Category Archives: Repo Cars

buy car from bank or private seller

Banks vs Private Sellers: Which is Safer for Buying Cars?

If you’re interested in buying a used car, you have several options. Many people choose to buy a used vehicle from a dealership, but cars are hard to come by these days. The global microchip shortage is restricting new car inventory, and this has led to restricted used car supply because fewer people are trading in their vehicles. 

With less used cars at the dealership, more people are turning to banks and private sellers. Let’s look at the differences between buying cars from a bank or credit union versus a private seller and what option is best for you. 

Vehicle History 

A private seller will typically have more information on a vehicle’s history than a bank. Private sellers are usually selling a car they own or have driven, so they’ll be somewhat familiar with its history. However, not all private sellers are honest, so it’s up to you how much you want to trust them. 

Banks and lenders, on the other hand, might repo hundreds or thousands of cars per year, so they usually know very little about a car’s history. Your best option is to request a Carfax report so that you have access to the vehicle’s history. Having some background information will offer you peace of mind. 

Financing 

Financing a used car is a bit trickier than financing a new one. Interest rates are higher, and some banks won’t finance cars that are past a certain age or mileage. It’s also harder to find financing when you buy a car from a private seller. Lenders worry about dishonest sellers that could result in the buyer defaulting on their loan. 

When you purchase a repossessed car from a bank or credit union, you’ll have a much easier time getting a loan. In fact, many of the banks that sell vehicles on RepoFinder are highly motivated and often willing to negotiate financing. Plus, it’s one-stop shopping! You can buy a car and get financing all in one! 

Purchase Price 

Another important factor to consider is the purchase price of the vehicle. Many people think that private sellers are cheaper, but this isn’t always the case. It’s not uncommon for private sellers to price their vehicles higher because they have an emotional attachment to them. 

Banks have no attachment to their vehicles so they’re usually in a better position to negotiate. When you use RepoFinder to buy a repossessed car, either a price will be listed or the seller will be taking bids. Do your research so that you can make a strong bid! 

Hopefully this information has helped determine what is best for you – buying a used car from a private seller or a bank. If you’re interested in browsing the latest repossessed inventory, click on your state on RepoFinder and find a vehicle that works for you! 

repo car

2021 Repo Statistics You Should Know

RepoFinder offers a full directory of banks, credit unions and public auctions selling repossessions in all 50 states. Buying a repossession is a great option for do-it-yourselfers who aren’t afraid to look for a great deal and purchase a car that might need some TLC.

What you may be wondering is where all these cars come from! Believe it or not, repossessions are very common in the U.S. Whenever a person misses payments on their auto loan, the lender can take their car away. This situation is not uncommon, especially lately with so many people facing hardships due to COVID. 

How Long Does it Take for a Car to Be Repossessed? 

In some states, lenders have the right to take back a vehicle after just one missed payment. In other states, it takes several missed payments to repo a vehicle. Most lenders will give the car owner a chance to catch up on their auto loan, and if they’re unable to do so, the car will be auctioned off. 

Many repossessed cars are sold in dealer-only auctions. This means that you need a dealer’s license to buy a vehicle. However, RepoFinder sells repossessions to the general public. All of the cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles in our directory are available to the public at discounted prices. There’s no middleman – you’ll buy your new car directly from the bank or credit union! 

Why Repossession is So Common in the U.S. 

In the United States, 2.2 million vehicles are repossessed every year. Repossessions are not uncommon, especially in today’s world when nearly 1 out of 3 Americans are having trouble covering their household expenses, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

To complicate matters, auto loans are not cheap. Cars are expensive and most people have no choice but to finance them. The most common term is 72 months, with 84 months not far behind. And, the average monthly car payment in the U.S. is $563 for new vehicles, $397 for used vehicles and $450 for leased vehicles. 

Ultimately, if a person misses their car payments, they can have their car taken away at any point. While this will put a dent in their credit score, it may be their only option. 

