Copart Auction History


Few events excite car enthusiasts quite like a Copart auction. Buyers, dismantlers, and dealers can all find immense automotive intrigue here. Find out the best information about bid cars’ history.

Copart auctions require that participants become either Basic or Premier Members to participate. Registration takes only minutes and provides substantial Buying Power along with additional benefits.

Founded by Willis Johnson in 1982

Copart Auctions Auctioneers of over 2 Million Vehicles Worldwide Each Year Copart is the global leader in vehicle auctions and provides an innovative remarketing platform connecting sellers with over 750,000 Members globally. Since it began as one salvage yard in California in 1982, Copart has rapidly evolved through technological innovation into an international force.

Willis Johnson is a self-made businessman who rose from nothing to become one of the world’s largest auto salvage auction businesses, owning more than 200 locations throughout the US, Brazil, Germany, and the Middle East. Additionally, Willis holds onto an estate near Nashville, which houses his collection of classic cars.

Clay Finck: Willis is an adventurous businessperson. Politically conservative and having contributed generously to conservative causes, Willis’ daughter married country singer Alan Jackson while owning a large house in Tennessee and driving an old Cadillac convertible are among his many accomplishments.

Rob Vannuccini serves as Copart’s Chief Sales Officer and leads one of the industry’s most seasoned teams. With years of operational leadership experience—such as acting as Midwest Regional Account Manager at NER Auction Systems or Assistant Vice President at Fleet Financial Group—he brings tremendous expertise to Copart.

Copart’s licensed members can preview vehicles Monday through Friday at most locations; non-members can purchase a visitor fee by contacting each location directly.

Buying & Bidding

Copart’s auction website provides a valuable tool for purchasing and bidding on vehicles. Comprehensive vehicle information is available, including bid history and photos of each car, as well as a general overview of the condition and other details. The auction process is fast and simple, allowing you to easily locate something suitable.

Copart is a premier global online auto auction company with more than 200 physical locations worldwide and 175,000 vehicles in inventory. Its innovative technology and online auction platform connect automotive resellers with buyers from around the globe. Copart’s unique business model focuses on recovering, reselling, and recycling salvaged, used rental, fleet, and rental cars. Its employees strive to make an impactful difference in the communities they serve.

Established in 1982, Copart was one of the pioneering organizations that consolidated and expanded nationwide in the auto salvage industry. Their acquisition of NER Auction Group in May 1995 doubled their processing volume, reaching more than 220,000 units yearly by July.

Oppenheimer called it “the definitive salvage estimating guide.” Through Salvage Lynk software, insurance adjusters could enter vehicle data into a computer system and generate valuations based on comparable vehicles’ returns at that moment in time.


Copart is a global leader in vehicle auctions. It operates auctions online in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Ireland, Australia, and Brazil and strives to help local communities flourish around the globe. Established by Willis Johnson with one salvage yard back in 1982, he has since created an industry powerhouse.

As Copart continued to expand, Johnson recognized that it must offer improved services to both vehicle suppliers and buyers. To meet this objective, he created innovative purchase programs and advanced management information systems, cultivated loyal customer relations, and implemented new services to support salvage vehicle disposition processes.

The early 1990s saw explosive expansion for this company, as net income skyrocketed from less than $12 million in 1994 to over $126 million by 1997 due to consolidation within a fragmented salvage and auto auction industry.

Copart is currently the largest online auctioneer of vehicles in North America. It offers both online and offline auction services, such as live bidding in real-time and secure auction viewing from anywhere worldwide. You can view current auctions on its Today’s Auctions page, which lists current or upcoming sales by region or time zone.


Copart’s business model may differ from traditional auto auctions, yet it remains one of the most popular online car auctions. Copart offers various services to assist vehicle sellers in managing and selling repairable and clean-title vehicles at auction. Furthermore, its proprietary virtual auction technology (VB3) enables buyers to gain access to robust auction records that provide valuable insight into each salvaged vehicle’s history.

The company provides additional services that assist its customers with salvage and recovery processes, such as document preparation for vehicle registration processes – for example, an invoice, waybill, and sales contract can all be provided as part of this service – to save both time and money, while also helping avoid delays when receiving vehicles.

Copart is also known for auctioning a wide selection of used and salvage vehicles to buyers across the US and beyond. It serves a range of sellers, including insurance companies, rental firms, municipalities, dismantlers, body shop dealers, and individual consumers. Its inventory covers an area of more than 8,000 acres.

Copart buyers can pay for their purchases at Copart locations using either a personal credit or debit card registered to themselves and presented in person as proof of payment, along with photo identification.