Tag Archives: repossessed vehicles

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. 

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! 

person driving vehicle

What Steps Should I Follow When Buying a Repossessed Vehicle?

If you’re shopping for an affordable vehicle in decent condition, you don’t have to settle for a pricey used car. Another option is a repossessed vehicle, or one that was taken away from its previous owner for defaulting on the loan. 

The nice thing about shopping for repos is that they don’t have any upcharges. Buying a used car from a dealership is still expensive because it has been cleaned, repaired and inspected by a mechanic. Repo cars are sold as-is, which is reflected in the price. 

Below are the steps you should follow when buying a repossessed car, truck or other vehicle. 

Choose who you are going to buy from.

There are a number of ways you can purchase a repossessed vehicle:

  • Lenders. Buying directly from a lender is the best way to get a great deal. Credit unions and banks want to get rid of repos and recoup their losses, passing on the savings to you. For a complete list of repos in your state, visit RepoFinder.com.
  • Repo reseller. The benefit to working with a repo reseller is that they generally have some standard for the condition of vehicles they sell. You will pay more for these vehicles, but you can expect a better car. 
  • Auctions. There are all types of auctions online, though the majority are for used car dealers, not individual buyers. However, if you happen to find an online auction, make sure you register online and take a look at their inventory. 
  • Used car dealers. Used car dealerships do sell repos, but keep in mind that they will be more expensive. This is because the dealerships inspect the vehicles and fix them up before selling. 

Determine your budget. 

It’s important to establish your budget in advance. Most repos need some type of maintenance, so this will need to be factored into your budget. If you use all of your money to buy the car, you won’t have enough to make essential repairs. Like used cars, repos come in all price ranges. 

Research the vehicles you want. 

To narrow down your search online, research the best vehicles for your needs. Consider what features are most important to you, such as special cameras, sensors, tire pressure alerts and seating. Also research what car makes/models are most reliable. Generally speaking, repo shoppers do best with reliable, low maintenance cars that hold their value. 

Place your bid.

Once you find a repo that fits your criteria, you can make an offer on it. We also recommend having financing in place, as this shows that you are a serious buyer. 

Nearly all repo sites require you to be a member, which is why it’s important to choose how you’re going to buy your vehicle first. For example, when you sign up for RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month, you get full access to our repo list and can place bids. 

Inspect the vehicle.

If the seller accepts your bid, you can purchase the vehicle. We strongly recommend inspecting the repo before signing anything. You probably won’t be able to test drive it, but you can look at it for an overall assessment. Once this is done, you can sign the paperwork and take your vehicle home! 

Buying a repo is fairly straightforward, though it does require more diligence on the buyer’s part. You won’t have a car salesperson showing you around and selling you vehicles, which some look at as an advantage, but you will be on your own. Use the online tools to your advantage, research the cars you’re interested in and inspect the repo before signing anything and you should be just fine.

cars driving on the road

5 Things You Get When You Join RepoFinder Pro

RepoFinder is a nationwide directory of banks and credit unions that have repossessions for sale. These repos are sold to the public, so you do not need a dealer’s license to purchase them. You can use our site for free, allowing you to search for repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. in your state. However, if you find a vehicle that you’re interested in, you can benefit from upgrading your account to Pro status. 

Below are five things you get when you join RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month. No long-term contracts – cancel anytime! 

1. Full access to our Featured Repo list. 

If you want to learn more about any of the used vehicles on our directory, it helps to have RepoFinder Pro. With full access, you can view all information, such as the vehicle’s type, price, location, condition and other details. For example, has it been inspected by a mechanic? This will help you make informed decisions as to which repos you want to bid on at auction

2. Unlimited searches. 

There are no limits on the number of searches you do as a RepoFinder Pro member. This is important because it will probably take time to find a repo that fits your budget and buying criteria. Some people even bid on multiple vehicles before they win. To help narrow your search, use our category buttons. 

3. No sales fees or commissions. 

There are never any sales fees or commissions when you use RepoFinder Pro. We have an easy month-to-month subscription, and you can cancel anytime. At less than $5.00 a month, it’s easy to renew your membership until you find a repo that meets your needs. If you find a vehicle and your bid is accepted, you can cancel your membership – no strings attached. 

4. Access to the largest nationwide bank repo database. 

RepoFinder proudly offers the largest national bank repo database. We know that there are other repo listing sites out there, but none are quite as extensive as ours. You’ll find plenty of repossessions in your state that include cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, boats and even small aircraft. 

5. No dealer license required. 

With RepoFinder Pro, you can buy used cars and trucks without a dealer’s license. All repos listed on our directory are sold to the public. Other listing sites only sell to auto dealers who plan on buying vehicles in bulk at wholesale prices, which is why they require a special license. 

