I've bought 3 times from Copart. All sight-unseen.
If you're careful, you can do really good. If you're not, you can get fucked hard.
First was a run-and-drive. $888 out the door after fees, picked it up personally. Was like $450 for the car itself. 30 year old shitbox Subaru Legacy. Car was actually great.
Second was a run-and-drive. 10 year old Crown Vic shitbox. Paid for shipping for that, which brought the total to a whopping $2559. That was a complete and utter disaster because the car was completely thrashed and not worth a dime.
Third was a starts-and-moves front end wreck. $2013 out the door, picked it up personally. 2015 Subaru Impreza. Aside from the engine eating the front clip and needing some moderate repairs as a result, it's a great parts donor for the 30 year old Legacy.... I overpaid and did Buy-it-now here. According to the guy in the parking lot who buys Subarus all the time, should have been $1400 all told.
Anyway, here's how it works.
You place a deposit with them. This determines your maximum bid. If you don't do a deposit, your maximum bid is $1000. If you DO, it's $1000 of bid per $100 deposited. The first $100 buys you that $1000 that you get for free otherwise so yeah that's dumb. The deposit counts for absolutely nothing. You can't use it to pay even if you want to.
It is, however, fully refundable, and you can have it refunded BEFORE you pay.
You buy the car, and then fees get added. The first fee is the based on the price, and shown on this chart:
Since you're a normal joe without a business, you are in column C or D. If you pay with a credit card or debit card, you're in D. If you're walking in with a pile of cash or a cashier's check, you're in C.
So far I've always paid with a credit card, because the difference between the fees at the scale I'm working at almost all comes out in credit card rewards once you figure in the stupid $30 wire transfer fee from the bank, and I find buying cars on credit cards to be HILARIOUS and I'll never get over it.
If you want to pay in cash or with a check, you can do so at any Copart location, not necessarily the one the car is sitting at.
If you're doing that, though, you may as well pay at the location it's at, because you have 3 business days including the day of the auction or the day you click buy-it-now to pay without encountering a $50 late fee. This is the deadline as the storage fees...
Additionally, there's a $59 "Gate Fee" that you can think of as "Tipping the guy with the giant forklift for not running over your trailer and the nice lady for finding the envelope with the title in it". There is no way to avoid this fee.
There is also a bidding fee. This comes in 3 flavors:
1) If you use the computer in the lobby of a copart to place your bid BEFORE the auction and you somehow win - $0.
2) If you use any other computer in the universe to place your bid BEFORE the auction and you somehow win - Based on the "Non-Kiosk Preliminary Bid" chart.
3) If you participate in the live auction - Based on the "Online Live Bid" chart.
Finally, you have 3 business days INCLUDING THE DAY OF THE AUCTION (or the day you click 'Buy it Now' if you do that) to pick the thing up or get it picked up. This is waived if you let Copart arrange shipping for you (which is silly expensive).
If it sits there longer than that, you'll incur storage charges. These vary by location.
And then if you're far away and/or dumb you can optionally let Copart arrange shipping which costs a ton.
Driver, Pit Monkey, Rod Buster and Engine Fire Starter