Category Archives: Repo Cars

cars driving on the road

5 Things You Get When You Join RepoFinder Pro

RepoFinder is a nationwide directory of banks and credit unions that have repossessions for sale. These repos are sold to the public, so you do not need a dealer’s license to purchase them. You can use our site for free, allowing you to search for repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. in your state. However, if you find a vehicle that you’re interested in, you can benefit from upgrading your account to Pro status. 

Below are five things you get when you join RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month. No long-term contracts – cancel anytime! 

1. Full access to our Featured Repo list. 

If you want to learn more about any of the used vehicles on our directory, it helps to have RepoFinder Pro. With full access, you can view all information, such as the vehicle’s type, price, location, condition and other details. For example, has it been inspected by a mechanic? This will help you make informed decisions as to which repos you want to bid on at auction

2. Unlimited searches. 

There are no limits on the number of searches you do as a RepoFinder Pro member. This is important because it will probably take time to find a repo that fits your budget and buying criteria. Some people even bid on multiple vehicles before they win. To help narrow your search, use our category buttons. 

3. No sales fees or commissions. 

There are never any sales fees or commissions when you use RepoFinder Pro. We have an easy month-to-month subscription, and you can cancel anytime. At less than $5.00 a month, it’s easy to renew your membership until you find a repo that meets your needs. If you find a vehicle and your bid is accepted, you can cancel your membership – no strings attached. 

4. Access to the largest nationwide bank repo database. 

RepoFinder proudly offers the largest national bank repo database. We know that there are other repo listing sites out there, but none are quite as extensive as ours. You’ll find plenty of repossessions in your state that include cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, boats and even small aircraft. 

5. No dealer license required. 

With RepoFinder Pro, you can buy used cars and trucks without a dealer’s license. All repos listed on our directory are sold to the public. Other listing sites only sell to auto dealers who plan on buying vehicles in bulk at wholesale prices, which is why they require a special license. 

Feel free to browse our database at any time. It’s free and easy to use! If you find vehicles that you want to bid on or want more information on, you’ll have far more access by upgrading to RepoFinder Pro. With month-to-month subscriptions and a low fee, you have nothing to lose! 

man shopping for cars

Do I Need a Dealer’s License to Buy Repossessions?

If you’re interested in buying a repossessed vehicle for sale, you might be wondering if you need a dealer’s license to do so. Depending on who you buy the repo from, it’s possible that they may require a dealer’s license. But, not every repo seller does.

RepoFinder.com is a nationwide directory of banks and credit unions that sell repossessions to the public. You do NOT need a dealer’s license to buy any of the vehicles listed on our site. Let’s learn more about what a dealer’s license is, when you need it and why RepoFinder does not require one. 

What is a Dealer’s License? 

A car dealer’s license is required to start a dealership business. This license allows you to purchase new vehicles from car manufacturers and used vehicles from auto auctions. The benefit of having this license is that you can buy vehicles on a large scale. So, if you wanted to purchase ten vehicles from a repo auction, you could do so with a dealer’s license. 

To obtain a dealer’s license, you need proof of a federal tax identification number and evidence of your company’s name and location. Additionally, you need proof of insurance to cover all of the vehicles you plan to sell at your dealership. 

Why Would Someone Use a Dealer’s License to Buy Repos? 

Repossessed cars, trucks and recreational vehicles are hot. They are sold at highly discounted prices because the banks and credit unions are trying to recoup their losses. It’s not uncommon for repos to need some basic maintenance and repairs, as many haven’t received this from their owners. But, they tend to be in decent condition with few major problems. 

For this reason, the dealerships love getting repos. They can purchase the cars in bulk at a discounted rate, fix them up and sell them for as much as any other used car on the lot. This is why some repo listing sites and auctions require a dealer’s license. 

Does RepoFinder Require a Dealer’s License? 

