Bicycle Auction

Bicycle Auction

Bicycle Auction Information

Bicycle Auction

The Bicycle Auction is a biannual tradition at UC Davis, held in May and October. Hosted by the Bicycle Program and part of Transportation Services, approximately 300-400 abandoned and unclaimed bicycles are auctioned off by a live auctioneer. Among the bicycles community members may bid on are cruisers, road bikes, mountain bikes, BMX, single speeds, and kids’ bikes. Winning bidders may pay for their bicycle(s) with cash, checks, Visa/Mastercard.

BullhornUpcoming Auctions: COVID19 has limited our ability to run our local in-person auctions.

We're working to bring our auctions online with hopes to debut soon. Please subscribe for information about our upcoming auctions through the form below: 

October 2020 Update: In order to maintain impounding operations, most bicycles which are eligible for auction are being sent to California Auction Company, a Stockton, CA based auction house who holds twice monthly auctions. For information about their auctions navigate to


ArrowPublic viewing is available the morning before the auction. While you are unable to ride the bicycle, or pick them up, you can inspect them closely and speak with some of our bicycle experts who will be available to answer questions. Note down yard numbers of the bicycles you like and consider their value.

People who know what they're bidding on tend to find the best deals (and the best bicycles for them).

Questions? Please click here to see our Bicycle Auction FAQs.

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Donate Your Bicycle

Every year, approximately 3,000 bicycles are abandoned on campus. Abandoned bicycles cause problems including:

  • Taking up parking spaces that may otherwise be used by active cyclists
  • Inviting theft and vandalism

If you no longer need your bicycle, consider donating it to the Bicycle Program to sell at the biannual Bicycle Auction. Give your bicycle a new life for someone who is looking for an affordable ride.

Call us at 530-752-2453 to set up a time to donate your bicycle.

→ See our UC Davis Campus Abandoned Bike Policy 

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FAQ: Bicycle Auction

  • Where do you get the bicycles up for auction?
  • The Bicycle Program regularly patrols campus and tags (with a bright orange notice) any bicycle that appears to be abandoned may be auctioned. Once tagged, owners are given 48 hours to take their bicycle and if needed, repair it. Upon follow-up inspection two days later, bicycles whose warning tags are not removed are impounded for 90 days, allowing the owners to claim their missing bike. For retrieval of impounded bicycles we require a $10 Impound Release Fee. Proof of ownership is required for release, as needed registration will be offered ($6 for license and/or $6 for an up to date renewal). 
  • What are the main reasons bicycles are abandoned?
  • Bicycles that are not working well are the most likely to be abandoned by owners. Squeaky chains, loose brakes, flat tires, and lost keys for locks are all common reasons an owner might choose to walk away from their bicycle.
  • Do you try to get in touch with the owners of the bicycles?
  • Absolutely! The Bicycle Program follows up with owners of registered bicycles within 24 hours and transfer all the serial numbers to UCDPD for vetting, holding the bicycles for 90 days. Registration is proof of ownership and non-registered bicycles are difficult to reunite with owners as they require proof of purchase or recent photos with the unlocked bicycle to sufficiently prove ownership. All bicycles released are required to be registered prior to their release.
  • Where does the money from the bicycle auction go?
  • All money from the auction goes back to the Bicycle Program and helps create jobs for students. Our student workers are often the ones helping to clear the racks of abandoned bicycles so the campus community can have space to park their bicycles.
  • Can I see the bicycles before I bid?
  • Definitely. You may view the auction inventory on the morning of the auction starting at 7:30 a.m. Viewing ends at 9 a.m., just before bidding begins.
  • Can I just buy an abandoned bicycle from Transportation Services outside of the auction?
  • Unfortunately, no. It is against our policy for us to sell bicycles outright. This is to eliminate the potential for preferential treatment and give everyone a fair and equal opportunity to get a bike.

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