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HomeBlogWheelin’ and Dealin’: The PPA Auction Process

Wheelin’ and Dealin’: The PPA Auction Process

Going once, going twice, sold! If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of those words, that means you’re a bid winner. If you’re an avid bidder and in need of a new automobile, you’ll be happy to know we have lots of them available at our public auctions.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) welcomes bidders to unclaimed vehicle auctions at one of three locations. Whether you’re in search of a van, car or two-wheeler, our huge selection will leave you satisfied and perhaps eager to come back and place another bid.

But before you place your bids, it’d be a good idea to understand our auction process. Take a gander below for our auction schedules and a complete run-down on the rules:


Location:  Essington Impoundment Lot (6801 Essington Ave)
Day & Time: Tuesdays at 12:00 p.m.
Registration: Begins at 11:00 p.m.

Location: Swanson Impoundment Lot Auction (2535 S. Swanson St) 
Day & Time: Thursdays at 12:00 p.m.
Registration: Begins at 11:00 p.m.

Location: Tioga Terminal Impoundment Lot (3201 N. Delaware Avenue)
Day & Time: Thursdays at 11:00 a.m.
Registration: Begins at 10:00 a.m.


Before Bidding: 

  • Decide which auction lot location you’ll be attending and don’t forget to bring your driver’s license.
  • Go to the location and register for the auction.
  • Take a look at the inventory. Registered bidders can view all available vehicles an hour before the auction begins. When you’re checking out the stock, consider:
    • No keys are available and locksmiths are not permitted on the auction lot.
    • Vehicles remain locked at all times.
    • All vehicles are sold as is with no warranties expressed or implied.
    • All bidders must be at least 18 years old. Anyone under 18 years of age will not be permitted to register.


  • Full vehicle purchase price, sales tax, title fees and processing fees must be completed at the time of sale.
    • Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Debit cards are accepted.
    • Bidders should be prepared to make any transaction at the time of purchase.
    • Failure to have full amount at time of sale will result in bidder being escorted off premises and banned from future participation.
    • Successful bidders must pay a $53.00 title fee at the time of sale, for each vehicle purchased. The application for title will be processed by the PPA and then sent to Harrisburg.
    • Successful bidders must also pay the standard $25 processing fee and a $6.50 court filing fee at the time of sale for each vehicle purchased.

Vehicle Registration:

  • Until the title is received, it’s not possible to register or insure a vehicle purchased at Auction.
    • In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to operate or store an uninsured or unregistered vehicle on a public roadway.
    • All vehicles must be removed from the Auction Lot before 8:00 p.m., on the day of the Auction. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the purchase price and the vehicle.
    • It takes approximately four to six weeks from the date of sale to receive the title in the mail from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot).

Towing and Removing your Vehicle:

  • Tow operators, car dealers and salvers must pre-register before the Auction and present valid authorization licenses.
    • Auctioned vehicles will be released to tow operators only upon presentation of completed tow agreements.
    • Tow operators must register during each auction.


All PPA Auctions are considered court-ordered, with permission being granted by Common Pleas Court.

So there you have it. All you have to do now is pick a convenient date and head to one of our auctions. If you have questions about the auction process, contact us through Facebook or X (formerly Twitter) and we’ll point you in the right direction. Happy bidding!