RepoFinder sells repossessed vehicles to the public, so you do not need a dealer’s license to purchase a vehicle through our repo listing site. However, it’s important to know that each bank and credit union has different processes for selling repos. Therefore, you’ll want to visit each individual site to know what you need to purchase a vehicle.

For example, some banks will make you go through the bidding process while others allow immediate purchases. We do recommend working with banks that let you see the vehicle before you sign anything. Once you sign the paperwork, the car is yours whether it drives or not. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to shop for repossessions in your area. Check back often, as new repossessions are being added all the time! 

woman using a repo listing site

5 Reasons to Use a Repo Listing Site

If you are considering buying a repossessed car, truck or recreational vehicle, it’s best to start with a list of available vehicles in your area. This way, you can check out what lenders, banks and credit unions are selling in and around your location. 

It’s important to know that repo listing sites often charge fees. While you may not mind paying one or two fees, you certainly don’t want charges from multiple listing sites. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay to get a great selection of repossessions in your area. RepoFinder.com is free and allows you to search for repos by state. 

Below are five reasons to use a repo listing site like RepoFinder to find your next vehicle. 

1. Easy to find what you’re looking for. 

In most cases, it takes time to find a repo vehicle that meets your needs and budget. During your search, you don’t want to be jumping back and forth from one site to the next. A repo listing site allows you to browse vehicles in one simple place. 

2. View photos and descriptions. 

Repossessed listing sites feature photos and descriptions of the vehicles for sale. This way, you can get a close look at the used vehicles and the condition they’re in. Plus, because you’re using a listing site, you’ll find a consistent display of information. For example, RepoFinder offers the following info on most vehicles: 

  • Price 
  • Vehicle type
  • Location
  • Asking price 
  • Features 

3. Narrow down your search.

Using a repo listing site, you can narrow down your search based on several factors. For example, you can find vehicles by the category you want (i.e., aircraft, boat, car, equipment, etc.). You can also choose the banks, lenders and credit unions you prefer to work with. RepoFinder even offers quick links to used cars under $1,500, used trucks under $999 and auction yards in your area. 

4. Get an updated selection. 

One of the best parts about shopping on a repo listing site is that everything is updated regularly. As long as you check back often, you can ensure a great mix of repossessed cars, trucks and ATVs that have been recently listed. When you find something you’re interested in, you can research the vehicle and decide if you’re ready to place a bid. 

5. Find vehicles that aren’t posted elsewhere. 

When you do a quick Google search for repo vehicles, the results will turn up dealerships that are selling restored repos. That’s because the dealerships have money to pay for these advertisements. A repo listing site, on the other hand, has vehicles you won’t find anywhere else. They are true repos being sold at discounted prices. 

Shop with RepoFinder Today 

RepoFinder makes it easy to find repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, ATVs, boats, etc. in one place. Our site is free to use and explore. If you choose to sign up for RepoFinder Pro, it’s just $4.95 a month with the option to cancel anytime. There are no sales and commissions, and you get unlimited searches and full access to our repo reports. Find your budget-friendly repo today! 

red pickup truck

Is it Safe to Buy a Repo Car or Truck?

A repossessed car or truck is a great way to save money on your vehicle purchase. Not only can you get a great car at an affordable price, but you can also lower your monthly insurance costs and registration fees.

But, some people worry about the safety and reliability of these vehicles. If the previous owner failed to make their payments, they probably didn’t take the car in for routine maintenance. So, how safe can these cars and trucks be? 

When it comes to repo vehicles, each situation is unique. Some repos were maintained relatively well, but the owner fell on hard times. Others need basic maintenance like an oil change and new set of tires. And, there are vehicles that require too much work to be reliable. 

Bottom line: It is possible to find safe, dependable repo cars and trucks. Here are some tips to help you find one of your own. 

Know the Laws in Your State 

It helps to know the repossession laws in your state. Some states allow banks to take back a vehicle if the payment is late by just a few days. That said, most states enforce a grace period before allowing lenders to repo the vehicle. Also, because banks make money off interest, most try to work with the customer before taking away the vehicle. 

