Category Archives: Repo Cars

car windshield shattered in an accident

How to Tell if a Used Car Has Been in an Accident

If you’re looking for a cheap used car, you’ll have great luck browsing repo inventory. Despite popular belief, repo cars, trucks and SUVs are often in good condition. Most need a good cleaning and some basic maintenance but that’s it! 

However, it’s important to know that repos are sold as-is. They are priced just right, but you also inherit all of the problems. It’s not like shopping at a dealership where you can return the car if you don’t want or like it. 

With this in mind, there are certain things you’ll want to watch for when shopping for repos. One of the most important is making sure the car wasn’t involved in an accident. Improper crash repair can affect the way the car drives. 

Below are some signs that will help you determine if a repo vehicle has accident damage. If you spot these red flags, we recommend passing up the vehicle and looking at something else. 

Repainting 

Most collision work involves some type of paintwork. Even the best paint jobs usually leave behind some signs. Start by looking at the colors, sheens and finishes. They should all match up. 

Next, walk the length of the car and look at the reflections in the bodywork. Any waves or changes in luster may indicate that a panel was repainted. Also look for paint drips on panel edges or overspray on tailights, exhaust pipes and headlights. 

Spacing Between Body Panels 

Another thing to look for is inconsistent spacing between body panels. All gaps should be even throughout the vehicle. If you find that one gap between the door and body panel is not consistent with the others, it’s possible that there’s damage here. Of course, not all cars are perfect, but manufacturer defects should be subtle.

Frame Damage 

If possible, ask if you or the seller can drive the vehicle back and forth. This may not be possible with a repo, but it’s worth requesting. Watching the vehicle in motion lets you see if there is frame damage. Cars with this type of damage often drive sideways instead of forward.

If you’re not able to drive the car, get low to the ground and look for signs of “crabbing.” Crabbing is a sign of frame damage that happens when the front and back wheels don’t line up correctly. It typically comes from more serious accidents. 

Fresh Undercoat 

One of the first steps in repairing a wrecked car is adding a rubberized undercoat to the underbelly of the vehicle. This spray protects the car from salt, road grime and other contaminants. Even though it works great, be wary of why it’s there. Sometimes, people will apply a fresh coat to the underside to cover up recent damage. 

Missing Fasteners and Rusty Screws 

Having a few loose screws might not sound like a big deal, but it can indicate a larger problem. Loose screws, especially in the fender lines, means the car was involved in some rough road conditions. The screws might be missing because they no longer line up. 

Look for missing or loose screws in the wheel well, along the frame of the engine bay and within door jams. Rusty screws are also a problem because they typically indicate that the car has been smacked around. 

So what if you notice signs of damage? We recommend choosing a different vehicle for your own safety. But if you feel comfortable purchasing the car, you can always ask the seller for a discount. If you point out the areas of concern, they’ll probably be willing to work with you. For a full list of repossessions in your area, shop on RepoFinder.com today. 

online car shopping

Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Buying a New Car

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It’s easy to make mistakes when buying a car. This is an exciting adventure for most people, but it also means that emotions can get in the way of making a rational decision. To avoid overpaying hundreds or thousands of dollars, here are some common mistakes you’ll want to steer clear of. Don’t let the initial excitement of shopping for a car turn into buyer remorse later on. 

Mistake #1. Limiting your selection.

While it’s always good to define what you are looking for in a car, it’s best to keep your options open in terms of manufacturers and models. If you fixate on a particular model, you could miss out on other vehicles that will meet your needs and budget. 

Mistake #2. Skipping the test drive or inspection. 

A lot of used cars look good on paper but don’t translate this way in person. This is especially crucial if you’re shopping for repos online and relying on the pictures. Dealerships usually let their customers test drive their vehicles, but not all banks and credit unions do. If you’re buying a repo, at the very least, have an inspection done. 

Mistake #3. Thinking about financing at the last minute. 

