Tag Archives: cheap cars

christmas presents

The Right Way to Buy a Car as a Christmas Present

Are you thinking about buying someone a car as a Christmas present? While this may seem like an exorbitant gift, it can actually be a practical one. If your teenager, college student or spouse needs a new car, why not use your money on an essential gift? But before you buy someone a car as a holiday gift, make sure you follow these essential tips. 

Avoid Surprising Your Recipient 

The thought of surprising someone with a new vehicle is exciting, especially when you see the great response on TV commercials. However, in real life, you probably don’t want to surprise someone with a new car out of the blue. If they don’t like it, they can’t return it like they can a pair of jeans. 

The best approach: find out exactly what this special someone wants rather than springing a new car purchase on them unexpectedly. 

Consider Financing Options

Unless you have the cash on hand to pay for the vehicle, you’ll have to finance this purchase. Keep this in mind, as average term lengths are 69 months for new vehicles and 65 months for used vehicles. You don’t want to be paying for years on a car that your spouse doesn’t want or need. 

Additionally, you may need your spouse to cosign in order to be approved for the auto loan. So, you may not be able to surprise them unexpectedly after all. For the best deals and rates, consider shopping for repossessed vehicles instead of used vehicles. You can find a cheap car this way and qualify for attractive financing offers.

Start Shopping in Advance 

In order to find the right vehicle at the right price, it’s best to start your holiday shopping early. RepoFinder.com has a huge inventory of repossessed cars, trucks, SUVs, ATVs, RVs and more. You can find just about anything with us! 

Our repo inventory is always changing, so check back often to see what we have available in your local area. If you find something you like, you can place your bid and hopefully take the vehicle home with you! However you choose to shop, start early so that you can get the best deals and availability. 

Shop for Repo Cars at RepoFinder – We Have it All! 

RepoFinder.com offers the largest list of bank repos in America. When you work with us, you’ll be able to skip over the middleman and deal directly with the banks, lenders and credit unions. This allows you to get the best deals on all types of repossessed vehicles. Many are in great condition and waiting for a new owner. Shop with us today and give your loved one the best gift of all – a safe, dependable vehicle. 

financing for repo cars

Is it Better to Finance My Car through the Dealer or a Credit Union?

If you’re buying a car and need a loan to help pay for it, you have the option to get financing through a bank or the dealership. The right choice depends on various factors, such as the type of vehicle you’re buying. By understanding your options for financing, you can make the best decision for your next car purchase. 

Financing through a Bank 

Bank financing involves going directly to a bank or credit union to get an auto loan. Generally speaking, you’ll get a quote and letter of commitment that you can take to the dealership or even an online car auction. This shows that you’ve already been preapproved and gives you stronger negotiating power. 

The nice thing about going through a credit union or bank is that you’re getting true rates. There are no markups that you might get with a dealership. The only thing to be aware of is the difference between buying a new and used car. Some banks and credit unions have limits on the vehicle’s age and mileage. 

Financing through a Dealer 

This option works the same way as bank financing, except that the dealer is doing the work for you. After you pick out the car you want, the dealer will have you fill out an application and submit it to multiple lenders. This allows you to compare rates and terms so you can get the best deal. 

Typically, you’ll get lower interest rates on a new car. Used or repo cars often come with a higher interest rate. Sometimes, the dealer may even negotiate a higher interest rate than what the lender offers and use this difference as compensation for handling the financing on your behalf.

What Financing Option is Right for Me?

The best financing option is the one that will save you the most money. We generally recommend starting with bank financing so that you can see what the banks and credit unions are willing to offer you. You can then take this information to the dealer and ask them to get you quotes as well. 

Now, if you’re planning on buying a brand new vehicle, you’ll probably find that dealers offer the best financing, including 0% APR. If you’re going to buy a used or repossessed vehicle, applying for a car loan through a bank or credit union is probably best. In fact, if you’re buying a repo car, ask the seller about their financing options, as they may be willing to cut you an even better deal. 

Save Money on Used Cars at RepoFinder 

RepoFinder.com has a wide selection of repossessed vehicles that are available to the public. You do not need a dealer’s license to purchase them. Shop our inventory of cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles and see how affordable they are. Come with pre-approved financing or talk to the banks and credit unions about your options. A safe, affordable car is within reach!

man in new car

Top Useless Features You Don’t Need in a Car (and Certainly Shouldn’t Pay More For!)

When shopping for new and used cars online, it’s easy to get carried away with the cool features that are available in today’s models. However, some of these features are completely useless and not worth paying for. To ensure you keep your eyes focused on the best vehicles for your needs and budget, here are some meaningless features you don’t need to pay extra for. 

