned on the Department of Tax Administration's website.


What is a Sheriff's Sale?

The Fairfax County Sheriff's Office periodically holds public auctions of seized vehicles at the location at which the vehicle is stored. Properties to be auctioned are listed on the Department of Tax Administration's website. The Code of Virginia allows for the seizure and liquidation of personal property necessary to pay delinquent taxes, interest and the costs associated with this process.

NOTE: Virginia law restricts all Fairfax County employees from bidding at a Sheriff's Sale.

Can I see or drive the vehicle before the auction?

You cannot drive the vehicle. The only way to view the vehicle is to drive by the address given on the auction page. The vehicle may be parked on private property, in which case you will have to view it from the street. You cannot get inside the car or look under the hood. The vehicle is sold AS IS. There are no warranties or refunds.

How is the opening bid determined?

The opening bid is determined on a case by case basis by the deputy executing the sale of the vehicle. The opening bid is based on the value of the vehicle, amount of delinquent taxes to be recovered and the costs associated with the process.

If I win the auction and the vehicle is mine, can I drive it home?

Since you won't have insurance or license tags for the car, you will not be allowed to drive it. Instead, you will have to tow the vehicle from the property. In some cases, you will have to contact a locksmith (or the dealership if the car is less than seven years old) because a key may not be available.

How soon after the auction must I take possession of the car?


What form of payment will you take at the auction?

The Sheriff's Office accepts cash or a cashier's check. However, we strongly recommend that you bring cash because the cashier's check would have to be for the exact amount, which you will not know until the auction is over. If your cashier's check is under the amount, you may add cash to it to equal your successful bid. If the cashier's check is over the amount, we will not give you change back.

How often are Sheriff's Sales?

The frequency of sales is determined by the number of vehicles seized by the county. Sales typically vary from as many as 2-3 per week to as few as 2-3 per month.

What time and where are Sheriff's Sales held?

The sale is always at the location where the seized vehicle is stored, typically at a home or business. Sales are scheduled for Monday-Friday and always are held at 11 a.m.

How far in advance do you post a notice of a Sheriff's Sale?

Legally, the Sheriff's Office must post notice at least 10 days before the sale. If you are interesting in bidding on a seized vehicle, we strongly recommend that you check the Department of Tax Administration's website the morning of the sale to make sure that the vehicle is still scheduled for auction. If the owner pays the delinquent taxes, the auction will be cancelled.

Code of Virginia § 8.01-498. Selling officers and employees not to bid or to purchase.

No officer of any city, town, county or constitutional officer or employee of any such city, town, county or constitutional office shall, directly or indirectly, bid on or purchase effects sold under a writ by such officer. Anyone violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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