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.