Category Archives: Repo Cars

retired woman on bench

Why Retirees Should Consider Repo Cars

Each year, thousands of people buy repossessed trucks, cars and recreational vehicles because of their affordability. Many repos are in good condition and sold at a fair price, allowing buyers to pay in full for the vehicle or finance a small amount. But, repos are not just reserved for young people with little to put down or car enthusiasts who love getting a good deal. They are also a great option for retirees.

Once retired and living off savings, people have a different perspective when making purchase decisions. If you’re currently retired and living off a fixed income, you may want to consider a repo for your primary or second vehicle. Here are the reasons why these used vehicles make a great option for retirees. 

Affordable Monthly Payments 

The most obvious benefit to repos is that they are affordable. How much they cost depends on the condition they are in and what the previous owner owed on their loan. Banks and lenders try to recoup their losses, but there is always room for negotiation. That’s why it’s important to do your homework, look up Kelley Blue Book prices and know what you should be paying for a particular vehicle. 

In general, repos sell for 25 to 40 percent of a similar car’s value. This means that you can walk away with a lower car payment than if you were to buy new or lease. And, if you choose to buy the car outright, you won’t have a car payment at all. This usually isn’t an option with new and used cars, but it can be with a repo. 

Service and Warranty Plans May Be Intact 

Many repossessions are in good working condition, as they were being used and driven up until they were taken away. If you can land a repo that’s new, the service and warranty plans may still be intact. While you won’t get a warranty with the bank or lender, the existing warranties that came with the vehicle can transfer to a new owner. 

Greater Flexibility with Car Choices 

When you were working, driving the kids around, etc., you may have been limited on the types of vehicles you could drive. Today, you probably don’t need that minivan with built-in tablets and sliding doors. You may only need a vehicle for practical purposes – getting from Point A to Point B. This opens up many possibilities. For example, you can buy a repo that’s in good condition but has a lot of miles. 

As you can see, repo cars are worth considering for retirees. They are affordable and do the job of providing you with reliable transportation. Before buying a repo, always do your research and inspect the car. We recommend bringing along someone who knows cars if you don’t. To browse the repo vehicles in your state, visit RepoFinder.com today. 

checking for used car problems

Used Car Problems You’ll Want to Avoid

Buying a used vehicle can be a stressful experience, especially when you’re not sure what to look for. Things get even more complicated with repossessions because they do not come with a warranty. Whatever problems the repo has will become yours to fix. Many issues can be fixed but there are some you’ll want to avoid. 

To ensure you are making a good decision, always inspect the vehicle you’re going to bid on and take a friend with you, preferably someone who understands cars. This way, you have a second set of eyes and ears picking up on things you might miss. Below are used car problems we recommend avoiding. 

Inoperative Gauges or Warning Lights 

Make sure the warning lights and gauges work properly. You’ll need these lights to tell you if something in the car needs immediate attention. If you see the lights come on, this means they’re working, though you probably need to address an issue like low tire pressure, low oil pressure or power steering problems. 

Major Structural Damage 

Minor body damage that has been professionally repaired shouldn’t be a big deal. But major body damage is a different issue. Damage from car accidents that bend the frame or structure can be difficult and expensive to repair. Even if you were to get them fixed, there’s a possibility that you and your passengers wouldn’t be properly protected in a car crash. Bottom line: avoid repos with major body damage. 

Flood Damage 

Another type of damage to avoid is flood damage. Rising water can be just as damaging as a severe crash because it can create rust and mold in the interior. Aside from damaging the carpeting, insulation and upholstery, water can also cause corrosion in the electrical connections. Some signs to look for include mold, rust and mud in unlikely places.

Missing Titles 

As long as you purchase the repo from a reputable seller, you should have no problem getting the title. The bank, lender or credit union that owns the vehicle will release the title once you pay for the vehicle. However, we do not recommend buying a repo without the title, even if it seems like a good deal. Otherwise, there’s always a chance that the true owner could come back and claim the car. 

The best way to avoid bringing home a used car with lots of problems is by inspecting it before buying it. Bring along a mechanic, or at least someone who knows a lot about cars. This way, you can look over the vehicle and make sure nothing obvious stands out. To shop for repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

fixing a common car problem

Common Car Problems You Can Fix on Your Own

This entry was posted in Repo Cars and tagged , , , on by .

When buying a used car, there’s always a chance that you’ll inherit some problems. Most car buyers are aware of this but recognize they’re getting a much lower price on the vehicle than if they were to buy it new. The hope is that any problems that do turn up will be minor and easy/inexpensive to fix. 