Nevertheless, if you live in a state that works quickly on repossessions, you may have a bigger selection of vehicles in decent condition to choose from. The longer your state takes to collect vehicles, the more time they have to sit there. 

Buy Directly from the Lender 

You can find very good deals by shopping through a lender. Dealerships sell repossessed vehicles, but they end up buying them from auctions and fixing them up. At least you know you’re getting a car that has been inspected by a mechanic, but it also means you’ll be paying just as much as you would for a used car. So, buy directly from the lender to save money. 

Most lenders are very good about supplying prospective buyers with information and photos of the vehicle. If you use a repo listing site like RepoFinder.com, you can look through all of the banks and credit unions in your state that are selling top-quality vehicles, as well as items like boats, RVs and ATVs. 

Ask to View the Repo Vehicle 

Many sellers will allow you to view the repo before signing anything. Typically, you’ll place your bid first, and if you win, you’ll have the chance to look at the car or truck. We always recommend bringing along someone who knows about cars so that you can identify potential red flags. 

We also recommend only buying repos that have proper documentation. If you purchase a car that has no title, you could face serious issues down the road proving ownership. Technically, the original owner could come back and claim the vehicle, even if you have been paying on it. 

Find a Safe, Reliable Repo with RepoFinder.com 

RepoFinder.com lists the banks, lenders and credit unions in your state that are selling repo cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, RVs and more. It’s free to use, and you’ll find plenty of pictures and descriptions about the repos for sale. When you find something you like, do your research on the vehicle to identify safety issues or other common problems. This will help you place a strong and effective bid. 

money coins

Why are Repos Priced So Cheap?

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When shopping for a repossessed car or truck, you’ll notice that the prices are much lower than what you would pay for a used vehicle from a dealership. This can make some buyers skeptical, but you don’t need to be. As long as you do your research, ask the right questions and perform an inspection before buying, you should have no problem finding a repo vehicle that is priced 25% to 40% lower than the cost of a similar used car. 

Here are some reasons why repos cost less than similar used vehicles. 

Unknown Condition 

The main reason why repos cost less is because their condition is unknown. When a vehicle comes to a dealership, a mechanic inspects it. Major problems are addressed, and the vehicle is cleaned and ready for a new owner. While helpful, all of this work adds to the price tag of the vehicle.

In the case of a repo car, there is no mechanic to check it out. It’s repossessed from the original owner, and if they can’t catch up on payments, the vehicle is sold through the lender or an auction. The highest bidder then gets the chance to inspect the vehicle before taking it home. 

It’s true that some repos are lemons, but many others are in good condition. They may need an oil change or new tires, but they’ll make a great vehicle. However, it’s up to you to make sure you’re buying a good car, which is why the savings go to you. 

Recoup Losses 

When banks and lenders take back vehicles from owners in default, they just want to recoup some of their losses. Their business comes from lending money to people – not selling cars. Therefore, they want the vehicle off their lot as soon as possible while also getting something out of it. 

There are several websites that specialize in selling repossessed cars, but not all are free. If you want to browse repossessions in your state at no cost, check out RepoFinder.com. Click on your state and view the repos up for bid. Most have descriptions that allow you to see what features the cars and trucks come with, as well as if the seller is accepting bids. 

Maintenance and Repairs

Generally speaking, people who let their car payments go into default are not scheduling regular maintenance. This means that many repos require maintenance and repairs to get them up to speed. With this in mind, banks and lenders price the vehicles at a competitive price so that they are still a bargain even with the added work.

The newer the car is, the less likely it is to need maintenance and repairs. So, if you don’t want to put a lot of work into a repo, we recommend sticking to vehicles that are less than 18 months old. Additionally, there is a large supply of lease returns around 3-4 years old that you can buy cheap. 

