Category Archives: Repo Cars

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!

credit union pickup truck

Benefits of Buying Credit Union Repo Cars

Credit unions are a popular way to finance vehicles. They tend to have lower interest rates and fewer minimum loan requirements than banks. And because credit unions establish relationships with their members, they’re often more willing to work with people who have poor credit. 

Credit unions make money by charging interest on loans, collecting account fees and reinvesting money. So, if a member is unable to back the money they borrowed to purchase their vehicle, the credit union can take away their car and sell it to someone new. 

If you’re considering purchasing a used vehicle, here are some benefits to buying a credit union repo. 

Lower Prices 

Certainly, the biggest benefit to buying any type of repossessed car is the cost savings. You’re not paying anywhere close to what you would pay for a used car at a dealership – and you can walk away with a better vehicle in return! Your savings all depend on the car you’re buying and the condition it’s in, but experts say you can save around 20 to 40 percent. 

So why are the prices so low? Is it because the cars are in bad shape? Not necessarily. Credit unions aren’t in the business to sell cars and want them off their lot as soon as possible. To make these vehicles attractive, they must be priced competitively. However, in exchange for buying the car at a discount, you are buying it as-is. 

Easier Financing Options 

Another perk to buying a car from a credit union is that you can get easier financing options. Credit unions are motivated sellers so they’re often willing to negotiate and offer better loan terms if you get the financing through them. And depending on the cost of the car, you may even be able to pay in cash. 

If you do need financing, repos work similarly to a new or used vehicle. To strengthen your offer, it’s helpful to get pre-approved for financing in advance. This way, the credit union will know that you are a serious buyer. Typically, there’s less paperwork compared to a dealership as well.

Safe, Trustworthy Sellers

If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you don’t know what you’re getting. While credit union vehicles are purchased as-is, you are still buying them from a reputable seller. If you browse the inventory on RepoFinder.com, you’ll see that our sellers provide as much information on each vehicle as possible. 

Most sellers also encourage you to inspect the vehicle before signing the paperwork. They are not trying to rip off anyone – they are just motivated sellers looking to get rid of their repo inventory! For the best deals, keep an eye on the cars that you’re interested in. Credit unions slash their prices if no one bids on their vehicles. 

Ready to find a credit union repo car that meets your needs and won’t hurt your bank account? Check out the inventory at RepoFinder.com for free! 

girl driving old car

8 Signs it’s Time to Buy a New Car

From technology to car repairs, how do you know when it’s time to buy a new vehicle? You may not be ready to make the investment, but you also don’t want to wait until your car is no longer functional. By starting your search early, you can take your time looking for vehicles that fit your needs and budget. 

Below are eight signs that it’s time to buy a new or used car from the banks or your local dealer. 

1. Major repairs are wearing you thin. 

The cost of repairs depends on the damage that has been done to the vehicle. Sometimes, the repairs are worth more than what the car costs. If you’re constantly having to put money into your vehicle and it’s not worth anything, it’s time to cut your losses and invest in something reliable. 

2. Your car is becoming a money pit. 

When your car constantly requires repairs and maintenance, it becomes a money pit. Imagine the time and money you’ll save by not having to bring your car back and forth to the auto shop. Unfortunately, once a car experiences frequent repairs, they generally don’t stop. 

3. It’s lacking the latest technology. 

Your car may be outdated compared to the new cars of the generation, but is this really a reason to upgrade? It could be. While your car doesn’t need all the bells and whistles to be safe and functional, it should have certain technology to keep you and others safe. Nowadays, many cars are equipped with backup cameras, lane assist, collision detection and more. 

4. Your car is far behind on safety. 

You should always feel safe in your car. While having the latest technology is helpful, your car should also have good safety ratings. Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database for your vehicle’s safety rating as well as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Also stay on top of recalls and check your car’s lights, wipers and brakes. 