2021 Car Repossession Data 

In the United States this year: 

Repossession rates are at 65 percent compared to yearly new car sales. This means that for every 2.4 cars sold, one existing vehicle will be repossessed. As this article points out, auto defaulting is at its highest. Americans are borrowing more than ever before for vehicles, but this also puts them at a higher risk for defaulting. 

Take Advantage of Repo Inventory 

In summary, repossessions are common but many of them never make it to the general public. They’re picked up by dealerships that then go on to sell the cars for a profit. For access to a huge selection of repossessed cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles like boats and ATVs, shop on RepoFinder today. 

online car shopping for repos

Your Top 5 Questions On Buying a Repo Car…Answered!

Thinking about buying a repossessed vehicle? This is a great way to save money while getting a reliable car with all the latest features. But chances are, you probably have a few questions about what the process entails and how to find the best deals. We’re here to help! 

Shopping for repo cars is easy, but it helps to be an informed buyer. This is the best way to ensure you bid on the right vehicles and walk away with something safe, reliable and reasonably priced. 

Below are the top five questions we hear from people interested in buying repos, along with our responses.

1. What are repossessed cars, exactly? 

When people can’t afford to make their car payments, the bank that gave them the loan can take the car back. Some cars are returned voluntarily while others are taken by the repo man. Based on 2021 data, there are over 2 million repossessions every year. While there are many repos out there, not all are available to the public. Many repos are sold at dealer-only auctions. 

2. Should I buy a repossessed vehicle? 

Only you can make the decision as to whether or not you should buy a repossessed vehicle. However, we can tell you that there are many reasons to consider this avenue such as: 

  • Cheaper than used vehicles sold at a dealership 
  • Able to negotiate the price – repo sellers are highly motivated 
  • Quick turnaround times, especially in today’s market 
  • Save money on insurance and interest  

3. How do I know I’m getting a repo car? 

The only way to know that you’re getting a true repo is by buying directly from a bank or credit union. Dealerships sometimes advertise repos, but this isn’t really true. Usually in these cases, the dealer purchased the car at a discount, cleaned it up and is now selling it for a profit. 

You can research repos in your local area or use a site like RepoFinder to find repossessed cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and motorcycles. RepoFinder gives you a much better selection and you can feel good knowing that all transactions are between you and the seller – no middleman. 

4. What concerns should I have when buying a repo? 

The hard thing about repo cars is that you don’t know how well the previous owner took care of them. Some repos are in great condition while others need some work. The key is to place a smart bid that leaves room to afford necessary repairs. 

We always recommend that buyers do their research, ask questions and schedule an inspection before signing the paperwork. Avoid overbidding as well. Even though we’re experiencing a car shortage, you shouldn’t pay more than you need to. Patience goes a long way in this industry! 

5. Why should I shop for repos at RepoFinder? 

RepoFinder lets you buy repossessions directly from local banks and credit unions. Our site is free to use, though you can upgrade to RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month – cancel anytime. We add new repos on a regular basis and make it easy to research and place bids directly on our website. 

Don’t take our word for it – shop at RepoFinder and find affordable repos in your area. 

auction hammer

What’s the Difference Between a Closed and Open Bid?

If you’re looking for the best deal on a vehicle, an auction can be a great place to shop. Car auctions are often cheaper than private sellers and dealers, but you’ll need to know how to place an effective bid. 

Most of the time, you’ll need to register with the auctioneer to place a bid. If you win, you’ll have to put down a deposit and return later for the full payment. However, each auction is different from the next, so it’s important to ask about their specific protocols. 

Today we’re going to talk about the two types of bids you can place: an open bid and a closed bid. Understanding their similarities and differences will help you find the best auctions to work with. 