If you’re looking for an affordable vehicle for yourself or someone else in the family, a repo is a great option. Don’t be scared away by the low prices. You’ll have to assume more responsibility, but as long as you don’t mind taking this on, you can be successful in finding a great car at a great price. 

parking lot

What Do Banks Do with Repossessed Vehicles?

Most people who buy cars and trucks borrow money from the bank to do so. This means that they don’t own the vehicle free and clear, even though it’s theirs to drive around and maintain. If they stop making their monthly payments, the lender can take the vehicle away from them. This is often done without warning. Lenders might send a driver to get the car or take it away with a tow truck. 

Even though lenders don’t tell people when they’re coming to pick up the car, it’s not a surprise. When borrowing money from a lender, you have to agree to specific terms. This includes making your payments on time and maintaining insurance. If you don’t meet these requirements, the bank has the right to take the vehicle away. 

So, where do these vehicles go once they are taken by the bank? Surely they don’t sit in the parking lot! Let’s learn more about where repossessions go and how people like you can benefit from them. 

Where Repo Cars and Trucks Go 

When the bank comes to collect a car, truck, boat, etc. that is behind on payments, they often bring them to third-party storage facilities. These facilities specialize in managing the repossession and storage of repos. In some cases, however, the banks provide their own storage. 

Regardless of where the repo is being stored, the banks will hold it there until they list it for sale. In the meantime, they hope that the original owner makes payments and takes back the vehicle. If the owner cannot do that, the car is listed for sale. Lenders might sell the car to a dealership, while others organize auctions or list the vehicles on their website where private sellers can place a bid. 

How Repos Benefit the General Public 

The goal for the lender is to recoup some of their losses. This isn’t always possible, though, because repos are sold for a heavily reduced price. If the lender wants to recoup more of their losses, they will try to collect payment from the original owner – this “loss” does not get passed onto the new buyer. That said, the lender is responsible for selling the car at a reasonable market price. 

Here are some of the ways that repossessed vehicles help out the general public:

  • Affordable prices. Cars are expensive and not everyone can afford a new car payment. Repos are sold at low prices, allowing people to get a good vehicle at an affordable price. The affordability of these vehicles also makes them great for teens and college students and older adults who don’t drive much. 
  • Safe, reliable cars. There is a stigma that repo cars aren’t good cars, but this isn’t the case. Older vehicles are often paid off. It’s the newer vehicles that people have trouble affording and end up defaulting on their loan (average car loans are between 2 and 6 years). In reality, repos are often newer cars that are in good condition. 
  • Less waste. Rather than abandoning repossessed vehicles, they are sold through auction sites and dealerships to people who need them. Furthermore, it may be more environmentally friendly to drive a used car because it has less carbon dioxide emissions. 

Ready to check out the repossessions in your area? Visit RepoFinder.com, click on your state and find the banks, lenders and credit unions that are selling repossessed vehicles at great prices! 

car keys in hand

What Happens if a Car Doesn’t Have a Title?

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A car title proves that you are the owner of a vehicle. This is why the team at RepoFinder always recommends buying used vehicles with a title. Otherwise, someone who has the valid title can come and take your car away because they are the rightful owners – even if you paid for the vehicle. 

But what happens if you find a vehicle that you want and it doesn’t have the title? While it’s a risky move, there are some ways you can make a safer purchase. Below are some tips on how to buy a car without a title. 

Get background information 

First, do a little research. Is there a reason why the vehicle doesn’t have a title? It’s possible that the original document was misplaced or stolen. Some vintage cars are also difficult to register and obtain a title.

Here are some questions we suggest asking: 

  • Where did you get the car? 
  • How long have you had the vehicle? 
  • Is there a lien on the car? 
  • What is the VIN? 
  • Who has current ownership of the car? 

