Tag Archives: inspection

mechanic checking a vehicle

How to Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection for an Out-of-State Repo

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Unlike new and used vehicle purchases from a dealership, repos are sold “as-is.” This means that you buy the car in its current condition with no option for a refund. In return for an “as-is” sale, you get a vehicle at a highly discounted price. Inspecting the repo ensures you bring home a safe and reliable car that may only require cosmetic improvements or minor repairs.

But, what happens if you find a car that you love but in a different state? This is common with repos as inventory can be limited. Below are some tips on how to get a pre-purchase inspection for an out-of-state repo. 

Gather information on the vehicle 

When you use a repo finder tool like RepoFinder.com, you can shop for repos by state. So, let’s say that you broaden your search and find a repo a couple of states over. The first thing to do is let the seller know that you are interested. There’s usually a Contact button that allows you to contact the seller. They may even be able to give you more information about the car’s condition. 

Inspect the online photos 

Take a close look at the photos available online. You can learn a lot from online auction photos, such as the condition of the interior and exterior, frame damage and wheel misalingment. Having lots of pictures is a good indication that the car is in fair shape. If you’re having trouble getting photos, it may mean that the seller is trying to hide damage. 

Send out a local mechanic 

If everything looks good so far, send out a mechanic who can assess the vehicle for you. Here is a great resource from the IAA that lists qualified companies that provide vehicle inspection services. Find an inspection company in the state the vehicle is in and ask about their availability. 

Notify the seller

Let the seller know that you plan to have the vehicle inspected. Coordinate with the seller and the vehicle inspection service to place an appointment. It’s possible that the two parties can talk to each other to figure out a good time, but this rarely happens. Instead, expect to schedule this appointment on your own after speaking to both parties.

Get the results

Because this is a repo sale, the seller may not bring it to a mechanic. You’ll most likely count on the mechanic to travel to the site on their own time. So, expect to pay around $250 or more for this. Once the mechanic has checked everything, they will give you an update over the phone. Mechanics don’t always catch everything, but at least you’ll have a pretty good idea if the car is worth buying or not.

Out-of-state repos are definitely more of a hassle than in-state ones, but sometimes people can’t find what they’re looking for unless they expand their reach. For a complete list of repo cars, trucks and recreational vehicles in or around your area, visit RepoFinder.com

cars in a flood

How to Look for Flood Damage in a Used Vehicle

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

Every year, thousands of vehicles are damaged in floods. Some of them are expected to be sold on the used car market, putting consumers at risk. Floodwater damage can lead to safety risks because parts in the engine, transmission and drive train become damaged. This means that they won’t work properly, making cars unreliable and unsafe on the road. 

Fortunately, there are ways to look for flood damage in a repossession or used vehicle. Below we’ll teach you how to spot the signs of floodwater damage and how to keep you and your passengers safe. 

Ask about the Vehicle’s History

The first thing you can do is ask about the history of the vehicle. A dealer can verify that there is no damage, as they must report the car’s condition back to the consumer accurately. However, in the case of repossessions, there may be no way to tell where the vehicle came from. Lenders and banks often have no history on repossessions, which means you’ll have to do some more investigating. 

Check the VIN 

Always check the VIN before buying a used car. There are a number of sites you can use, such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck or Experian’s Auto Check. These reports provide a detailed history report. You can find out if flood damage was reported or the vehicle was given a salvage title. Additionally, pay attention to where the vehicle was from. Were there recent hurricanes or storms in the area? 

Inspect the Interior 

The next step is to check the interior of the vehicle. Responsible sellers will allow you to do this before placing a bid on the repo. Here is what we recommend paying attention to: 

  • Damp, musty odors 
  • Dirt buildup in unusual places
  • Sludge or debris in unusual places
  • Excessive use of deodorizers
  • Unusual aesthetic upgrades, like brand new interior fabric 
  • Rusted or corroded electrical wiring 

Look at the Exterior 

It’s normal for repossessions to have some exterior damage, especially as many sit outside for extended periods of time. But, there are a few things to pay attention to. First, look for moisture beads or fog in the light fixtures. This is hard to remove, so a car with water damage will often have foggy lights. 

Second, check for signs of rust. Corrosion is not common in vehicles that are new or owned in warmer climates. Lastly, there are rubber drain plugs located under the vehicle and doors. If they look like they were messed with, it’s possible they were used to drain water. 

Conclusion 

Make sure to always bring a trusted expert with you when inspecting the repo. There are many great cars out there, and you want to be sure that you walk away with one. To browse repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com today.