Feel free to browse our database at any time. It’s free and easy to use! If you find vehicles that you want to bid on or want more information on, you’ll have far more access by upgrading to RepoFinder Pro. With month-to-month subscriptions and a low fee, you have nothing to lose! 

red pickup truck

Is it Safe to Buy a Repo Car or Truck?

A repossessed car or truck is a great way to save money on your vehicle purchase. Not only can you get a great car at an affordable price, but you can also lower your monthly insurance costs and registration fees.

But, some people worry about the safety and reliability of these vehicles. If the previous owner failed to make their payments, they probably didn’t take the car in for routine maintenance. So, how safe can these cars and trucks be? 

When it comes to repo vehicles, each situation is unique. Some repos were maintained relatively well, but the owner fell on hard times. Others need basic maintenance like an oil change and new set of tires. And, there are vehicles that require too much work to be reliable. 

Bottom line: It is possible to find safe, dependable repo cars and trucks. Here are some tips to help you find one of your own. 

Know the Laws in Your State 

It helps to know the repossession laws in your state. Some states allow banks to take back a vehicle if the payment is late by just a few days. That said, most states enforce a grace period before allowing lenders to repo the vehicle. Also, because banks make money off interest, most try to work with the customer before taking away the vehicle. 

Nevertheless, if you live in a state that works quickly on repossessions, you may have a bigger selection of vehicles in decent condition to choose from. The longer your state takes to collect vehicles, the more time they have to sit there. 

Buy Directly from the Lender 

You can find very good deals by shopping through a lender. Dealerships sell repossessed vehicles, but they end up buying them from auctions and fixing them up. At least you know you’re getting a car that has been inspected by a mechanic, but it also means you’ll be paying just as much as you would for a used car. So, buy directly from the lender to save money. 

Most lenders are very good about supplying prospective buyers with information and photos of the vehicle. If you use a repo listing site like RepoFinder.com, you can look through all of the banks and credit unions in your state that are selling top-quality vehicles, as well as items like boats, RVs and ATVs. 

Ask to View the Repo Vehicle 

Many sellers will allow you to view the repo before signing anything. Typically, you’ll place your bid first, and if you win, you’ll have the chance to look at the car or truck. We always recommend bringing along someone who knows about cars so that you can identify potential red flags. 

We also recommend only buying repos that have proper documentation. If you purchase a car that has no title, you could face serious issues down the road proving ownership. Technically, the original owner could come back and claim the vehicle, even if you have been paying on it. 

Find a Safe, Reliable Repo with RepoFinder.com 

RepoFinder.com lists the banks, lenders and credit unions in your state that are selling repo cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, RVs and more. It’s free to use, and you’ll find plenty of pictures and descriptions about the repos for sale. When you find something you like, do your research on the vehicle to identify safety issues or other common problems. This will help you place a strong and effective bid. 

repo vehicle

5 Things to Look for in Online Auto Photos

When you’re browsing for clean or salvage title cars for sale, you have no choice but to rely on the information and photos provided. The quickest way to get an overall idea of each vehicle’s condition is by looking at the images. You can learn a lot from these pictures, including what the interior and exterior look like. However, there are things you can miss if you’re not careful. 

To help you select the best repo car for your budget, here are five things to look for in online auto photos.

1. Check for pooling liquids.  

Look at the ground under and around the vehicle. Is it dry? Or do you notice spots of pooling liquid? It’s not always possible to see this, and even if you do, the liquid may be from another vehicle. That said, pooling water or oil can indicate a serious mechanical problem so it’s important to check up on it. 

2. Look over the engine. 

Check for photos of the engine, and if there aren’t any available, ask for them. You’ll want to know if engine damage, corroded connections or missing parts are a problem. Repossessions are sold as is, so any engine issues are your responsibility to fix. Unfortunately, some people tamper with the engines when they know their vehicle is going to be repossessed. 

3. Locate the keys. 

If you plan on driving the vehicle off the lot, you’ll need a set of keys. The best way to check for them is to see if they’re physically present in the photos. A lot of times, the keys are hanging around the steering wheel. Other times, they’re held in an office to prevent theft. If you do need to replace the keys, budget roughly $100-$400 a set. 

4. Follow up on panel gaps.

Panel gaps don’t always indicate serious damage, but they are worth looking into, especially if the listing mentions “damage history” or “partial repair.” For example, a panel gap between the front panel and hood may mean that the vehicle was in a front-end collision that resulted in frame damage. 

