Auto Auction Terminology


Common terminology used on RunBidSell and at most dealer auctions in the United States.

Green Light – The seller represents that the vehicle is sound with no Major Mechanical issues. Major mechanical is considered Bad Tranny, Internal engine damage, Frame rot.

Yellow Light – Caution. Pay attention to auction announcements.

Runs and Drives – The vehicle starts and moves.

MMI – Major Mechanical Issues. Covers Bad Automatic Transmissions, Internal engine damage, Bad Transfer Case, Frame Rot or Cracks.

Title Absent or Title Attached –  Title is absent, is pending.

Lien Letter – A Lien release letter comes with title.

Reg Only – Some states don’t create titles for vehicles past certain years.

Reserve: A seller can place a minimum price on a vehicle, and unless bidding reaches or exceeds that price, it won’t be sold.

Branded title – The title is stamped. Usually marked “salvage” “rebuilt” “TMU” or  “buy back”

Buy Back – Vehicle at one time was bought back by manufacturer.

Buy Sheet – A sheet a winning bidder receives, either online or in person. Proves winning bid amount, has seller, buyer and vehicle information.

Odometer Descriptions

  • TMU – True Mileage Unknown
  • Exempt – By Federal Law, no odometer code is required to be displayed
  • Exceeds Mechanical Limits – The true mileage of the vehicle cannot be expressed because it has exceeded the capacity of the odometer to measure it.
  • Mileage Discrepancy – AutoCheck or CarFax shows a mileage discrepancy

If you have questions, suggestions, or need help please contact us.