Tag Archives: repossessed vehicles

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.

repossessed cars

Buying a Repo Car that Hasn’t Been Driven in a Long Time

It doesn’t take much for a car to be repossessed. In most states, one default can kickstart the repossession process. After default, the creditor can repossess the car at any time and without notice. This is why there are many great repossessions on the market, you just have to be willing to look for them. 

However, not all repossessions go quickly. Extensions may be granted on the loan – unsuccessfully. Then, when the car is finally repossessed, it goes to an impound lot where it’s held for 30 days. If the owner can’t catch up on payments, the lender gets the title and can sell the repo. 

It’s possible that the car you’re looking at has been sitting for a long time. The previous owner didn’t make their payments on time, so it’s almost guaranteed that the vehicle hasn’t received maintenance. How can you safely buy a repo car that hasn’t been driven? 

Here are a few tips to help you make a smart used car purchase. 

Bring Along a Mechanic 

Before bidding on a repo, ask to inspect the vehicle. Reputable lenders will allow you to do this. If you don’t know a lot about cars, bring along someone who does, preferably a mechanic. For a couple hundred dollars, you can get the answers you need. 

Below are a couple ways a mechanic can help: 

  • Check for corrosion and frame rot. If the car was parked outside for an extended period, it will probably show frame corrosion. Repairing this will be very expensive, so it’s best to move onto a different vehicle. 
  • Make sure it runs. If the car ran fine before, it won’t need much to restart. However, if it had problems in the past, think twice about the repo. It could be an easy fix (e.g., dead battery), but it’s more likely to be something major. 

Ask Why the Car Hasn’t Been Driven

The lender may or may not have information on the vehicle. It depends on how they acquired the repo in the first place. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask questions. Sometimes, lenders can shed light on why a particular vehicle was taken away from its owners. 

Pay Attention to Signs of “Lot Rot” 

“Lot rot” is a term that describes cars that sit too long on a dealership’s lot. The same rules apply for repossessed vehicles that haven’t been driven in a long time. It’s possible that they sat on the street for months without any maintenance. 

Be familiar with the signs of lot rot such as: 

  • Rust
  • Damaged paint 
  • Brake issues
  • Battery that won’t hold a charge
  • Flat spots on tires 
  • Screeching tires 

Even though repos are far cheaper than buying new or used from a dealership, you’re still making an investment that you will be responsible for. If you can’t drive the car off the lot, it’s your problem. This is why it’s important to do your research, ask the questions you can and bring along an expert to look at the vehicle. Fortunately, plenty of repos sit for a long time and manage to start up with no problems! 

To find a repossessed car that fits your needs and budget, browse RepoFinder.com for FREE! 

repossessed vehicle great value

5 Ways to Tell You’re Getting a Good Repo

Buying a repossession is a lot like buying a used car, except it is an “as-is” purchase. There is no warranty from the dealer, so you absorb whatever problems the car has. This is why repos are hundreds to thousands of dollars less than other vehicles. 

Even though there are significant cost savings upfront, you don’t want to end up wasting your money. So, how can you determine that the repossession you’re looking at is actually a good deal? Below are five signs to look for.

  1. You’re buying a repo from a bank or credit union.

Where you buy your repo from makes a big difference. We recommend working with lenders because they have the best prices with no added fees or commissions. Plus, you can often get attractive financing offers directly from the bank. Lenders are also transparent with pricing and bidding. 

  1. You can do an inspection. 

You should always ask to see the repo before you make an offer. Again, when you work with a reputable seller, an inspection shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t know a lot about cars, bring along someone who does. They can look over the repo and make sure it’s a good value. 

  1. The repo has a title. 

You should never buy a vehicle without the title. If a repo doesn’t have a title, there’s no telling who really owns the car. You could pay for it, and the owner could claim ownership later on. What you don’t get with a repossession is a warranty from the dealer. But, a repossession does not change the title or manufacturer warranty. 

  1. You know where it came from.

It’s not always possible to know where a repossession came from. However, if the bank can tell you some information about the vehicle, it’s in your favor. Depending on the circumstances, the lender may know the condition of the repo, a little bit about the history and the area it came from. This information, coupled with an inspection, can give you greater peace of mind. 

  1. You feel good about the purchase. 

If you feel that you’ve found the right repo car, make an offer! Don’t be afraid to negotiate or offer a lower price, especially if you want financing from the bank. On the other hand, if you don’t feel confident, you should wait. There are tons of repossessions, with new ones being listed daily. There is no reason to buy something you’re unsure of. 

It is possible to find a clean repossession in good working condition at a great value. For a convenient list of banks and credit unions with repo lists in your area, visit RepoFinder.com today.