How Car Auctions Work 

An auction refers to a sale in which buyers compete for an asset – in this case a car – by placing bids. Auctions are done in a variety of formats, including online or in-person. There are many types of cars sold through auctions, and many are in good condition. For example, repossessed cars are often sold at auctions because banks want to recoup some of their losses. 

There are a number of benefits to enjoy by buying a car through an auction such as fast turnaround times, great deals and a wide selection. And thanks to online auctions that can be done from the convenience of home, many people are finding that it’s safer and easier to buy cars this way instead of through a dealer. 

Open Bids vs Closed Bids 

There are two types of auctions: an open auction and a closed auction. 

  • Open auctions. In an open format, all bidders are aware of the bids submitted. Interested parties will place their bids and continue bidding higher until someone wins. Usually, the car is given to the person with the highest bid. 
  • Closed auctions. In a closed format, people place bids without anyone knowing what they are. Only the sellers know the bids and they may choose to do one round of bids or more depending on the bids they receive. 

We also want to point out that most auctions have fees you’ll have to pay if you do win the bid. This fee is paid on top of the winning bid. We also recommend arranging to inspect the vehicle in person and requesting a car history report. 

Shop for Repossessed Cars at RepoFinder – it’s Easier than an Auction! 

At RepoFinder, you can place bids on vehicles at any time. You do not need to wait for an auction to start. All of our vehicles are sold directly through banks and credit unions, so the transaction is between you and them. By cutting out the middleman, you’re able to significantly reduce time and out-of-pocket costs. Shop with RepoFinder today and find a safe, reliable car at a great price! 

new cars on dealer lot car shortage

Dealerships Continue to Battle Shortages. Are Repos Your Best Option?

Across the country, dealerships are facing an inventory shortage. This shortage is due to a lack of microchips being produced that are needed to run vehicles. On average, there are about 200 of these microchips in a standard vehicle. Manufacturers like to have a 45 to 60 day supply of these chips, but most only have a 10 day supply.

Let’s learn more about why there is a chip shortage, how it has affected the automotive industry and why buying a repo car might be your best option.

What is the Chip Shortage? 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers cut back on their orders for microchips with the assumption that the car business was going to tank. Instead, the opposite happened. It took off. A lot of this had to do with the convenience of online car shopping – people were able to buy vehicles without having to leave their homes. 

Not only were people buying cars during the pandemic, but also the demand for personal electronics like cell phones and laptops increased. These same chips are used in these electronics, so production could not keep up with the demand. 

Fast forward to today and now car manufacturers have a bunch of cars fully built and ready to go to the dealerships but they don’t have the necessary microchips. Not only are dealerships low on inventory, but also they’ve had to increase their prices to help deal with the shortages. 

Now is a good time to trade in your vehicle, but buying something won’t be easy. So what do you do if you need something reliable and affordably priced? Buy a repo car! 

Why Repo Cars Might be Your Saving Grace 

Not everyone can wait for a new car. Some people are buying cars before they even hit the lot, but if you need something safe and reliable to get you to work or school, you can’t wait. A better option is to shop for a repossessed car, or a car that has been seized from its owner for failure to pay

Repo cars are often in good condition, though do expect to pay for some light repairs or maintenance. Usually when people aren’t making their car payments, they’re not paying for maintenance either. RepoFinder has a great selection of cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. that you can bid on for free! 

Some of the benefits of buying a repossessed vehicle are: 

  • Incredible savings – pay a fraction of what you would pay through a dealership
  • Fast turnaround times – our cars are available and ready to take home 
  • Motivated sellers that want to move their inventory – work out an even better deal! 

If you’re not finding what you need through a dealership, shop with RepoFinder. We continue to update our inventory with fresh vehicles that are ready for their next owner. 

stoplights

Stoplight System: Use This When Shopping at a Car Auction

When shopping at a car auction, many people use the “stoplight system” to determine if a vehicle is a good purchase or not. This is an important system to know for two reasons. First, using the stoplight system can help you find the best repo car for your needs. Second, when you understand the stoplight system, you’ll know what the sellers are talking about when they use terms like “red and yellow light.” 

