Tag Archives: auctions

auction process

The Repossessed Car Auction Process: Tips for Successful Bidding

Repossessed car auctions offer a unique opportunity to purchase vehicles at significantly lower prices than traditional dealerships. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a first-time bidder, understanding the auction process and implementing effective bidding strategies can help you secure a great deal. 

In this blog post, we’re going to explore valuable tips on how to navigate the repossessed car auction process. This way, you can increase your chances of acquiring a quality vehicle at a bargain price.

Research and Preparation

Before attending a repossessed car auction, conduct thorough research to familiarize yourself with the types of vehicles available, their market value and any specific auction rules and requirements. Determine your budget and create a shortlist of potential vehicles that align with your preferences and needs. This will help you focus on the most practical vehicles. 

Vehicle Inspection

Most repossessed car auctions allow potential buyers to inspect the vehicles before the auction begins. Take advantage of this opportunity to carefully examine the cars you are interested in. Look for signs of damage, mechanical issues or any other red flags that might affect the vehicle’s value or performance. Consider bringing a trusted mechanic along for a professional assessment, especially if you are not familiar with car mechanics.

Set a Maximum Bid Limit

Establish a maximum bid limit for each vehicle you’re interested in, keeping in mind your budget, the vehicle’s condition and its market value. It’s essential to stick to this limit during the auction to avoid overspending. Remember that additional costs like buyer’s premiums, taxes and registration fees may apply, so factor these into your budget calculations.

Understand the Auction Format

Familiarize yourself with the auction format and bidding process. Auctions can be fast-paced and competitive, or they can be done in a closed format, where you send a bid online. Also, pay attention to any specific auction terms and conditions, such as payment methods and vehicle ownership transfer requirements.

Control Your Emotions

Auctions can be exciting and emotionally charged, but it’s important to remain calm and composed during the bidding process. Stick to your predetermined maximum bid limit and avoid getting caught up in bidding wars that can drive up prices. Remember, there will always be more opportunities, and it’s better to walk away if the bidding surpasses your budget.

Be Patient and Persistent

Finding the right vehicle at the right price may require patience and persistence. It’s not uncommon to attend multiple auctions before successfully acquiring a vehicle. Be prepared for setbacks and don’t get discouraged. Stay informed about upcoming auctions, monitor online listings and be proactive in your search for repossessed vehicles.

Consider Auction Financing

If you need financing to purchase a repossessed car, explore financing options available through the auction or through external lenders. Get pre-approved for a loan before the auction to streamline the purchasing process and give you a clear understanding of your financial limits.

Shop for Repo Cars Today 

Participating in a repossessed car auction can be a great experience, offering the potential to obtain a quality vehicle at a fraction of its market value. Remember to follow these tips to help you secure a great deal. RepoFinder.com has a list of banks and credit unions that are selling repo inventory, including cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles. Buying a repo with us is easy – check us out today! 

shopping for repo car

The Best Places to Find Repossessed Cars for Sale

Looking for a repossessed car can be a convenient and effective way to find a quality vehicle at a significantly reduced price. These cars are typically sold by banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to recover their losses on defaulted loans

If purchasing a repossessed car is something you want to do, the first step is to know where to look. Also be sure to check back often, as banks and other financial institutions are constantly updating their inventory. Therefore, you may not find what you’re looking for right away. 

Below are some of the best places to find repossessed cars for sale.

Local Auctions

One of the primary sources of repossessed cars is local auctions. These auctions are often held by towing companies, impound lots or auction houses that specialize in selling repossessed vehicles. Keep an eye on local advertisements or websites that list upcoming auctions in your area. Attending these auctions allows you to see the cars in person and bid on them directly.

Online Auctions

In addition to local auctions, many online platforms host auctions specifically for repossessed cars. Websites like RepoFinder.com offer a wide selection of repossessed vehicles for sale. These online auctions provide detailed vehicle information, photos and even vehicle history reports, enabling you to make informed decisions from the comfort of your own home.

Financial Institution Websites

Banks, credit unions and lending institutions often have their own websites where they list repossessed cars for sale. These listings typically include detailed information about the vehicles, such as make, model, mileage and condition. By checking the websites of local financial institutions, you can find out if they have any repossessed cars available and how to participate in the purchasing process.

Local Dealerships

Some car dealerships specialize in selling repossessed vehicles. They work directly with financial institutions to acquire these cars and offer them for sale on their lots. Visiting these dealerships can give you access to a curated selection of repossessed cars that have been inspected and, in some cases, reconditioned. However, keep in mind that the prices will be higher than those at auctions. 