Rear Seat Entertainment Systems 

If you have kids, rear seat entertainment systems can sound like a blessing. And in the 1990s and early 2000s, they were. However, with the advent of tablets, smartphones and WiFi hotspots, these systems are almost irrelevant. If the car you’re looking at comes with this system, that’s great. Maybe you’ll use it, maybe you won’t. But it’s not worth paying extra for. 

Social Media Integration 

Our society has grown accustomed to communicating through social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. To tap into this interest, car companies have rolled out social media integration. At first glance, this would appear to be useful and worth paying extra for, but it’s not. Using social media, even through voice activation, falls under distracted driving. Leave social media for off the road. 

Spare Tire 

More car manufacturers are getting rid of the classic spare tire because it reduces weight and improves fuel economy. So don’t worry about whether or not the car you’re interested in comes with one. You really don’t need it. Today’s vehicles have tire pressure monitoring systems that let you know when your tire is low on air and needs to be fixed or replaced. If your tire blows out, you’ll need to call for a tow. 

Gesture Control Audio 

In theory, an infotainment system that works with your hand gestures sounds great. But you can probably do without this added expense. Right now, these systems aren’t that accurate at detecting hand gestures, which means they could misinterpret your signals and crank up the music when you want it lower. For now, stick with the reliable choice – the press of a button. 

In-Car Voice Control

Surprisingly, voice activated in-car systems have been around for nearly two decades. And they have gotten increasingly better over the years. However, they’re far from perfect and often misinterpret what was said. And, these voice control systems can’t do everything, so it’s possible that what you ask for will be a functional dead end.

Third Row Seats in Compact Cars 

Having a third row is highly desirable for large families, but don’t be automatically swayed by a compact crossover with third-row seating. These seats are so small and compact, usually only small children can fit in them. Even then, you’ll probably have to shift the second row forward, compromising their comfort. If you need three rows, we recommend going for a larger SUV. 

Shopping for a new vehicle? Check out the inventory from RepoFinder. We have a great selection of repossessed cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles at low prices. Many are close to new, in good condition and packed with added features you’ll find useful. 

online car shopping

Coronavirus and Cars: Here’s What You Need to Know

It’s clear that coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon, so if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you’ll have to take this into consideration. As long as you are secure in your job and can afford a new payment, now is a great time to purchase a vehicle. Used cars are most popular because they’re cheaper than new cars, which leads to smaller, more affordable loans that are less likely to put you underwater. 

Here’s everything you need to know about coronavirus and car shopping in 2020. 

Coronavirus and Car Interest Rates 

Auto loan interest rates are low right now to encourage lending, boost consumer spending and support the economy. How low? The Federal Reserve made moves back in March to reduce interest rates to zero

You typically won’t find 0% interest on a used car, but interest rates are still low. Plus, car shoppers are showing that they’re not afraid to take on longer loans as long as they can afford the payments and get the vehicle they want. In 2019, the average term length was 69 months for new cars and 65 months for used cars. 

Coronavirus and Car Shortages 

You can expect some shortages of vehicles sold in America due to supply chain disruptions and plant closures. This hasn’t been a significant problem because people are spending less time in the showrooms, leading to a decreased demand for vehicles. But for those looking for specific features, there may be more limited options. 

Full-size pickup trucks have remained strong during the pandemic. This is why you can expect fewer incentives and price drops on these vehicles as they’re in demand and people are willing to pay for them. Of course, you can always check out repossessed pickup trucks for a great deal

Coronavirus and Car Shopping 

There are many ways to protect yourself from the coronavirus when shopping for a used vehicle. Thankfully you can do most things on the internet. And if you shop with an online car site like RepoFinder.com, you can complete the whole process online! We have a large inventory of repossessed cars, trucks and SUVs available to the public. 

If you do see a car in person, be sure to disinfect the parts of the vehicle you’ll be touching, don’t touch your face, wash your hands after and don’t shake on the deal. Also take care of financing in advance so that you spend less time signing papers. 

Because all vehicles listed on RepoFinder.com are repossessions, you can apply for financing in advance. These vehicles are being sold by banks and credit unions that are also more willing to work with you on attractive financing. They are motivated sellers after all!  

If you’re looking for an affordable used car that you can purchase online, visit RepoFinder.com today! 

teen driver

New Teen Driver in the House? Get Them a Bank Owned Vehicle!