Don’t wait until you’re talking with the seller to think about financing. Do your homework and research your financing options. Educate yourself on the latest interest rates and what you’re most likely to pay. This will help you calculate your monthly payments too. 

Mistake #4. Not researching the value of the car. 

Before you settle on a car, we recommend researching the value of the cars you’re interested in. Why? Because this will tell you what you’re likely to get if you trade in the car or sell it to a new owner. If you’re willing to put in the extra work, you can often get more by selling the vehicle yourself. 

Mistake #5. Shopping at just one dealership. 

It pays to shop around. Visit at least 2-3 dealerships either online or in person. View their inventory, ask for quotes and compare deals. When looking at repo inventory on RepoFinder.com, you can “shop” with different sellers. Simply click on your state and a list of banks and credit unions will turn up. 

Mistake #6. Buying from someone you don’t trust. 

A vehicle is a big purchase. Never buy one from someone you don’t trust. If anyone makes you feel uneasy or can’t answer your questions about the car, you don’t need to buy from them. Choose a different seller who is honest, transparent and helpful with your questions. 

Mistake #7. Not considering repossessed vehicles. 

When shopping for used cars, it makes sense to check out the repo inventory from RepoFinder.com. Our inventory contains a wide selection of cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. that have been repossessed from their owners. Many are in great condition and being sold at highly discounted prices. 

As long as you avoid these seven mistakes, do your homework and keep a level-head, you should end up with a vehicle that you feel good about!

SUV car

How Do I Buy a Car from RepoFinder?

If you’ve landed on our website, you’re probably shopping around for a car and looking for a great deal. We’re the place to make this happen! Our website offers a full list of banks and credit unions that are selling repossessed vehicles. (You can learn more about repossessions here). Even though the banks take these vehicles back, they don’t care to keep them. This is why they sell them to dealers or the general public. 

Many banks and credit unions choose to sell their repo inventory to dealers because they can get rid of many vehicles at once. Unfortunately, everyday people who are looking for a discounted vehicle aren’t able to access this inventory. But, you’re in luck! RepoFinder only sells to the public. This allows you to purchase repos directly from the source.

What are the Steps to Buying a Vehicle from RepoFinder? 

Whether you’re shopping for a car, truck, SUV or recreational vehicle, RepoFinder has it all. We even get small aircraft and boats! We’ll walk you through the process of buying a repossession so that you know what to expect. Please note that each bank and credit union has their own process for selling repos, so there may be some slight differences. 

View our list of repossessions

Start with our USA map and click on your state. This will pull up all of the banks and lenders that sell repo inventory. Because banks are always getting new vehicles, check back often if you don’t see something you like right away. Repo sales require patience! 

Make an offer 

When you find a vehicle that fits your needs and price range, you can make an offer. Most repos are priced by the bank based on the vehicle’s book value or recent appraisal. However, don’t be afraid to offer less. 

Sometimes you can see what other people are offering (open bid) and sometimes you can’t (closed bid). Open bids are more common because you can compete with others. You can give your offer verbally over the phone or by filling out an online form. 

Inspect the vehicle 

If your bid is accepted, it’s important to do your due diligence. Only work with sellers who are willing to let you inspect the vehicle. You may not be able to take it for a test drive, but you should be able to look at its condition. Remember, you don’t get protection with a repo, so it’s yours to keep once you drive it off the lot. 

Purchase the vehicle 

Once you’re comfortable with the purchase, you can proceed with the sale. The benefit to working with the banks is that you can get financing directly from them. In fact, banks are often willing to negotiate better pricing, terms and interest rates when you buy direct. And, you don’t have to deal with pushy salespeople working for commission. 

Hopefully you can see how easy it is to buy a car from RepoFinder. Remember these three things: be patient, do your homework and check back often. If you keep these things in mind, you should have no trouble finding a great vehicle at a fantastic price! 

orange jeep

How Does RepoFinder Differ from Dealer-only Auctions?

