‘Auction Bargain Boom’ For Salvage Vehicle Buyers.


Car auctions in Brisbane, QLD –  If you guys are interested in picking up a cheap motor vehicle, then currently Brisbane seems to be the place you need to set your sights on. Brisbane Auctioneers Pickles and Manheims are currently offloading a lot of cars that were damaged in a storm towards the end of 2014.  The sales are on behalf of Insurance companies and other parties.  Heres an article that I put together for those interested in picking up a cheap but hail damaged vehicle at auction.  For those that can’t attend the auctions, online bidding is possible.


In November, 2014 a massive storm cell hit Brisbane. For many people in Brisbane, there was ‘no warning, no time to evacuate’ from the path of the incoming storm. What was referred to as a “super cell” created havoc for property owners. It was in fact the worst hail storm to hit Brisbane in a generation has been declared a catastrophe by insurers and prompted the Queensland government to call in the military to help clean up the damage. The Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, told ABC radio the storm was “probably the worst to hit city as a whole since 1985”.

There were many damaged homes, contents and motor vehicles hit by the storm.  Brisbane car dealers were licking their wounds afterwards as many of the vehicles displayed were hit by hail. Initial insurance reports for damage claims were around half a billion dollars but the figure for claims kept increasing and in December the Insurance Council of Australia’s (ICA) website (as per media releases) reported over 86,000 claims had been lodged for property and motor vehicle claims as a result of the hail storm. Of this figure, 58,000 were for domestic motor vehicle claims and 2,800 claims were for commercial motor vehicles. The ICA said insurers took 2,000 calls within hours of Thursday’s squall.

Towards the middle of December the damage bill stood at over $800 million dollars and many of the claims had been assessed.

The number of damaged motor vehicles may have left a headache for car insurers and car dealerships but created a boom for panel beaters, window repairers and auction houses like Pickles and Manheims auctions in Brisbane to auction the vehicles at liquidation prices.

Industrial leasing agents have been out looking to secure extra vacant land for vehicle storage.  Industry sources say Pickles Auctions had secured 9.5ha of mostly hardstand Industrial land along Macarthur Ave in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton which will be used to store up to 10,000 hail damaged vehicles before they go under the hammer over the coming months. The lease for the property was struck on a month by month basis through Brisbane industrial property agents, Colliers at rates of between $25 to $30 per square meter. Other reports from King & Co, a leading industrial property agent in Brisbane also had struck short term leases of around 3 months in Acacia ridge also to the likes of automotive repair groups ie. Wizard Automotive Services and Express Glass 24 Hour Service for office/warehouse space at Rocklea Central on Brisbane’s southside.

At the end of the day some of the vehicles were written off but others requiring repairs faced a long wait. Writing vehicles off or repairing is dependent on the policy. With the volume of motor vehicles requiring repair television reports said there would be a long wait to get cars repaired and panel beaters would be busy clearing the backlog of vehicles for the next 2 years.

Brisbane damaged car auctions

Millions of dollars worth of storm affected vehicles have come onto the market in Brisbane being mainly sold by auction. Many of the vehicles were sold on a unreserved basis on behalf of major Insurance companies and other vendors such as car yards.

Pickles car auctions Brisbane – The first of the auctions held by Pickles started on 13 December 2014 featuring up to 400 vehicles and offering late and prestige salvage vehicles for auction. The auctions are ongoing and you can check current stock lists at the end of this post. Auction day is generally a viewing time, in the case of the first auction the viewing of salvage vehicles were between 12:00pm – 5:00pm on the Friday (day prior to the auction) and from 8:00am on the day of sale. I have put the contact details for Pickles below and suggest that you ring Pickles (or Manheims) to confirm the viewing and auction times as each “session” may be different.

Brisbane damage car auctions were running like wildfire with well known auctioneers Pickles at a recent damaged car auction at its Hamilton rooms selling 2 vehicles every minute. Some buyers walked with more than bargains, in fact they described the purchase at auction as being “steals”.   One lady that was interviewed on Channel 9 news picked up a Volkswagen Tiguan for just under $7,000. This same model retails for just over $20,000 at current prices. Another buyer purchased a 2011 Toyota Yaras for $3,000. All the repairs that were needed was a new back window and some dents straightened out.

The television news also reported that smash repairers were fully booked. A backlog of vehicles to be repaired of some months to fix hail damaged vehicles. The Insurance industry estimated that it would take up to 2 years to have all the vehicles fixed and some panel beaters were bringing in panel beaters from around Australia to help with the number of vehicles to repair.

Refer to the bottom of this post for the damaged car auctions currently on. At the time of writing there were more auctions still being held by Pickles and Manheims in Brisbane. For interested buyers not living in Brisbane, Pickles offer ‘Pickles Live’ which is a way to bid online.

Manheim Auctions Australia has been auctioning hail-damaged cars twice a week since early December. Queensland general manager Charles Cumming estimated the company had sold 2700-3000 vehicles at prices from 30-80 per cent of recommended retail price according to a Sydney Morning Herald report.

Are there any problems with buying and selling hail damanged vehicles?

What are the issues when it comes to buying and selling hail damaged vehicles? Are there any issues to consider?
The short answer is “yes”. Mr. Rob Whelan, Chief of the Insurance Council of Australia said that if the owner descided to keep their hail-damanged vehicle or sold the vehicle there could be a problem gaining comprehensive motor vehicle insurance. Mr. Whelan went on to say

“Many insurers may not insure motor vehicles with existing hail damage, and there are safety issues to be considered too… Talk to your insurer first before buying a motor vehicle that has hail damage.” “A hail-damaged car is much harder to comprehensively insure,” he said. “When you comprehensively insure a car, it’s expected that car does not have existing damage. “(If it does) it may affect the ability of the purchaser to take out comprehensive car insurance.” Most insurers would still be prepared to insure for third party and potentially third party fire and theft, he said, but it would be a decision for each insurance company to make individually. “It’s a matter of being aware of the issues and making sure you are comfortable with the decision you’re making, especially as it relates to insurability,”

The RACQ have also issued similar warnings to buyers of the hail damaged motor vehicles. RACQ technical and safety policy executive manager Steve Spalding previously warned buyers to be careful when buying hail-damaged vehicles according to the SMH.  “Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to factor in the cost of repairs if you plan on fixing the car,” he said.


Those who are not sure about what company insures them or have concerns or questions about the process can phone the Insurance Council’s disaster hotline on 1800 734 621

Pickles Car AuctionSalvage vehicles list of cars to be auctioned. Pickles Auctions Acacia Ridge on (07) 3120 3111 or Will Morgan – Director of Pickles Auctions Salvage, Telephone: 0417 214 778. Remember to contact Pickles for the exact location of where the auctions are being held as media reports suggested additional sites being leased for storage of the number of vehicles. You can go to the website: www.pickles.com.au to view the vehicle listings, photographs and to find out how to register to bid. Vehicle auctions at the time of writing were being held at Auctions will be conducted at  265 MacArthur Ave Hamilton, QLD

Manheim Vehicle Auctions as was also mentioned in the article above has a full list online at – Auction list and dates 2015

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