Classified Ads and Online Listings

Keep an eye on classified ads in local newspapers or online platforms. Repossessed cars are sometimes listed by individuals who have acquired them through auctions or other means. Be cautious when dealing with private sellers and ensure you have the vehicle inspected and its history checked before making a purchase.

When buying a repossessed car, it’s crucial to do your due diligence. Conduct thorough research, inspect the vehicle, check its history and set a budget. With the right approach and knowledge of where to look, you can find a great deal on a repossessed car that suits your needs and budget.

Happy car hunting!

repo car

How to Buy a Repossessed Car: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Are you in the market for a car but on a tight budget? Have you considered buying a repossessed car? Repossessed cars are often sold for a fraction of their market value, making them an attractive option for those on a budget. 

However, buying a repo car is slightly different from buying a car from a dealer, so you might have questions about the process. Don’t be intimidated – more and more people are choosing this route because it’s cost-effective, quick and easy! 

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of buying a repossessed car.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget

Before you start looking for a repossessed car, it’s important to determine your budget. Repossessed cars are often sold at auctions, so it’s essential to know how much you can afford to bid. 

The rule of thumb is to spend 10-15 percent of your income on transportation, including your car payment, insurance and fuel. If your take-home pay is $5,000 a month, this means you should spend $500 to $750 on transportation. Of course, these are just guidelines. 

Step 2: Find Repossessed Cars for Sale

There are a few ways to find repossessed cars for sale. You can search online for auctions in your area, contact local banks and credit unions to see if they have any repossessed cars for sale or visit local dealerships that specialize in selling repossessed cars.

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to find repo cars for sale. We have a directory of links to banks and credit unions that are selling repo inventory. This way, you can see what they have available in a few simple clicks – no need to waste time calling around. Plus, you can view images and vehicle details all in one place. 

Step 3: Research the Car

Once you find a repossessed car you’re interested in, it’s essential to do your research. Check the car’s history report, including its accident and repair history, to make sure it’s in good condition. You should also research the car’s market value to determine a fair bid.

Step 4: Inspect the Car

Before placing a bid on a repossessed car, it’s important to inspect it thoroughly. Check the exterior and interior for any damage or signs of wear and tear. Ideally, you should also take it for a test drive to ensure that it’s running properly. 

Keep in mind that things may work differently for a repo car. Due to liability issues, you may not be able to drive the vehicle. But that still shouldn’t stop you from seeing the car in person and checking things out. 

Step 5: Place Your Bid

Once you’ve inspected the car and are confident that it’s in good condition, it’s time to place your bid. Make sure to stay within your budget and don’t get caught up in a bidding war.

Step 6: Complete the Sale

If you’re the winning bidder, congratulations! You’ll need to complete the sale by paying for the car and obtaining the necessary paperwork, such as the title and registration. If you’re buying the car from an auction, you may need to arrange for transportation to get the car home.

Buying a repossessed car can be a great way to save money on a vehicle, but it’s important to do your research and be prepared for the auction process. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding a great deal on a repossessed car at RepoFinder.com

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! 

test driving a vehicle

Can I Test Drive a Repossessed Car?

A common question repo sellers often hear from customers is whether or not they can test drive the vehicle. It’s a great question to ask, especially when people are used to going to the dealerships and driving around the vehicles they want before buying them.

However, shopping for repossessed cars is a bit different. If you’re planning on buying a repossessed car, here’s everything you need to know about taking the vehicle for a spin. 

Sorry, But Test Drives Usually Aren’t Allowed 

Unfortunately, most sellers won’t allow you to test drive a repo vehicle. All you can do is sit in the car, turn it on and possibly put it into gear. Why is this the case? Are they trying to hide something? 

Actually, no. The main reason why auctions won’t let you drive the vehicle is because it’s a liability. When test driving a car from a dealership, it’s typically the dealer’s responsibility to cover any damages that may occur. Most dealers have a fleet policy that covers all of their vehicles. 

On the other hand, banks, lenders and credit unions don’t have fleet insurance. Remember, they loan money – they don’t sell cars! Not only that, but they don’t know what type of condition the car is really in. That’s why they’re selling it as-is. When you sign the paperwork, you are waiving these rights. But until then, driving it under the seller is a liability. 

You Can (and Should) Inspect the Repo Car 

Even though you can’t test drive the used vehicle, you can have it inspected. You can identify a lot of problems this way. Many sellers also allow bidders to start the car and put it into gear, but not all do, so be sure to ask these questions beforehand. 

We recommend bringing along someone who knows cars if you don’t. This can be a knowledgable friend or professional mechanic. They’ll know what to look for and can prevent you from getting too excited over a car that’s not the right fit. You certainly don’t want to overpay for a car with problems. Beware of sellers who won’t let you come and see the vehicle. 