Even though used cars don’t have the same warranties as new cars, dealerships will often provide a limited warranty on some or all of the vehicle’s components. When buying a repossession, this is not the case. You buy the car “as-is” and that’s that. Whatever problems the vehicle has will become yours. 

This is not to say that all repossessed cars, trucks and RVs have problems. Many are actually in great condition and only require light cleaning and routine maintenance. Below are the most common car problems you can fix on your own. Don’t let them scare you out of a great repo purchase! 

Replace Dead Battery 

If the repo you’re inspecting isn’t running, it might need a new battery. Batteries are reasonable and can be replaced on your own. Here are a few ways to tell if the battery is dead or close to dying: 

  • The engine cranks but doesn’t start. 
  • The car starts but is sluggish. 
  • The engine starts but the interior lights don’t turn on. 
  • Jumpstarting the battery works. 

If it’s not the battery giving the repo vehicle trouble, it could be the alternator, which will need to be fixed by a professional. Alternators run from around $500 to $1,000. 

Install New Bulbs 

It’s possible that the repo will have non-working lights. You can change out any non-headlight bulbs (e.g., license plate, side marker, fog lights) by removing the retaining screws, pulling out the old bulbs and replacing them with new bulbs. Car headlights can be more difficult to remove and replace, but referring to the owner’s manual will likely provide you with the direction you need. 

Switch Out the Air Filter 

Air filters trap dirt and debris that could damage internal engine parts. They are often checked and replaced during routine oil changes, though it’s very likely that the previous owner didn’t do this. Inspect the air filter during your initial inspection. If it blocks 50% or more light, it will need to be replaced. 

Touch Up Chipped Paint 

It’s common for repossessed vehicles to have chipped auto paint from sitting outdoors. Fortunately, it’s easy to touch up auto paint without it looking shoddy. Clean the chip with wax and grease remover (purchased from the auto store). When dry, dip the applicator in paint and dab it onto the chip. After a month, apply wax to the area. The vehicle will look good as new! 

Fix a Leaky Sunroof

If the repo you’re interested in has a leaky sunroof, don’t be discouraged. It’s probably leaking because the sunroof drains are clogged. To fix this, locate the sunroof drains and clean out any debris that is stuck in them. There is protocol to follow on this, as you don’t want to damage the drain tubes. But, it’s an easy job you can do yourself. 

These are just some of the things you can fix on your own, so you shouldn’t let them deter you from an otherwise good repo purchase. To browse repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com and click on your state!

BMO Harris car repo

Purchasing a Repo Car from BMO Harris

BMO Harris has more than 12 million customers that count on them for personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment services. They are the 8th largest bank in North America, based on assets. The bank takes great pride in helping customers make the most of their money. 

With millions of customers, there will always be some who default on their loans. This sometimes happens with auto loans. 

BMO Harris Auto Loans 

When purchasing a car, a buyer may have to put some money down to cover the down payment and title fees, but they can finance the rest of their purchase. What some people don’t realize is how expensive car payments can be, especially once the interest rates are added on. 

Here is some basic information on BMO Harris auto loans. 

  • BMO Harris will finance cars, motorcycles, boats and RVs. 
  • Auto loan amounts start at $5,000 and go up to $30,000.
  • All loan products have fixed APRs that range from 4.8% to 7.11%.
  • Maximum loan terms are 72 months.
  • Loan origination fees are up to 1% of the loan amount.
  • Borrowers are charged late fees. 

When Auto Loan Borrowers Default 

When taking out a loan, the borrower agrees to pay it back according to the loan agreement. If, at any time, they can’t make the loan payments, the loan will go into default and the car can be repossessed. Usually, it only takes a few months for this to happen, as the bank isn’t going to continue losing money every month. 

Once the vehicle is repossessed, it is usually sold at an auction. Everyday people can bid on the vehicle, though dealerships are good at picking up decent cars and reselling them at a higher price. This is why it’s best to buy repossessions directly from the bank, as you don’t want to buy a repo with a price markup. 

Where to Find BMO Harris Repo Cars 

The best way to find repossessions from BMO Harris is by visiting their site directly. Being a large bank, their inventory changes often. Visit RepoFinder.com and click on the state you live in. You can then search for BMO Harris’ inventory of repo vehicles. Also, because BMO Harris provides financing for motorcycles, boats and RVs, you can also find these vehicles for auction. 