Make sure it wasn’t stolen 

It’s important to know that you are buying a legal car. You can use a tool like AutoCheck or Carfax to find out the legal status of the vehicle, as well as other information like its odometer reading, accident history and insurance claims. Additionally, check out the car’s VIN from your state’s DMV. However, be aware that your DMV may not be able to answer all of your questions due to confidentiality and privacy issues.

Get a bill of sale 

As long as there are no red flags, you can proceed with the sale. But, do protect yourself by documenting everything. The first thing to write up is a bill of sale. This will help prove ownership and document other information like if the seller is going to supply you with a replacement title. If this is the case, we suggest putting your money in escrow and not paying in full until you get the title. 

Get a surety bond title 

If the vehicle’s title was lost or stolen, you can request a lost title bond. These bonds protect the DMV from the loss of the vehicle and potential damages, as well as protects buyers from obtaining fraudulent duplicates of titles. Once everything is verified by the surety bond company, you’ll pay a percentage of the bond amount. As long as no issues arise, you can get a clean title in 3-5 years. 

While we don’t recommend buying cars without their titles, there are certain times when it makes sense to do so. When shopping for repo cars, you might find that some have “repo titles.” This is fine – all it means is that the car was repossessed. Once you purchase the vehicle from the bank or lender, the title is transferred to your name. To browse repos with clean titles, visit RepoFinder.com today. 

mechanic checking a vehicle

How to Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection for an Out-of-State Repo

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Unlike new and used vehicle purchases from a dealership, repos are sold “as-is.” This means that you buy the car in its current condition with no option for a refund. In return for an “as-is” sale, you get a vehicle at a highly discounted price. Inspecting the repo ensures you bring home a safe and reliable car that may only require cosmetic improvements or minor repairs.

But, what happens if you find a car that you love but in a different state? This is common with repos as inventory can be limited. Below are some tips on how to get a pre-purchase inspection for an out-of-state repo. 

Gather information on the vehicle 

When you use a repo finder tool like RepoFinder.com, you can shop for repos by state. So, let’s say that you broaden your search and find a repo a couple of states over. The first thing to do is let the seller know that you are interested. There’s usually a Contact button that allows you to contact the seller. They may even be able to give you more information about the car’s condition. 

Inspect the online photos 

Take a close look at the photos available online. You can learn a lot from online auction photos, such as the condition of the interior and exterior, frame damage and wheel misalingment. Having lots of pictures is a good indication that the car is in fair shape. If you’re having trouble getting photos, it may mean that the seller is trying to hide damage. 

Send out a local mechanic 

If everything looks good so far, send out a mechanic who can assess the vehicle for you. Here is a great resource from the IAA that lists qualified companies that provide vehicle inspection services. Find an inspection company in the state the vehicle is in and ask about their availability. 

Notify the seller

Let the seller know that you plan to have the vehicle inspected. Coordinate with the seller and the vehicle inspection service to place an appointment. It’s possible that the two parties can talk to each other to figure out a good time, but this rarely happens. Instead, expect to schedule this appointment on your own after speaking to both parties.

Get the results

Because this is a repo sale, the seller may not bring it to a mechanic. You’ll most likely count on the mechanic to travel to the site on their own time. So, expect to pay around $250 or more for this. Once the mechanic has checked everything, they will give you an update over the phone. Mechanics don’t always catch everything, but at least you’ll have a pretty good idea if the car is worth buying or not.

Out-of-state repos are definitely more of a hassle than in-state ones, but sometimes people can’t find what they’re looking for unless they expand their reach. For a complete list of repo cars, trucks and recreational vehicles in or around your area, visit RepoFinder.com

repo vehicle

5 Things to Look for in Online Auto Photos

When you’re browsing for clean or salvage title cars for sale, you have no choice but to rely on the information and photos provided. The quickest way to get an overall idea of each vehicle’s condition is by looking at the images. You can learn a lot from these pictures, including what the interior and exterior look like. However, there are things you can miss if you’re not careful. 

To help you select the best repo car for your budget, here are five things to look for in online auto photos.