Let’s learn more about the stoplight system and how to use it to your advantage during live or online auctions. 

What is the Stoplight System? 

Auctions have a standard light/video display system to describe the condition and/or disclosures related to the vehicle being sold. It’s an easy and straightforward way for sellers to communicate and for buyers to know what they’re bidding on.

Here is how the stoplight system breaks down: 

  • Green light. A green light indicates that a vehicle is ready to “ride and drive.” If you see a car with a green light, it means that the vehicle is free from any known defects. If anything major turns up with the car, arbitration is possible. 
  • Yellow light. A yellow light is more common with repossessed vehicles because it limits arbitration. Vehicles with a yellow light have some acknowledged issues, so arbitration is not an option. 
  • Red light. When it comes to repossessed cars, red lights are most common. This is not to say that the vehicles are in poor condition but rather that they are being sold as-is. Because repo cars are sold in their current condition, they often fall into this category. Arbitration is not an option. 
  • Red and yellow light. It’s possible for a vehicle to have both red and yellow lights. What this means is that the vehicle will only qualify for arbitration under the rules in the policy. Essentially, you’re buying an as-is car with no arbitration. 
  • Blue light. This light is used to tell buyers that the title is not present at the time of sale. 

Know Your Buyer Responsibilities 

As the buyer, it’s important to know what your responsibilities are. Being a smart and savvy shopper ensures you get a good vehicle that is safe and fairly priced. At RepoFinder, we strongly encourage all buyers to schedule a post-sale inspection (PSI). It’s also possible that the vehicle has the original warranty intact. You won’t get any dealer warranties, but if the vehicle is still under warranty, this will be transferred to you. 

Between using the stoplight system and having a post-sale inspection done, your chances of getting a good quality repo are much higher. To start your search for a repo vehicle, click on your state on our homepage and view the banks with repos available! 

Black Book of Values

Black Book Car Value: What Does this Mean?

There are a number of “book values” out there to help car owners get an accurate price on their vehicle. They were given the name of “book values” because back in the day, car values were printed on paper. Today, they’re available online. In this post, we’re going to cover Black Book values, but don’t forget that there are also red and blue ones just like Kelley Blue Book. 

What is the Black Book? 

The Black Book is a valuation website that provides car values and other information for dealers. It’s used to determine trade-in values, look at wholesale prices for auctions and decide on prices for used vehicles. Everyday consumers aren’t usually able to get Black Book prices, though there are similar resources online such as Edmunds

The difference between the Black Book and Blue Book is that the Black Book is designed for dealerships and the Blue Book is designed for consumers. For example, a consumer would use Kelley’s Blue Book to determine their trade-in value, while a dealership would use the Black Book to establish the value of a trade-in. 

Both the Blue Book and the Black Book evaluate millions of data points from dealerships and auctions to determine pricing. 

How Accurate is the Black Book? 

Generally speaking, the valuations are more specific in the Black Book. It’s updated more often and it collects data from wholesale auctions both in person and online. These numbers are then compared to the dealer advertised prices. Subscriptions are required to access Black Book access, though the public does have access to the price search features through third party sites. 

Do I Need to Know Black Book Values to Find the Best Prices? 

When shopping for used cars, you do not need to know any Black Book values. However, we do recommend knowing Blue Book numbers. These values are meant for consumers who are shopping for used vehicles. They can determine how much they should be paying for the vehicles they’re interested in, as well as what their trade-in is worth. 

Overall, the Blue Book is a trusted resource for consumers. It pulls information from a wide variety of sources, including weekly auto auctions and car selling sites. An algorithm then sorts through this information to make sense of it. The prices are posted and then shared with consumers. 