Currently, BMO Harris is only in ten states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Washington and Wisconsin, so do keep this in mind. You always want to be able to see the car before buying, so shop only as far as you’re willing to drive. 

repo car bought direct from a lender

Buying a Repo? Make Sure it’s Direct from a Lender

There are different ways to buy a repossession, such as through a physical auction house, an online auction service or a lender. At RepoFinder.com, we always recommend buying repos direct from lenders, banks and credit unions. You can find a better deal this way because lenders are motivated to sell. Also, they rarely put money into repos, so you’re not paying for things you can do yourself, like cleaning the vehicle or making minor repairs. 

It’s not always clear cut who you are buying from when purchasing a repossession. For example, some dealerships advertise repo cars and trucks. They aren’t lying – the vehicles really were repossessed. However, the dealership most likely put money into cleaning up and restoring the vehicle, which means the vehicle has a markup to it. 

So, how can you make sure that you’re buying a repo directly from the lender? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

Go Straight to the Source – Lender Websites 

If you do a general search for repossessions, advertisements and sponsored content will pop up first. This content is dominated by dealerships and auction sites that are trying to sell repos for a profit. They’ve likely taken the repos off the hands of lenders and credit unions, then prepped, repaired and added their markup to it. 

The better option is to look for repossessions directly on the websites of lenders, banks and credit unions. This means that you have to visit each site independently, which will take more time. But at least you know that you’re looking at true repos.  

Not sure which lenders and banks to start with? No worries! RepoFinder.com has taken care of the sorting for you. Visit our site, choose the state you live in and that’s it! You’ll be given a list of the banks and credit unions in your area that sell repos. Their inventory changes often, so be sure to check back frequently for newly added repossessions. 

Be Patient in Your Research 

While some people have landed a great repo car right away, this isn’t the norm. It usually takes time and patience to find a decent car at the right price. This is why we recommend starting early and taking your time finding a repossession. 

In some cases, you might find that a car you really like is going for more than its NADA or Kelley Blue Book value. This usually happens because more is owed to the bank than what the vehicle is worth. You should have some negotiating power in these instances, but it’s also possible that the bank will be firm. So, give yourself time to find the right vehicle. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to find repossessions directly from banks and credit unions. Browse our site today to find a repo car or truck that fits your needs and budget. 

buying a repossession from a bank

Buying a Repossession from Bank of America

This entry was posted in Repo Cars and tagged , , , on by .

Are you interested in buying a repossession from a bank or lender? This is a great option because you can buy directly from the source, saving money and possibly qualifying for a more attractive loan. While there are many banks that sell repos, Bank of America is one of the best options. 

Bank of America Repossessions 

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and has roughly $2.8 trillion in assets. In 2016, Bank of America was named No. 1 in online banking and mobile banking functionality. It also has the No. 1 U.S. retail deposit market share, with over $635.6 billion in consumer banking deposits in 2017. Bank of America is also one of the top mortgage lenders in the U.S.

With so much business happening on Bank of America’s end, there are also more opportunities for the general public to buy repossessed vehicles. Repossessions typically occur when the owner falls behind on their payments. Bank of America starts the repossession process when the owner hasn’t made payments in 60-90 days. 

Some owners give their vehicle back voluntarily. However, it’s more common for repossession to be involuntary, which means the lender takes the car without the owner’s permission. Once the vehicle is in Bank of America’s possession, they can sell the car to a new owner. 

Why Buy Repossessed Vehicles from Bank of America 

Repossessions are a great buy for people who are willing to put in the time and research to find a reliable car. Here are the benefits of buying a repo car through Bank of America.

  • Good selection. Bank of America is a large bank with repossessions in many states. With a bigger selection, you have more repos to choose from. In fact, many repos are in good condition – you might even be able to retain the warranty! 
  • Fair pricing. Unlike dealerships and private sellers, Bank of America does not take on the expense of cleaning and repairing the vehicle. Repos are sold “as-is,” but the cost savings go to you. 
  • Attractive financing. Bank of America offers financing, which means you can buy a repo and get financing for it through the same lender. Financing works in the same way as other transactions. Whatever you don’t pay out of pocket, you must finance through a lender. 

If you’re ready to browse repossessions, visit RepoFinder.com. We have a comprehensive Bank of America repo list that includes repo cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, campers, homes and more. Find the perfect match for you!

Kelley Blue Book values

How Accurate is Kelley Blue Book?

If you’re considering buying a repossession, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Kelley Blue Book (KBB) values. Given a history of over 90 years and millions of unique visitors logging onto the site each month, KBB is one of the most popular and trusted guides for automotive pricing. It can also be incredibly useful when placing a bid on a repo car. But, how reliable is KBB? 