5. Make sure the wheels match up. 

One last thing to check is the wheels. Many repossessed vehicles are not properly maintained, so it’s common to need new tires. But, some tire problems can indicate a more serious problem. For instance, misaligned wheels may be a sign of a bent or broken axle that will make the car inoperable.  

At RepoFinder, we always recommend having an inspection done. It’s best to search for repossessions in your local area so that you can visit them in person. However, if you find a vehicle you love but can’t inspect it yourself, hire a third party service. This way, you’ll have the clarity you need to make a confident and competitive offer. 

repo car bought direct from a lender

Buying a Repo? Make Sure it’s Direct from a Lender

There are different ways to buy a repossession, such as through a physical auction house, an online auction service or a lender. At RepoFinder.com, we always recommend buying repos direct from lenders, banks and credit unions. You can find a better deal this way because lenders are motivated to sell. Also, they rarely put money into repos, so you’re not paying for things you can do yourself, like cleaning the vehicle or making minor repairs. 

It’s not always clear cut who you are buying from when purchasing a repossession. For example, some dealerships advertise repo cars and trucks. They aren’t lying – the vehicles really were repossessed. However, the dealership most likely put money into cleaning up and restoring the vehicle, which means the vehicle has a markup to it. 

So, how can you make sure that you’re buying a repo directly from the lender? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

Go Straight to the Source – Lender Websites 

If you do a general search for repossessions, advertisements and sponsored content will pop up first. This content is dominated by dealerships and auction sites that are trying to sell repos for a profit. They’ve likely taken the repos off the hands of lenders and credit unions, then prepped, repaired and added their markup to it. 

The better option is to look for repossessions directly on the websites of lenders, banks and credit unions. This means that you have to visit each site independently, which will take more time. But at least you know that you’re looking at true repos.  

Not sure which lenders and banks to start with? No worries! RepoFinder.com has taken care of the sorting for you. Visit our site, choose the state you live in and that’s it! You’ll be given a list of the banks and credit unions in your area that sell repos. Their inventory changes often, so be sure to check back frequently for newly added repossessions. 

Be Patient in Your Research 

While some people have landed a great repo car right away, this isn’t the norm. It usually takes time and patience to find a decent car at the right price. This is why we recommend starting early and taking your time finding a repossession. 

In some cases, you might find that a car you really like is going for more than its NADA or Kelley Blue Book value. This usually happens because more is owed to the bank than what the vehicle is worth. You should have some negotiating power in these instances, but it’s also possible that the bank will be firm. So, give yourself time to find the right vehicle. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to find repossessions directly from banks and credit unions. Browse our site today to find a repo car or truck that fits your needs and budget. 

Kelley Blue Book values

How Accurate is Kelley Blue Book?

If you’re considering buying a repossession, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Kelley Blue Book (KBB) values. Given a history of over 90 years and millions of unique visitors logging onto the site each month, KBB is one of the most popular and trusted guides for automotive pricing. It can also be incredibly useful when placing a bid on a repo car. But, how reliable is KBB? 

Let’s go over the basics of how KBB determines used car values, some issues with pricing to think about and solutions when placing a bid on a repo car. 

How KBB Decides Used Car Values 

Kelley Blue Book regularly receives car prices from wholesale auctions, car dealers, rental fleets, auto manufacturers and private party sales. It uses a sophisticated algorithm to analyze pricing data, historical trends, current economic conditions, time of year, location and industry developments to come up with an accurate value for each vehicle.

Here are the different values each car is given. 

  • Private party value. This number tells you how much you can expect to pay for a vehicle through a private seller. 
  • Trade-in value. The trade-in value is the amount you’re likely to get when trading in your vehicle.
  • Suggested retail value. This is the price that car dealerships are usually asking for a vehicle.
  • Certified pre-owned value. Cars covered under certified pre-owned fall into this category.

As you can see, KBB takes many factors into consideration when determining the value of today’s vehicles. However, there is still a lag that must be accounted for, as it takes time to collect and analyze the data. It’s possible that the latest trends and economic conditions aren’t being accounted for in the latest number. Other than this, you can expect Kelley Blue Book to be a good benchmark for your bid. 

Tips for Bidding on a Repossession 

When you find a repossession that you want, the next steps are to inspect the vehicle and place a bid. Here are some tips that will help you place a strong bid.

  • Consider other sources. KBB is great, but there are other options as well. Check out the NADA Guide (the yellow book) and consumer reports. Compare your findings for the most accurate price. 
  • Negotiate. There is usually some room to negotiate when buying a repossession. Banks and lenders want these vehicles off their books and some will go below the KBB value. 
  • Set a limit. Know what you’re willing to pay for the vehicle. When multiple people bid on a repossession, it can drive up the price. Don’t let the excitement of winning a bid cause you to pay more for a car than you need to. 
  • Choose a bank or lender. Although you can bid through an online auction, it’s better to work with a lender or bank. You can get financing through this seller, which gives you more negotiating power and better terms. 