5. Duct tape is your vehicle’s fashion accessory. 

Some people drive around with their cars taped up because they can’t afford their deductibles. Not only is this an eyesore but also it can compromise your vehicle’s safety. Rather than driving around a near broken vehicle, swap it for something that’s safe, reliable and affordable – RepoFinder can fill all three! 

6. You’re embarrassed by your car. 

If you park in the back so that people don’t see what you drive, it’s probably time for something new. Here at RepoFinder, we don’t believe you need to drive around brand new cars to get noticed but you should have something that you’re not embarrassed of. Why pay for something you hate? 

7. Your car no longer fits your needs. 

As your life changes, your car needs do, too. A growing family requires a spacious SUV or minivan while a pair of empty nesters can get by on a fuel-efficient sedan. If your car no longer accommodates your lifestyle, it’s time to go shopping for something more practical. 

8. Your car has trouble starting.

If you do the happy dance when your car starts, it’s only a matter of time before it doesn’t. Who wants to be stranded or late for work because of an undependable car? Being proactive prevents this from happening and also ensures you’re not pressured to buy something the day your vehicle dies. 

Overall, these are some of the most important factors that influence when you should buy a new car. Although these signs might appear to be nuisances, they can actually put you and other drivers at risk. To shop for affordable bank-owned vehicles, browse the inventory from RepoFinder.com today. 

repo cars

What are the Steps to Buying Repossessed Cars?

When making the decision to buy a repossessed car, the best thing you can do is educate yourself on the process. Even though buying a repo car is similar to buying a used car, there are still some differences to be aware of. The more you know, the better position you’ll be in to make strong bids and take home the car you want.

Below are the steps to follow to make repo car shopping smooth and stress free!

Visit RepoFinder.com 

RepoFinder makes buying a used car easy. We are a directory of banks selling repossessions across the country. You can browse our listings for free and become a member and start bidding for just $4.95 a month! Our site is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it easy to find valuable information on the cars you’re interested in. 

Narrow Down Your Search 

Make sure you do the proper research when browsing and closing in on a car. You can also filter vehicles by different categories to find something that’s just right for you! Repo car listings include the vehicle information, specifications and features. Most sellers do a good job of posting images, so be sure to examine the photos for the condition of the vehicle, possible damage and more. 

Bid on the Car You Want

Once you find the car you would like to purchase, you will need to bid on the vehicle. The most common is an open bid where all buyers are able to view the highest bid. Sometimes it’s a closed bid, meaning you won’t see what others have offered for the vehicle. Don’t get bid-happy though! Only offer what you feel comfortable and leave some budget for repairs and maintenance. 

Schedule an Inspection

You probably won’t be able to test drive the vehicle for liability reasons, but you should have it inspected. You can hire a mechanic to assess the vehicle or bring along someone who understands cars. If the vehicle is in another state, you’ll have to find an inspection company within that state. The mechanic will provide updates and their analysis of the car. Mechanics may not always find all the issues but their input is critical. 

Pay for the Car

After getting the analysis on the car you recently bid on, you’ll have to complete payment. Buying the car from a credit union is similar to buying from a car dealer or private party. The banks will assist you with the financing, and you’ll have to fill out paperwork and make a down payment. 

Buying a repossessed car is a process that most people may not be as familiar with, but it’s easier than you think! And you can get a great deal by shopping for bank-owned vehicles. Check out RepoFinder’s database today to start viewing the cars we have available! 

first-time driver

How to Save Money on Cars for First-Time Drivers

First-time drivers look forward to buying a car, however, they typically don’t realize how much a new car can cost. Buying a new car off the lot can be very expensive and you may end up regretting your purchase in the future. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on cars while still getting the features you want. 

Here are some money saving tips that first-time car buyers – teens and college students – can benefit from.

Set a Budget

By setting an appropriate budget, you’re less likely to go overboard on your purchase. The average car depreciates 14% every year, so you certainly don’t want to be in a financial hole for the next 5 years.

