Tag Archives: cheap cars

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. 

online car shopping

Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Buying a New Car

This entry was posted in Repo Cars and tagged , , , on by .

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)

This entry was posted in Repo Cars and tagged , , on by .

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.

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! 

man shopping for cars

Do I Need a Dealer’s License to Buy Repossessions?

If you’re interested in buying a repossessed vehicle for sale, you might be wondering if you need a dealer’s license to do so. Depending on who you buy the repo from, it’s possible that they may require a dealer’s license. But, not every repo seller does.

RepoFinder.com is a nationwide directory of banks and credit unions that sell repossessions to the public. You do NOT need a dealer’s license to buy any of the vehicles listed on our site. Let’s learn more about what a dealer’s license is, when you need it and why RepoFinder does not require one. 

What is a Dealer’s License? 

A car dealer’s license is required to start a dealership business. This license allows you to purchase new vehicles from car manufacturers and used vehicles from auto auctions. The benefit of having this license is that you can buy vehicles on a large scale. So, if you wanted to purchase ten vehicles from a repo auction, you could do so with a dealer’s license. 

To obtain a dealer’s license, you need proof of a federal tax identification number and evidence of your company’s name and location. Additionally, you need proof of insurance to cover all of the vehicles you plan to sell at your dealership. 

Why Would Someone Use a Dealer’s License to Buy Repos? 

Repossessed cars, trucks and recreational vehicles are hot. They are sold at highly discounted prices because the banks and credit unions are trying to recoup their losses. It’s not uncommon for repos to need some basic maintenance and repairs, as many haven’t received this from their owners. But, they tend to be in decent condition with few major problems. 

For this reason, the dealerships love getting repos. They can purchase the cars in bulk at a discounted rate, fix them up and sell them for as much as any other used car on the lot. This is why some repo listing sites and auctions require a dealer’s license. 

Does RepoFinder Require a Dealer’s License? 

RepoFinder sells repossessed vehicles to the public, so you do not need a dealer’s license to purchase a vehicle through our repo listing site. However, it’s important to know that each bank and credit union has different processes for selling repos. Therefore, you’ll want to visit each individual site to know what you need to purchase a vehicle.

For example, some banks will make you go through the bidding process while others allow immediate purchases. We do recommend working with banks that let you see the vehicle before you sign anything. Once you sign the paperwork, the car is yours whether it drives or not. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to shop for repossessions in your area. Check back often, as new repossessions are being added all the time! 

parking lot

What Do Banks Do with Repossessed Vehicles?

Most people who buy cars and trucks borrow money from the bank to do so. This means that they don’t own the vehicle free and clear, even though it’s theirs to drive around and maintain. If they stop making their monthly payments, the lender can take the vehicle away from them. This is often done without warning. Lenders might send a driver to get the car or take it away with a tow truck. 

Even though lenders don’t tell people when they’re coming to pick up the car, it’s not a surprise. When borrowing money from a lender, you have to agree to specific terms. This includes making your payments on time and maintaining insurance. If you don’t meet these requirements, the bank has the right to take the vehicle away. 

So, where do these vehicles go once they are taken by the bank? Surely they don’t sit in the parking lot! Let’s learn more about where repossessions go and how people like you can benefit from them. 

Where Repo Cars and Trucks Go 

When the bank comes to collect a car, truck, boat, etc. that is behind on payments, they often bring them to third-party storage facilities. These facilities specialize in managing the repossession and storage of repos. In some cases, however, the banks provide their own storage. 

Regardless of where the repo is being stored, the banks will hold it there until they list it for sale. In the meantime, they hope that the original owner makes payments and takes back the vehicle. If the owner cannot do that, the car is listed for sale. Lenders might sell the car to a dealership, while others organize auctions or list the vehicles on their website where private sellers can place a bid. 

How Repos Benefit the General Public 

The goal for the lender is to recoup some of their losses. This isn’t always possible, though, because repos are sold for a heavily reduced price. If the lender wants to recoup more of their losses, they will try to collect payment from the original owner – this “loss” does not get passed onto the new buyer. That said, the lender is responsible for selling the car at a reasonable market price. 

Here are some of the ways that repossessed vehicles help out the general public:

  • Affordable prices. Cars are expensive and not everyone can afford a new car payment. Repos are sold at low prices, allowing people to get a good vehicle at an affordable price. The affordability of these vehicles also makes them great for teens and college students and older adults who don’t drive much. 
  • Safe, reliable cars. There is a stigma that repo cars aren’t good cars, but this isn’t the case. Older vehicles are often paid off. It’s the newer vehicles that people have trouble affording and end up defaulting on their loan (average car loans are between 2 and 6 years). In reality, repos are often newer cars that are in good condition. 
  • Less waste. Rather than abandoning repossessed vehicles, they are sold through auction sites and dealerships to people who need them. Furthermore, it may be more environmentally friendly to drive a used car because it has less carbon dioxide emissions. 

Ready to check out the repossessions in your area? Visit RepoFinder.com, click on your state and find the banks, lenders and credit unions that are selling repossessed vehicles at great prices!