Let’s go over the basics of how KBB determines used car values, some issues with pricing to think about and solutions when placing a bid on a repo car. 

How KBB Decides Used Car Values 

Kelley Blue Book regularly receives car prices from wholesale auctions, car dealers, rental fleets, auto manufacturers and private party sales. It uses a sophisticated algorithm to analyze pricing data, historical trends, current economic conditions, time of year, location and industry developments to come up with an accurate value for each vehicle.

Here are the different values each car is given. 

  • Private party value. This number tells you how much you can expect to pay for a vehicle through a private seller. 
  • Trade-in value. The trade-in value is the amount you’re likely to get when trading in your vehicle.
  • Suggested retail value. This is the price that car dealerships are usually asking for a vehicle.
  • Certified pre-owned value. Cars covered under certified pre-owned fall into this category.

As you can see, KBB takes many factors into consideration when determining the value of today’s vehicles. However, there is still a lag that must be accounted for, as it takes time to collect and analyze the data. It’s possible that the latest trends and economic conditions aren’t being accounted for in the latest number. Other than this, you can expect Kelley Blue Book to be a good benchmark for your bid. 

Tips for Bidding on a Repossession 

When you find a repossession that you want, the next steps are to inspect the vehicle and place a bid. Here are some tips that will help you place a strong bid.

  • Consider other sources. KBB is great, but there are other options as well. Check out the NADA Guide (the yellow book) and consumer reports. Compare your findings for the most accurate price. 
  • Negotiate. There is usually some room to negotiate when buying a repossession. Banks and lenders want these vehicles off their books and some will go below the KBB value. 
  • Set a limit. Know what you’re willing to pay for the vehicle. When multiple people bid on a repossession, it can drive up the price. Don’t let the excitement of winning a bid cause you to pay more for a car than you need to. 
  • Choose a bank or lender. Although you can bid through an online auction, it’s better to work with a lender or bank. You can get financing through this seller, which gives you more negotiating power and better terms. 

The Bottom Line

Kelley Blue Book is a great resource, but it’s not the only one out there. Be sure to consult other resources, establish a limit and do a thorough inspection. This way, you’ll be confident when it comes time to place a bid. To browse repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. in your area, visit RepoFinder.com. It’s FREE! 

buying an as-is car

Buying a Used Vehicle: What Does “As-is” Mean?

When you purchase a used vehicle that is marked in “as-is” condition, it means you are agreeing to buy the car in its current condition. If there are repairs that need to be made, you will be responsible for them. Repossessed cars are typically sold in “as-is” condition. If you are considering a repo car, it’s important to understand this term in its entirety. Repos can be great purchases as long as you know what you’re getting into. 

Let’s learn more about what “as-is” means and protective steps you can take. 

What You Get with an As-Is Car Purchase

When buying a car “as-is,” you get the vehicle in the condition that it’s currently in. Usually, the seller will sell the car “as-is” with no warranty. This lets the buyer know they are buying the vehicle without any warranty coverage. So, if you are driving home and the transmission fails, the seller is under no obligation to take back the repo or make repairs. 

Not having this peace of mind makes some people uncomfortable with a repo purchase, but “as-is” doesn’t mean that the vehicle is in poor condition. In fact, many repos are high-quality cars in great condition – their owners just couldn’t afford them anymore. As long as you have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic, don’t let “as-is” scare you away. 

Buying an As-Is Repo Car 

In order to buy an “as-is” repossession, you should take a few steps to protect yourself. It may be harder to get a history report on the vehicle, and it’s possible that the lender won’t know anything about it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Any information about the repo is helpful in knowing what work may be needed. 

Before making an offer, ask the lender if you can see the vehicle. Reputable sellers encourage this. Bring along a mechanic who will inspect the vehicle to uncover unknown problems. If there are issues found, you can either pass on the repo or negotiate a lower price. 

At the end of the day, being open to “as-is” vehicles is a great way to get a good car at a decent price. You just have to be willing to do your homework and bring along a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection. For a full list of lenders, banks and credit unions selling repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

credit score before buying used car

What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Used Car?

Whether you buy a new car, used car or repossessed car, you’ll need to pay for the vehicle before you take it home. Unless you have the cash upfront, you’ll have to take out a car loan. One of the biggest predictors in the type of loan you get and the interest rate you pay is your credit score. Knowing how important this three-digit number is, what do you need to get a decent used-car loan? 