If you have a teenager in the home and they want a car, you have a few options to consider. You can buy the car for them, let them pay for the car on their own or do a combination of both. While it may seem tempting to go out and buy your teen a new car, especially if you have the money, it may not be the best option. 

Something else to consider is buying your teen a bank owned car. These vehicles have been repossessed from their previous owners and are now owned by the banks. However, the banks are in the market to lend money – not sell vehicles. What does this mean for you? You can get a decent first car for a fraction of what you’d pay at the dealership. 

Let’s look at the benefits of buying your teen a repossessed car. 

Honest, Affordable Prices 

Car dealerships drive people in with attractive ads, but they’re often deceptive. They might tease low payments, when in reality, the payments are temporary. Or they might show prices after a large down payment or low rates that only go up to a certain amount. Whatever the case, once you get to the dealership, the prices will be more than you thought.

Bank owned vehicles are affordable for a couple of reasons. First, the banks are highly motivated sellers that want to recoup some of their losses. Second, these cars are sold as-is. Whatever problems they come with are your responsibility. In return, the banks offer steep discounts to make these vehicles attractive. 

Low Monthly Payments 

When you pay less for a vehicle, the monthly loan payments will be lower as well. If your family can’t afford another car payment right now, a repo is a great option because you’ll pay far less than if you were to shop at the dealership. In fact, many repos are cheap enough that you can buy them outright without an auto loan. This is a great option for teens that have a nest egg saved up. 

Already Used and Loved 

Repossessions are previously owned so they’ve already been driven, used and loved. Even though your teen may feel that something new and shiny is best, this is rarely the case from a practical standpoint. Kids are kids and first-time cars often take a beating. 

The nice thing about used cars is that they’ve already been loved. You don’t have to worry too much about dents and dings. And your teen won’t have the pressure of keeping the car in pristine condition – they can focus on their driving experience instead. 

Find Your Teen Driver a Car at RepoFinder

RepoFinder has a huge database of repossessed cars that are perfect for new drivers. You can use our search tools to find a car that offers the features your child needs to be safe on the road while saving money and keeping payments low. Shop with us today and see what you can find for your teen driver! 

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!

odometer on used car

Used Car Shopping: How Many Miles are Too Many?

Buying a used car is often a great way to save money while getting something dependable for work or school. As you shop for used or repossessed cars, you may be wondering how many miles are too many. Generally speaking, the higher the number of miles, the lower the value of the car. 

The problem is that not all miles are created equal. For example, a car with 100,000 highway miles is probably in better shape than a car with 50,000 city miles. As you consider your options for a used vehicle, here are some considerations when it comes to miles driven. 

How Do I Know if a Car Has Too Many Miles? 

When you look at two used or repo cars, one of the first things you’ll compare is the miles. If one car has 50,000 miles and the other has 100,000 miles, it’s easy to assume the vehicle with less miles is more desirable. However, it’s not quite that simple. 

Highway miles are actually easier on a car than city miles. You’re traveling long distances at high speeds, but this is good for the alternator and battery because it let’s them charge properly. It’s also better for fuel efficiency because you’re traveling at constant speeds. 

City miles, on the other hand, involve a lot of stop-and-go traffic. This type of driving is much harder on the vehicle because of the braking and accelerating, which is bad for your engine, transmission and brakes. Stop-and-go driving also hurts your fuel efficiency. 

The Age of the Car Matters 

Another thing to consider is how old the repo vehicle is. 15,000 miles a year is considered to be the industry average, so it’s not unreasonable for a 10-year-old vehicle to have 100,000-150,000 miles on it. If the repo car that you’re interested in has far more or less miles, it’s worth asking why. 

Some cars might have less miles than they should, which looks attractive at first glance. However, if the car hasn’t been driven in a while, you may need to replace the oil, change out the oil filter and replace the transmission fluid. If the car has more miles than what is reasonable, it may need a lot of maintenance. 

How Long Do Cars Last?  

In terms of mileage, cars have an average life expectancy of 200,000 miles. Today’s vehicles are built stronger than ever, allowing many to be pushed over the 200,000 mark, regardless of whether it was reached in two years or ten. In fact, high-mileage cars are a good indication that the engine is running smoothly and has lots of life left.

Find a Used Car with the Right Mileage at RepoFinder

RepoFinder.com has a full database of repo vehicles sold by banks and credit unions across the U.S. To find a reliable used vehicle for a fraction of the price, contact us today. You can browse our database and find local repossessed cars, trucks and SUVs that work for you. 

buying cars from a private seller

Risks of Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller

Purchasing a car from a private seller can be a great way to save money on a vehicle while avoiding the dealership. If you know what you want, there’s no reason not to entertain buying a car privately. But, there are some risks to be aware of. Once you learn about these risks, you may feel more comfortable buying a used car from a more trustworthy source like a bank or credit union. 