The Bottom Line

Kelley Blue Book is a great resource, but it’s not the only one out there. Be sure to consult other resources, establish a limit and do a thorough inspection. This way, you’ll be confident when it comes time to place a bid. To browse repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. in your area, visit RepoFinder.com. It’s FREE! 

buying an as-is car

Buying a Used Vehicle: What Does “As-is” Mean?

When you purchase a used vehicle that is marked in “as-is” condition, it means you are agreeing to buy the car in its current condition. If there are repairs that need to be made, you will be responsible for them. Repossessed cars are typically sold in “as-is” condition. If you are considering a repo car, it’s important to understand this term in its entirety. Repos can be great purchases as long as you know what you’re getting into. 

Let’s learn more about what “as-is” means and protective steps you can take. 

What You Get with an As-Is Car Purchase

When buying a car “as-is,” you get the vehicle in the condition that it’s currently in. Usually, the seller will sell the car “as-is” with no warranty. This lets the buyer know they are buying the vehicle without any warranty coverage. So, if you are driving home and the transmission fails, the seller is under no obligation to take back the repo or make repairs. 

Not having this peace of mind makes some people uncomfortable with a repo purchase, but “as-is” doesn’t mean that the vehicle is in poor condition. In fact, many repos are high-quality cars in great condition – their owners just couldn’t afford them anymore. As long as you have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic, don’t let “as-is” scare you away. 

Buying an As-Is Repo Car 

In order to buy an “as-is” repossession, you should take a few steps to protect yourself. It may be harder to get a history report on the vehicle, and it’s possible that the lender won’t know anything about it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Any information about the repo is helpful in knowing what work may be needed. 

Before making an offer, ask the lender if you can see the vehicle. Reputable sellers encourage this. Bring along a mechanic who will inspect the vehicle to uncover unknown problems. If there are issues found, you can either pass on the repo or negotiate a lower price. 

At the end of the day, being open to “as-is” vehicles is a great way to get a good car at a decent price. You just have to be willing to do your homework and bring along a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection. For a full list of lenders, banks and credit unions selling repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

credit score before buying used car

What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Used Car?

Whether you buy a new car, used car or repossessed car, you’ll need to pay for the vehicle before you take it home. Unless you have the cash upfront, you’ll have to take out a car loan. One of the biggest predictors in the type of loan you get and the interest rate you pay is your credit score. Knowing how important this three-digit number is, what do you need to get a decent used-car loan? 

Average Credit Scores for New and Used Cars 

According to a 2017 Experian report, the average credit score for a new-car loan was 713 and 656 for a used-car loan. A repossession is no different than a used car in the eyes of a bank. But, it’s your responsibility to do your homework. A used car from a dealership might have a warranty, but a repossession will not (unless it’s from the manufacturer). If you take out a loan for a repo and it ends up not running, you are still responsible for paying back the loan. 

So, what happens if you don’t have the average 656 credit score? You can still get a loan, but you can expect to pay more in interest rates. Someone in the low 700s might see interest rates of 5%, while someone in the low 500s might see 15%. Also, the state you live in makes a difference, as some states give higher insurance rates to those with poor credit. 

To break things down, here is a chart of credit scores vs average APRs on new and used vehicles, courtesy of Experian. 

Credit score Average APR, new car Average APR, used car
Superprime: 781-850 3.68% 4.34% 
Prime: 661-780 4.56% 5.97%
Non Prime: 601-660 7.52% 10.34%
Subprime: 501-600 11.89% 16.14%
Deep subprime: 300-500 14.41% 19.98%

Before You Start Shopping

One of the benefits you have when buying a repo car is the financing. When you purchase a repo directly from a lender or credit union, they are willing to work with you on the financing. They are banks, after all, and they make money by lending money.

Because it can take time to find the perfect repo car, use this period to check your credit profile and make improvements. You can request a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – once a year. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. 

Once you know what your score is, you can get a realistic idea of what interest rates you will be paying. If you have to delay your repo car purchase, bring your credit score up by doing the following: 

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Avoid applying for new credit
  • Keep credit card balances low relative to your limits
  • Leave old accounts open 

For a complete list of repossessed cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, boats, etc., visit RepoFinder.com today. Our list includes banks, lenders and credit unions that have repossessed vehicles and are willing to work with the public to sell cars and provide financing.