1. Check for pooling liquids.  

Look at the ground under and around the vehicle. Is it dry? Or do you notice spots of pooling liquid? It’s not always possible to see this, and even if you do, the liquid may be from another vehicle. That said, pooling water or oil can indicate a serious mechanical problem so it’s important to check up on it. 

2. Look over the engine. 

Check for photos of the engine, and if there aren’t any available, ask for them. You’ll want to know if engine damage, corroded connections or missing parts are a problem. Repossessions are sold as is, so any engine issues are your responsibility to fix. Unfortunately, some people tamper with the engines when they know their vehicle is going to be repossessed. 

3. Locate the keys. 

If you plan on driving the vehicle off the lot, you’ll need a set of keys. The best way to check for them is to see if they’re physically present in the photos. A lot of times, the keys are hanging around the steering wheel. Other times, they’re held in an office to prevent theft. If you do need to replace the keys, budget roughly $100-$400 a set. 

4. Follow up on panel gaps.

Panel gaps don’t always indicate serious damage, but they are worth looking into, especially if the listing mentions “damage history” or “partial repair.” For example, a panel gap between the front panel and hood may mean that the vehicle was in a front-end collision that resulted in frame damage. 

5. Make sure the wheels match up. 

One last thing to check is the wheels. Many repossessed vehicles are not properly maintained, so it’s common to need new tires. But, some tire problems can indicate a more serious problem. For instance, misaligned wheels may be a sign of a bent or broken axle that will make the car inoperable.  

At RepoFinder, we always recommend having an inspection done. It’s best to search for repossessions in your local area so that you can visit them in person. However, if you find a vehicle you love but can’t inspect it yourself, hire a third party service. This way, you’ll have the clarity you need to make a confident and competitive offer. 

man looking at vin in car

Buying a Repo: What Does a VIN Lookup Tell You?

If you’re interested in buying a repo car or truck, you can learn a lot of information from the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). A VIN is a unique code given to every vehicle when it’s manufactured. It contains 17 letters and numbers that can be found on the vehicle’s dashboard on the driver’s side. The numbers may seem random, but each section gives information on the vehicle’s origin.

Here at RepoFinder, we always remind car shoppers to inspect the vehicles they plan on purchasing. There are many great repos out there, but you have to do your research! The VIN is a good place to start. You can use this free tool from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check if the car is subject to a recall. 

Breaking Down a VIN 

VIN information is organized into groups. By looking at each section, you can get a lot of information on a vehicle. For detailed charts breaking down the meaning of each digit and letter, visit driving-tests.org

  • First letter or digit. The first letter identifies the country of origin. For example, cars made in the U.S. start with a 1, 4 or 5, whereas cars made in Canada begin with a 2. Letters may also be used to indicate a country, as is the case with England (“S”), Germany (“W”) and South Korea (“K”). 
  • Second letter. The next letter tells you about the manufacturer. In some cases, the letter stands for the manufacturer’s name – “A” for Audi, “B” for BMW and “G” for General Motors. However, this isn’t always consistent because the letter “A” can also refer to Jaguar or Mitsubishi. 
  • Third digit. The third number, when combined with the first two letters and numbers, tells you the vehicle’s type. 
  • Numbers 4-9. The next set of numbers describes the vehicle’s model, body type, restraint system, transmission type and engine code. 
  • Number 9. This number is the check digit, which is used to detect invalid VINs. 
  • Numbers 10-17. The next group of numbers indicates the vehicle identifier section. For example, Number 10 is the model year, Number 11 is the manufacturing plant and the last six numbers are the production sequence numbers. 

VIN Checks are Free

Now that you have the basics on what a VIN stands for, you can get to work checking the VINs of the repos you’re looking at. You can run a VIN check for free, but this will only provide you with basic information on the car. We still recommend talking to the bank or credit union that has possession of the vehicle and doing a thorough inspection. For a full list of bank repos in your area, visit RepoFinder.com