RepoFinder offers a simple directory of banks and credit unions across the U.S. that sell repossessed vehicles. Repossessions are vehicles that have been taken back by the banks when the owner falls behind on payments. Sometimes, these vehicles are taken without warning or court approval. 

To use our services, all you have to do is click on your state and you’ll see a list of banks and credit unions in your area that sell repossessions. Some have active listings, and some may not. Be patient and check back often, as things change daily. Our services are free to use. When you find a vehicle that you like, you can negotiate with the banks and purchase it at a discount. 

Why Do Banks Sell Repos for Cheap? 

Because banks make their money by lending money to others, the last thing they want to do is take back a car. However, this is the only way to recoup some of their losses. So, they’ll usually see if the owner can catch back up on payments, and if not, the bank will sell the vehicle to the public at a discounted price. 

There are two main reasons why banks sell repossessed vehicles for cheap. The first is that they want a quick sale. Cars take up space, and banks aren’t dealerships, so they want them off their lots as quickly as possible. Second, repossessions often need some type of maintenance, so buyers need to factor this into their purchase. To make the vehicles more attractive, banks discount the price to offset some of the repair costs. 

How is RepoFinder Different from Dealer-Only Auctions?

Each bank and credit union has a different way of marketing their repo inventory. Many prefer to sell their vehicles at dealer-only auctions because they can get rid of many vehicles at one time. Remember, banks are just looking to recoup some of their losses. They don’t care where the vehicles go. 

Dealer-only auctions are closed to the public. Only licensed dealers can attend. And unless you plan on getting into the business of selling vehicles, you won’t be able to obtain a dealer’s license. Dealers purchase the vehicles they want at a discounted rate, fix them up and resell them to the general public. Often, these vehicles are marketed as “repos” but they technically are not. A real repo sale happens between you and a bank. 

What are the Benefits to Buying Repos Direct from the Bank? 

When you buy a repo directly from the bank, you can expect a wide range of benefits: 

  • Cheaper price. Repos are sold at heavily discounted prices. 
  • Ability to negotiate. You can offer less than what the banks are asking for. Don’t be afraid to negotiate! 
  • Bank financing. Because you’re buying from the bank, you can also get help with the paperwork and financing. 
  • Commission-free. A commission-free environment ensures less pressure on you, plus the ability to work out better pricing. 
  • No emotional attachment. Banks have no emotional attachment to their vehicles. 

Ready to shop with RepoFinder? Enjoy a comprehensive list of banks and credit unions in your area that are selling repossessions. 

driving in the summer

Why Summer is the Most Expensive Time to Buy a Car (and Ways to Save)

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Summer is great for many things, but buying a car isn’t one of them. Cars tend to be most expensive during this time, usually after the Memorial Day sales. One of the reasons why car prices tick up in the summer is because the weather is nice and people are out looking at cars. People also tend to be on the road more in the summer, motivating them to buy something new. 

Of course, there are other factors at play as well, such as the time and day of the week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the best days to go car shopping because there’s less consumer traffic. Car dealers are often more willing to negotiate in order to sell a vehicle. On the other hand, weekends are busy, making it harder to get personalized attention.

If you don’t have time to wait and you need to buy a car this summer, there are a few ways you can save. 

Shop When Next Year’s Models Arrive

Dealerships have limited space, so when they get in their newer models, they need to sell off their older stock. These models often come in the late summer/early fall, so you can use this to your advantage.

While the newer models may have a few more design features and progressive styling, there’s usually not much difference between the current model and next year’s model. This means that you can get a new car for a lot less than a few months ago. 

Watch for Summer Holiday Sales 

The summer has some great holidays for car shoppers – Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Most dealerships run some type of sale during these times to drive traffic in and move out some older models of cars. 

Vehicles that tend to have the best deals during the summer are trucks and SUVs. The appeal to these vehicles is that they offer four-wheel or all-wheel drive, making them most attractive during the winter. Gas prices also go up in the summer, making these vehicles less desirable. 