Average Credit Scores for New and Used Cars 

According to a 2017 Experian report, the average credit score for a new-car loan was 713 and 656 for a used-car loan. A repossession is no different than a used car in the eyes of a bank. But, it’s your responsibility to do your homework. A used car from a dealership might have a warranty, but a repossession will not (unless it’s from the manufacturer). If you take out a loan for a repo and it ends up not running, you are still responsible for paying back the loan. 

So, what happens if you don’t have the average 656 credit score? You can still get a loan, but you can expect to pay more in interest rates. Someone in the low 700s might see interest rates of 5%, while someone in the low 500s might see 15%. Also, the state you live in makes a difference, as some states give higher insurance rates to those with poor credit. 

To break things down, here is a chart of credit scores vs average APRs on new and used vehicles, courtesy of Experian. 

Credit score Average APR, new car Average APR, used car
Superprime: 781-850 3.68% 4.34% 
Prime: 661-780 4.56% 5.97%
Non Prime: 601-660 7.52% 10.34%
Subprime: 501-600 11.89% 16.14%
Deep subprime: 300-500 14.41% 19.98%

Before You Start Shopping

One of the benefits you have when buying a repo car is the financing. When you purchase a repo directly from a lender or credit union, they are willing to work with you on the financing. They are banks, after all, and they make money by lending money.

Because it can take time to find the perfect repo car, use this period to check your credit profile and make improvements. You can request a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – once a year. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. 

Once you know what your score is, you can get a realistic idea of what interest rates you will be paying. If you have to delay your repo car purchase, bring your credit score up by doing the following: 

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Avoid applying for new credit
  • Keep credit card balances low relative to your limits
  • Leave old accounts open 

For a complete list of repossessed cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, boats, etc., visit RepoFinder.com today. Our list includes banks, lenders and credit unions that have repossessed vehicles and are willing to work with the public to sell cars and provide financing.

repossessed cars

Buying a Repo Car that Hasn’t Been Driven in a Long Time

It doesn’t take much for a car to be repossessed. In most states, one default can kickstart the repossession process. After default, the creditor can repossess the car at any time and without notice. This is why there are many great repossessions on the market, you just have to be willing to look for them. 

However, not all repossessions go quickly. Extensions may be granted on the loan – unsuccessfully. Then, when the car is finally repossessed, it goes to an impound lot where it’s held for 30 days. If the owner can’t catch up on payments, the lender gets the title and can sell the repo. 

It’s possible that the car you’re looking at has been sitting for a long time. The previous owner didn’t make their payments on time, so it’s almost guaranteed that the vehicle hasn’t received maintenance. How can you safely buy a repo car that hasn’t been driven? 

Here are a few tips to help you make a smart used car purchase. 

Bring Along a Mechanic 

Before bidding on a repo, ask to inspect the vehicle. Reputable lenders will allow you to do this. If you don’t know a lot about cars, bring along someone who does, preferably a mechanic. For a couple hundred dollars, you can get the answers you need. 

Below are a couple ways a mechanic can help: 

  • Check for corrosion and frame rot. If the car was parked outside for an extended period, it will probably show frame corrosion. Repairing this will be very expensive, so it’s best to move onto a different vehicle. 
  • Make sure it runs. If the car ran fine before, it won’t need much to restart. However, if it had problems in the past, think twice about the repo. It could be an easy fix (e.g., dead battery), but it’s more likely to be something major. 

Ask Why the Car Hasn’t Been Driven

The lender may or may not have information on the vehicle. It depends on how they acquired the repo in the first place. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask questions. Sometimes, lenders can shed light on why a particular vehicle was taken away from its owners. 

Pay Attention to Signs of “Lot Rot” 

“Lot rot” is a term that describes cars that sit too long on a dealership’s lot. The same rules apply for repossessed vehicles that haven’t been driven in a long time. It’s possible that they sat on the street for months without any maintenance. 

Be familiar with the signs of lot rot such as: 

  • Rust
  • Damaged paint 
  • Brake issues
  • Battery that won’t hold a charge
  • Flat spots on tires 
  • Screeching tires 

Even though repos are far cheaper than buying new or used from a dealership, you’re still making an investment that you will be responsible for. If you can’t drive the car off the lot, it’s your problem. This is why it’s important to do your research, ask the questions you can and bring along an expert to look at the vehicle. Fortunately, plenty of repos sit for a long time and manage to start up with no problems! 

To find a repossessed car that fits your needs and budget, browse RepoFinder.com for FREE!