To determine how much car you can afford, it’s usually recommended to spend no more than 35% of your pre-tax annual income on a car. Lower is better, but ultimately, you’ll have to decide what you are comfortable spending. You can use this calculator to help establish a sensible budget. 

Assess Your Needs 

It’s not necessary for first-time drivers to own an exotic vehicle. While you might want to get a certain car for bragging rights, this probably isn’t necessary right now. Instead, consider what you need the car for (i.e., to get to work or school), how often you’ll be driving and the types of conditions you’ll be driving in.

For example, if you live in a cold-weather climate, you’ll want to consider cars that are equipped with four wheel drive or an anti-lock braking system. These features make winter driving safer and more comfortable. Also, what will you be using the car for? If you’re simply driving to school and your part-time job, you won’t need a car that’s built for off-roading. Something simple and modest will do. 

Consider a Repo Car

Repo cars are vehicles that have been repossessed due to the owner defaulting on their loan. As with used cars, repo cars are available in different makes, models and conditions. Purchasing a repo car off RepoFinder.com is very similar to purchasing a used car.

Repossessed vehicles are also considerably less than a car from a dealership, offering significant savings. Take your time researching the vehicles and always request an inspection before signing any paperwork. However, do be aware that repo cars aren’t usually available for test drives due to liability reasons. 

Find a Cheap Repo Car Today 

To summarize, there are many unique ways to save money on cars for first-time drivers. Doing your research, being open to all options and shopping for repos are all great ways to save money. Not to mention, you can build good money-saving skills that will reward you long into the future. To find an affordable used car for a new driver, shop with RepoFinder.com today.

repo car

Frequently Asked Questions about Repo Cars

If you’re considering buying a repossessed car, you probably have questions about what the process entails and the types of vehicles to expect. Sometimes there is a stigma about buying these types of vehicles because little is known about them. But savvy car buyers aren’t afraid – they know what to look for and how to find great deals. 

Let’s cover some of the most frequently asked questions about repo cars so that you can be an informed buyer. 

What is a Repo Vehicle? 

When you can’t afford to make payments on your car, it will go into default and repossession follows shortly after. Based on 2020 data, nearly 2.2 million vehicles are repossessed every year. That breaks down to 5,418 repossessions every day, 226 repossessions every hour and 3.76 repossessions every minute. 

As you can see, repossessions are not uncommon. Sometimes repossessions are voluntary and sometimes they are involuntary. As a car buyer, you won’t know which type of repossession you’re getting. But it is important to know that not all repos are found stashed away in garages. Some are voluntarily turned in. 

Should You Buy A Repo Car? 

Repo cars come in all different conditions. No two used cars are the same, and this goes for repo vehicles as well. The best thing you can do is get your hands on a Carfax report and ask the seller to review the service history. You should also do your own research and schedule an inspection before signing any paperwork. 

As long as you follow the above tips, you’re likely to find a great repo to take home. Leave room in your budget to provide the car with the maintenance and repairs it needs. Some cars need a lot of TLC and some don’t. This is usually reflected in the purchase price. 

What Concerns Should I Look For? 

Buying a repo car is similar to buying a used car. There are things you’ll want to look for to ensure you’re getting a good vehicle and paying the right price. We recommend reading the Consumer Reports Guide for used car buying

However, do be aware that you’re not usually able to test drive repos because of liability issues. But you can look inside and outside of the vehicle and bring along someone who knows about cars. 

Will I Get a Good Deal by Buying a Repo Car? 

Typically, repo vehicles are sold through an auction so that the banks can recover some of their losses. This is why they’re sold at low prices – the banks want to make them attractive to the public. To win a bid, you’ll need to be the highest bidder, but even this should be a lot less than what you would pay through a dealership. 

RepoFinder.com has a huge database of repossessed vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, minivans, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and more. You can view our inventory at your leisure, contact the sellers directly and place a bid. Find a great deal with us today!