Purchase a Banked-Owned Vehicle 

If the dealerships are still too expensive, consider alternative routes for purchasing a vehicle. For example, you can buy a bank-owned car for a fraction of the price of used vehicles at the dealership. 

Bank-owned vehicles have been taken from their owners because they missed too many payments. The banks don’t care to keep them, so they end up selling them at highly discounted prices. Be patient, as it can take time to find the perfect repo. RepoFinder.com has a full list of repos listed out by state – find one today! 

Even though summer is a more expensive time to purchase a vehicle, your car may not be waiting for you. For low prices and a huge selection of repossessed cars, trucks and SUVs, shop on RepoFinder.com.

two people in vehicle

People are Attached to their Cars. Banks Aren’t. Negotiate a Great Deal on a Bank-owned Car.

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Some people have an emotional attachment to their cars. They give them a name, gender and even a personality. Even though it may sound silly to have a personal relationship with a vehicle, it’s not uncommon. According to one study, 70 percent of respondents admitted to feeling “very attached” or “somewhat attached” to their cars. 

There are a number of reasons why people get attached to their vehicles. For example, people often go through major milestones with them – weddings, road trips, new babies. Some view their vehicle as a financial investment, while others have had them passed down. Because of this emotional attachment, 36 percent of people say they want their car to go to a good home. 

Don’t Want to Deal with a Sentimental Owner? Buy a Repo! 

While there’s nothing wrong with having an emotional attachment to your vehicle, things are harder if you’re on the other side. If you’re looking to buy a vehicle that someone is attached to, they may want to charge more because of this emotional investment. They may also be insulted if you try to negotiate. 

The good news is that you can purchase a used vehicle at a great price without having to deal with a sentimental owner. Bank-owned vehicles are in possession of banks and lenders – they were taken from owners who could no longer afford them. 

And trust us, the banks have no emotional attachment to these vehicles. They make money off lending money, not keeping cars. This gives you the upper hand – you can negotiate a better deal and get a more fair, unbiased breakdown of the vehicle’s condition. 

Tips for Negotiating with the Banks 

Buying a bank-owned vehicle is a great option if you’re looking for a fast and easy car sale. Here are some tips for negotiating a great deal on a repo. 

  • Knowledge is power. Know everything you can about the vehicle so that you can negotiate fairly. 
  • Think about financing early. Having pre-approved financing makes you a stronger candidate. The bank will be more willing to close the deal.
  • Read the paperwork. Make sure that the seller isn’t slipping in any additional fees or add-ons.
  • Be patient. If you need to walk away from the deal, that’s ok. Even though there are a lot of bank-owned vehicles, buying one of these cars is a process that requires patience. 

RepoFinder.com has a full list of bank-owned vehicles like cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, motorcycles and more. When you visit our site, click on your state and find the repos available in your area. It’s free, so find an affordable bank-owned car today! 

line of cars

Pros and Cons to Buying Bank Owned Vehicles

A bank-owned car can be a great deal – or a total nightmare. As with other purchases, it’s important to do your research and be a smart shopper. When you’re careful about your purchase, you can take home a safe, reliable car for a fraction of the cost. And, banks have more than just cars. Many people turn to bank-owned inventory when buying pickup trucks, boats, ATVs, RVs and small aircraft. 

Below you’ll find the pros and cons to buying bank-owned vehicles, and then you can decide if this route is right for you. 

Pros of Buying Repossessed Vehicles 

When the owner of a vehicle doesn’t make their loan payments, their vehicle can be taken away by the bank. Usually this happens after a few months of defaulted payments, but it can happen even sooner than that. Some people assume that repos are always old, beat up cars that no one wants, but it’s often the new cars that people can’t afford. 

Here are the pros to buying bank-owned vehicles: 

  • Get a great deal on a decent vehicle. Banks and lenders want a quick sale to reduce their loan loss, which is why they price their inventory low and are willing to negotiate. 
  • Shop a wide selection. Cars and trucks are taken away all the time from their owners. Banks end up selling them to dealerships, the general public or auction sites, leaving you to shop an impressive selection of cars, trucks, SUVs and more. 
  • Fast turnaround. While you do need to be patient when shopping for repos, the process usually moves quickly when you find something you like. Banks and lenders want these vehicles off their lots as soon as possible. 