However, Kelley Blue Book is still just a guide – not an end-all-be-all. Many people think Kelley Blue Book sets its prices but it actually tracks prices. And sometimes, the information is outdated because it takes time to collect, organize and report. As long as you’re aware of this, you can use the Blue Book to your advantage. 

RepoFinder Has the Best Prices on Repo Cars

RepoFinder has a huge selection of used vehicles. These vehicles are mostly owned by banks and credit unions because their previous owner defaulted on their payments. With so many repo cars to choose from, you can find the perfect vehicle at an affordable price. Shop with us today and find a vehicle that meets your needs and budget. 

buying as-is car

What Does it Mean to Buy a Car in As-Is Condition?

When buying a car, you might come across vehicles sold in as-is condition. While the description is pretty obvious – you’re buying a car in the exact condition it’s in – it’s still important to know what this means and what you can expect with your purchase. Most importantly, don’t let buying as-is scare you away. If you’re looking for a great discount on a car, this might be the way to go! 

What Does As-Is Mean in the Car Industry?

You can buy many things in as-is condition – a home, a retail product or a car. All it means is that the item is being sold in its current condition with all issues known and unknown. In other words, if there are problems with the vehicle, the seller is not responsible for them. 

In terms of a vehicle, it’s also important to know that buying as-is means the car likely doesn’t have a warranty. (With newer repo cars, there is a chance the warranty is still intact.) Again, any problems that turn up with the vehicle are not the responsibility of the seller. You’ll have to pay for them out of pocket. 

What’s the Benefit of Buying an As-Is Vehicle? 

Because the buyer is taking a risk, as-is vehicles are discounted. For example, RepoFinder has a huge database of repossessed vehicles being sold by banks, credit unions and other lenders. They are selling their vehicles in as-is condition but for a discount. 

Many of the vehicles they’re selling are in good condition. They might need some basic maintenance, but nothing too elaborate. By purchasing these types of vehicles at a discount, you’ll have enough money to pay for the repairs and maintenance as well as have lower car payments each month. It’s a win-win on both sides! 

What are Some of the Risks of Buying As-Is?

Of course, buying anything as-is always comes with some risk. If you’re unhappy with the car or it ends up having significant problems, you can’t just drive it back to the dealership for a refund. This is why it pays to be a smart shopper. Look at the pictures, ask the seller questions, research the types of problems the particular car has (if any) and inspect the vehicle before signing the paperwork.  

Additionally, when you schedule an inspection, bring along someone who knows cars, whether it’s a mechanic or a knowledgeable friend. They’ll know some of the obvious things to look for. Once you’ve done your research, you can place a comfortable bid that will get you the car you want at a fair price. 

Shop for As-Is Vehicles Today 

RepoFinder makes it easy to shop for as-is vehicles. Browse our website for cars in your area that are being sold by credit unions and banks. They’re motivated sellers who are often willing to negotiate the best prices! 

parking lot of cars

What Happens When Cars are Repossessed?

When a person has trouble paying their auto loan, they can face repossession. Repossession laws vary by state, but in most cases, cars can be repossessed anywhere and without notification. Usually, the owner will have an opportunity to reclaim the car by catching up on payments or paying off the loan. If they’re unable to do this, the lender will keep the car and sell it to recoup their losses. 

Banks and credit unions are motivated sellers. They are in the business to make money by borrowing money – not selling motorcycles or sports cars. So, if you’re looking to buy a car at a discount, it’s worth looking into repo inventory sold directly through banks and lenders. You can get a car at an affordable price and possibly negotiate something lower! 

How Long Does it Take to Repossess a Car? 

From a legal standpoint, a lender can repossess a car after missing just one payment. It all depends on the state and the terms of the auto loan. But while they might seem eager, lenders don’t want their borrowers to default on their payments. And they don’t want to repossess cars, either. This process costs money. 

Unfortunately, not all vehicle owners can or want to catch up on their payments. If they can’t reclaim their car after the 30-day holding period, the banks will list it for sale. 

Where are Repossessions Sold? 