Lack of Consumer Protection

The first thing to know is that state and federal laws that apply to dealerships do not apply to private sellers. Even though people don’t always enjoy working with dealerships, there are protections in place if you’re not happy with your purchase.

Unfortunately, you don’t get these same protections when shopping privately. You’re buying the car as-is, which means whatever problems it has will become your problems. Additionally, you won’t get any warranties, unless the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid. In this case, the warranty can be transferred to your name. 

Greater Responsibility 

When you walk into a dealership, you have multiple people talking to you and asking about your wants and needs. The knowledge that car salespeople have can be incredibly helpful to your search. Even if you came in looking for a specific car, they can recommend other vehicles that will fit your needs and budget. 

Naturally, you aren’t going to get this type of customer service when buying from a private seller. The seller may be nice enough to answer your questions, show you the manual and take you for a test drive, but they don’t have to do any of these things, either. Consider all of the time you’ll spend researching cars, scheduling meetings, arranging for transportation, etc. Time is money after all. 

More paperwork

Not only are you responsible for everything listed above, but also you and the seller must handle the paperwork. This means you’ll have to work with the seller to transfer the title, registration and any related fees, taxes and warranties. Usually, you’ll have to make a trip to the DMV to sort this out. 

Difficult Negotiations 

Again, this all depends on the seller, as some are more accommodating and will accept lower offers. However, many private sellers are not flexible on price. They’re expecting to make a certain profit, or they may be emotionally attached to the vehicle. This is why private sellers often charge more than they should. 

Banks and Lenders are a Safe Alternative to Private Sellers

If you’re unsure about working with a private seller but want to avoid the dealership, consider purchasing a repossessed vehicle through a bank, credit union or lender. Because these vehicles come straight from the source, there’s no middleman, easier negotiations and attractive financing offers. Plus, the banks aren’t emotionally attached to the vehicles – they want them sold!

To see what types of repos are available in your area, browse the inventory on RepoFinder.com

repossession

What Does it Mean to Buy a Repossessed Vehicle?

Are you thinking about buying a repossessed vehicle? It helps to know the facts about these vehicles so that you know what to expect. Some people think that repos are always in poor condition, but this is not necessarily the case. In fact, many people are able to purchase the car they want in great condition for a fraction of the price! However, patience and diligence are two qualities you’ll need.

Below is more information about what a repossessed vehicle is and what this means for you. 

What are Repossessed Vehicles? 

Owning a car can be a luxury, but it also comes with a steep price tag. According to Experian, average car payments are $554 for a new car and $391 for a used car. If you have other financial obligations like a mortgage payment or student loans, paying hundreds of dollars for a car every month may not be feasible.

As with other purchases, it’s common for people to overbuy on their vehicle. They can easily get swayed by the latest features or a newer model and end up taking on more than they can afford. For others, it’s a change in financial circumstances that makes it impossible to keep on top of their payments. 

Now, you might be thinking, “why not just return the car?” but it’s not that easy. Cars depreciate around 20% to 30% by the end of their first year. From years 2-6, depreciation ranges from 15% to 18% per year. This means that by year 5, cars have already depreciated by 60% or more of their initial value. 

How Quickly Can the Banks Repo Cars? 

Most people who buy cars use financing to do so. By taking out an auto loan, the borrower is agreeing to make the monthly payments on-time each month. If they don’t hold up their end of the deal, the lender has the right to take away the car. 

How quickly a car is repossessed depends on the lender and your state. Some lenders don’t start the repossession process until three payments are missed, while others will start it right after one missed payment. By law, lenders have the right to take your car away the day after a missed payment!

When are Repos Made Available to the Public? 

Once the car is repossessed, the banks usually try to give the owner another chance to catch back up. If this doesn’t happen, they’ll auction the vehicle off. Cars in poor condition are usually sent to a junkyard and not listed for sale. 

Repossessions come at a discount. This is what makes them valuable to car buyers. Many of the vehicles put up for auction are in good condition. However, they most likely haven’t had any maintenance, as the owner couldn’t even afford to make the payments. But with a bit of attention, most of the cars will be as good as new! 

Well, there you have it. Now you know about repossessed cars, where they come from and how they become available to the public. RepoFinder allows you to buy repossessions directly from banks and lenders. These are true repos at discounted prices. View our database for free and see what’s available in your area!

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.