Cons of Buying Bank-Owned Cars 

There are some disadvantages to buying repossessed vehicles, which is why they aren’t for everyone. Here are some cons to be aware of. 

  • Lack of test drives. It’s possible that you won’t be able to test drive the car before you buy it. This can be a problem if there are hidden issues. To offset this risk, be sure to look at the vehicle’s pictures, get a condition report and schedule an inspection. 
  • As-is purchase. If you buy a repo and decide you don’t like it, you can’t bring it back. You’re stuck with it because all repos are “as-is” purchases. That said, some vehicles still carry their original warranty, which is passed down to the new owner. 
  • Unclear background. Banks usually send out a third-party to repo vehicles, so you probably won’t know a lot about its background. The good news is that you can find most of this information online, as auction centers must disclose this information to the buyers. 

As you can see, there are clear pros and cons to buying bank-owned cars, trucks and RVs. RepoFinder.com has a vast selection of vehicles that are in good condition and have low mileage. Take a look and see what types of vehicles you can find in your price range – it’s free! 

dollar bill

What is the Best Way to Finance a Used Car?

If you’re planning on buying a used vehicle and want to know how to finance it, you’ll be surprised by the options you have. Planning ahead is a smart decision because it allows you to get the best rates. And, by running through a few different scenarios, you can determine exactly what fees to expect when making an auto purchase

Below are the best options for financing a used vehicle and the benefits to expect with each one. 

Used Car Loans 

The most popular option for financing a used vehicle is a used car loan. Many car loans come from big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One and Chase, but there are plenty of others out there, too. Large banks tend to have higher interest rates and fees, while smaller, brick-and-mortar branches are often more affordable. 

To ensure you get the best car loan, it helps to do some research. Know your credit score, determine what you’re willing to spend each month and review different companies. By getting prequalified, you’ll be in a better position when it comes time to bid on a vehicle.  

Credit Unions 

Credit unions can also finance your repo car purchase, just as the banks do. You will end up getting an auto loan with monthly payments, but you can expect a slightly different process. For instance, credit unions are not-for-profit and typically offer lower fees but higher interest rates. Their customer service tends to be above average as well. 

Home Equity Loans 

Used car loans aren’t the only way to pay for a car. If you have equity in your home and you can access it, you may use this money to purchase a vehicle. Home equity loans usually offer lower interest rates than standard auto loans, and you may even be able to write off a portion of the interest on your taxes. 

Personal Loans 

Another option for financing your vehicle is a personal loan. Most personal loans have no restrictions on what you can use them for, giving you the freedom to buy any vehicle you want, including a repossessed luxury vehicle. However, there are things to watch for as well. For example, some personal loans have higher interest rates and additional loan fees compared to auto loans. 

Peer-to-Peer Loans 

Peer-to-peer loan platforms allow you to borrow money from an investor. If you don’t qualify for traditional financing, or you don’t like the offers you are getting, this is an option worth checking out. The requirements are usually less strict compared to banks and credit unions, and the financing typically comes quickly. The loan amounts are usually low, but this won’t be a problem if you’re planning on buying an affordable repossession. 

As you can see, there are many options for financing your repo car purchase. Repossessions are lower in price to begin with, so when you choose the right financing option, you can expect reasonable monthly payments that won’t break the bank.

car keys buying a car

Car Fees to Expect When Buying a Used Car

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Buying a new vehicle is an exciting experience, that is, until you see the number of fees you’re hit with! Some of these fees are conveniently rolled into your monthly payments, but you still want to be aware of what extra things you have to cover. You don’t want to get stuck paying for fees that aren’t really necessary. 