Lenders typically use third parties to repo and store their vehicles. Because they have to pay for storage fees, they want to move repossessions quickly. If the owner is unable to catch up on their payments, the banks will sell to one of the following: 

Dealership

Those who have a dealer’s license can purchase repos directly from an auction. Dealerships do this all the time and have the resources to inspect, clean and repair the vehicles. However, it’s important to know that these cars are not true repos, at least to the consumer. They are more like used vehicles because they have gone through an inspection and cost more. 

Private auction

Another option is for banks to sell their repossessed inventory through an auction where private sellers are welcome to place a bid. Private auctions give priority to their members who pay a fee to use their services. You don’t need a dealer’s license to join a private auction, but you will need to pay a fee. 

Public auction

Public auctions are open to the public. Typically, you can browse the inventory for free, but if you want to place a bid, you’ll need to pay a nominal fee. Public auctions tend to have a wide inventory of used cars, but you might have to dig through them to find what you want. Good cars go fast, so we always tell customers to be patient as well. 

Shop for a Repo Vehicle Today 

Repossessions are just like other vehicles, though some do require a bit more work and maintenance to get them up to speed. If their previous owner wasn’t making their payments, they probably weren’t taking their car in for oil changes and tire rotations, either. As long as you’re willing to put this into your new ride, you can walk away with an affordable car with all the features you want! 

pickup truck

Seized vs Repossessed vs Government Owned: What’s the Difference?

When shopping around for a used vehicle, you have more options than just the dealership. You can shop easy and get a great deal when you consider seized, repossessed or government owned vehicles. But first, it helps to know the difference between these types of vehicles, where they come from and how to get the best prices. 

What are Seized Cars? 

Each year, thousands of cars are seized by the banks, the government and law enforcement agencies. Many of these vehicles are put up for auction and sold to the public. Some are purchased by dealerships, cleaned up and then sold for a higher price. If you’re looking for a bargain, you’ll want to stick to vehicles that are being sold directly from the banks or lenders. 

Cars seized by the banks or government don’t always have a lot of information on them. Therefore, it’s up to you to do your research, look at the images and ask questions. You can also learn more about the vehicle by understanding what type of car it is and where it came from. 

Types of Repossessed Vehicles 

Cars are sold at auction for different reasons. Oftentimes, they were taken from their previous owner who defaulted on their payments. In some states, it takes just two or three missed payments to start the repossession process. Banks and lenders work quickly because they need to recoup their losses. Other times, the cars come from law enforcement or government agencies. More details are often known about these vehicles. 

Let’s look closer at the different types of repo vehicles: 

  • Seized cars. These cars are taken by law enforcement for having too many traffic violations. Or, they can be confiscated during a raid. These vehicles are usually well-maintained by the owner. In fact, the IRS and courts tend to seize luxury vehicles in good condition because they’re worth more.
  • Repossessed car. Repo cars are seized by lenders who haven’t been receiving payments. These cars are sometimes in poor quality because the owners couldn’t afford their loan, and therefore, probably couldn’t afford maintenance and repairs either. But a lot of great repos are out there! 
  • Previously-owned government cars. Government-owned cars were owned by government agencies that no longer need them. Most agencies update their cars often so these cars tend to be newer and in better quality. 

Where Can I Find Seized Vehicles? 

There are a number of places where you can find repossessed, seized or previously-owned government vehicles. You can start your search on government auction sites. Many offer free trials, but you generally have to pay to become a member and place a bid. 

For the best bargains and widest inventory, check out RepoFinder.com. We have a huge database of repossessed cars, trucks, minivans, RVs, ATVs, motorcycles, boats, small aircraft and more. We provide information on all of our vehicles, as well as plenty of images. Our site is free to use, and to unlock all of the features, you can upgrade to RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month – cancel anytime. 

To find bank-owned vehicles at great prices, RepoFinder.com has what you need!