Find Reputable Repo Sellers at RepoFinder 

RepoFinder has a huge selection of cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles that are waiting for their new owners. Our sellers are reputable and include trusted banks, lenders and credit unions. When you find a few vehicles that you like, schedule an inspection to see them in person! 

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: 


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! 

vehicles at an auction

4 Things to Know When Buying a Used Car at an Auction

Auto auctions allow buyers to purchase used vehicles through a bidding process. This usually ends up being a lot less than what a dealership would charge. Not all auctions are open to the public, but some are. To find auctions in your area, you’ll have to do some research. Auctions are available both in-person and online, allowing you to choose the method of shopping you prefer. 

While auto auctions can turn up a great deal, there’s also the risk of buying a beater car. Below are four things to know about buying a used or repossessed car at an auction. 

1. Pick the Right Auction 

Both brick-and-mortar and online auctions are available. Some say that the best deals can be found in person, though shopping online is more convenient. It really depends on how you prefer to shop. You can usually shop at auctions for free, but prepare to pay some type of fee to make a bid whether it’s online or in person. 

Another thing to watch for is public vs dealer auctions. Public or open auctions are available to the public. Dealer auctions are only open to those who hold a dealer’s license. Unless you work at a dealership, you probably don’t have a dealer’s license.

2. Determine Your Risk 

Many people use the “stoplight system” when shopping at auctions. This system helps buyers assess their risk and compare it to the price of the vehicle. 

  • A “green light” means that the vehicle is free from any known defects. Arbitration may be possible if severe problems turn up. 
  • A “yellow light” indicates that the car has some issues. However, arbitration is not an option. 
  • A “red light” is sold as-is. Repossessions are essentially “red light” cars because you purchase them in their current condition. 

3. Know How to Bid 

It’s easy to cave and bid more than you should on a car you really want, especially if there is other interest available. But there are many factors that will influence whether or not you get the car, so only bid what you are comfortable paying. You also want to leave money in your budget to take care of any problems that turn up. 

To help with this, it’s best to bring along someone who knows about cars. They can help determine the best bid to make, preventing you from over-bidding on cars that aren’t worth it and under-bidding on those that are a great deal. 

4. Inspect the Vehicle 

Cars sold at auctions are rarely available for test drive. So, you’ll have to rely on your knowledge to assess its condition and value. There are a number of resources you can use online such as Kelley Blue Book, CarConsumers.org and Nada Values. These guides can give you the confidence you need to identify the best vehicles and make an accurate but reasonable bid. 

RepoFinder has a great selection of repossessed cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. View our database for free and find repos in your area. If you want more features, consider upgrading your account to RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month – cancel anytime!

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. 

BMO Harris car repo

Purchasing a Repo Car from BMO Harris

BMO Harris has more than 12 million customers that count on them for personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment services. They are the 8th largest bank in North America, based on assets. The bank takes great pride in helping customers make the most of their money. 

With millions of customers, there will always be some who default on their loans. This sometimes happens with auto loans. 

BMO Harris Auto Loans 

When purchasing a car, a buyer may have to put some money down to cover the down payment and title fees, but they can finance the rest of their purchase. What some people don’t realize is how expensive car payments can be, especially once the interest rates are added on. 

Here is some basic information on BMO Harris auto loans. 

  • BMO Harris will finance cars, motorcycles, boats and RVs. 
  • Auto loan amounts start at $5,000 and go up to $30,000.
  • All loan products have fixed APRs that range from 4.8% to 7.11%.
  • Maximum loan terms are 72 months.
  • Loan origination fees are up to 1% of the loan amount.
  • Borrowers are charged late fees. 

When Auto Loan Borrowers Default 

When taking out a loan, the borrower agrees to pay it back according to the loan agreement. If, at any time, they can’t make the loan payments, the loan will go into default and the car can be repossessed. Usually, it only takes a few months for this to happen, as the bank isn’t going to continue losing money every month. 

Once the vehicle is repossessed, it is usually sold at an auction. Everyday people can bid on the vehicle, though dealerships are good at picking up decent cars and reselling them at a higher price. This is why it’s best to buy repossessions directly from the bank, as you don’t want to buy a repo with a price markup. 

Where to Find BMO Harris Repo Cars 

The best way to find repossessions from BMO Harris is by visiting their site directly. Being a large bank, their inventory changes often. Visit RepoFinder.com and click on the state you live in. You can then search for BMO Harris’ inventory of repo vehicles. Also, because BMO Harris provides financing for motorcycles, boats and RVs, you can also find these vehicles for auction. 

Currently, BMO Harris is only in ten states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Washington and Wisconsin, so do keep this in mind. You always want to be able to see the car before buying, so shop only as far as you’re willing to drive.