Below we’ll cover the most common fees you encounter when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Keep in mind that every state is different in how they charge sales tax on trade-ins and rebates. Plus, most states don’t have a cap on documentation fees, so they can range from $50-$400 or more depending on where you live.

What Fees Can I Expect When Purchasing a Car? 

Generally speaking, there are three categories of fees you will encounter when purchasing a used or repossessed vehicle:

  • Title and registration fees. When you buy a used car, you’ll need to transfer the title and register the vehicle in your name. Without a title in your name, there is no way to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle. 
  • Used car sales tax. You’ll probably have to pay a used car sales tax when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. The amount you pay depends on the state you’re buying the car in. 
  • Documentation fee. Most states require you to pay a documentation fee before driving away with the vehicle. This fee covers things like processing paperwork, storing documents and writing up contracts. 

Aside from these fees, you may have to pay the following as well: 

  • Export and shipping fees. If you purchase a repossessed vehicle from a different state, consider how you’ll get the car. You may have to pay a third party to ship the repo to you.
  • Sales taxes. Depending on your state, you may have to pay sales taxes on the vehicle. Some factors can influence the taxes you pay, such as trading in another vehicle or qualifying for rebates and incentives. 
  • Repairs. Cars sold through auctions often need some repairs, so be sure to factor these into your cost. It’s best to stick with cars and trucks that only require light repair work like tire and break changes. 

Shop for Your New Car with RepoFinder

Are you thinking about buying a repossessed car from an online site like RepoFinder.com? Many people have had great experiences with their purchases through us. We have a full list of banks, credit unions and lenders that are selling cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. Most are in great condition and ready for a new owner! Browse our site today and find your dream vehicle. 

man shopping for cars online

Tips for Online Car Shopping During Coronavirus

Car dealerships remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic because they are considered essential services. If your car tanks, you’ll need a new one after all. However, the pandemic is changing the way people shop for vehicles. Rather than coming into the showroom and being in close contact with others (car salespeople, financing department), you can shop for vehicles online. 

If you’re thinking about buying a new car during the pandemic, there are some things you should know. By following the tips below, you can ensure a smooth and successful online transaction whether you’re buying a brand new vehicle or a used repossession. 

Do Your Research 

Research is key when buying a vehicle online. You don’t have someone to show you the ropes and go over the available features, so you’ll have to do this yourself. Most people don’t mind, as it allows them to browse for vehicles at their leisure. If you’re shopping for a repossessed car or truck, keep your expectations realistic. Know what you can afford and the types of vehicles available in your price range. 

Decide Where You’ll Buy From 

Most dealerships have a good selection of inventory online, but they’re not the only ones that sell cars and trucks. You can also go with an online car site that sells all types of vehicles at different price points. Or, you can shop with an online auction site that allows you to bid on the vehicles you want. In addition to cars, RepoFinder.com has pickup trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, ATVs, boats and even small aircraft. 

Consider the Test Drive 

The one downfall to shopping for cars online is that you can’t test drive them all like you could at a dealership. In fact, you might not be able to take a test drive at all! Not all online car services are accommodating with this type of stuff, so you’ll need to be flexible. Your best bet is to do your research and look for virtual tools that allow you to “drive” and explore the vehicle of your choice. 

Get Used Cars Independently Inspected

Because test drives aren’t always available when shopping online, we recommend getting an independent inspection. When shopping for repossessions, for example, you’ll usually have the chance to inspect the vehicle before signing anything. Bring along someone who knows cars, and if the vehicle is far from home, hire someone local to do a quick inspection. 

Decide How You’ll Get the Car 

Dealerships often deliver vehicles right to your doorstep for a fee. However, other services expect you to come and pick up the car. In this case, you’ll need to coordinate the details. Often times, two people will come down together in one car and then drive both vehicles back home. 

RepoFinder offers a full list of banks and credit unions that are selling repossessed cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. You can do everything online, from viewing the pictures to making a bid. Visit us today and enjoy a safe, convenient way to shop for affordable repossessions in good condition.