Tag Archives: repossessions

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. 

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! 

dollar bill

What is the Best Way to Finance a Used Car?

If you’re planning on buying a used vehicle and want to know how to finance it, you’ll be surprised by the options you have. Planning ahead is a smart decision because it allows you to get the best rates. And, by running through a few different scenarios, you can determine exactly what fees to expect when making an auto purchase

Below are the best options for financing a used vehicle and the benefits to expect with each one. 

Used Car Loans 

The most popular option for financing a used vehicle is a used car loan. Many car loans come from big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One and Chase, but there are plenty of others out there, too. Large banks tend to have higher interest rates and fees, while smaller, brick-and-mortar branches are often more affordable. 

To ensure you get the best car loan, it helps to do some research. Know your credit score, determine what you’re willing to spend each month and review different companies. By getting prequalified, you’ll be in a better position when it comes time to bid on a vehicle.  

Credit Unions 

Credit unions can also finance your repo car purchase, just as the banks do. You will end up getting an auto loan with monthly payments, but you can expect a slightly different process. For instance, credit unions are not-for-profit and typically offer lower fees but higher interest rates. Their customer service tends to be above average as well. 

Home Equity Loans 

Used car loans aren’t the only way to pay for a car. If you have equity in your home and you can access it, you may use this money to purchase a vehicle. Home equity loans usually offer lower interest rates than standard auto loans, and you may even be able to write off a portion of the interest on your taxes. 

Personal Loans 

Another option for financing your vehicle is a personal loan. Most personal loans have no restrictions on what you can use them for, giving you the freedom to buy any vehicle you want, including a repossessed luxury vehicle. However, there are things to watch for as well. For example, some personal loans have higher interest rates and additional loan fees compared to auto loans. 

Peer-to-Peer Loans 

Peer-to-peer loan platforms allow you to borrow money from an investor. If you don’t qualify for traditional financing, or you don’t like the offers you are getting, this is an option worth checking out. The requirements are usually less strict compared to banks and credit unions, and the financing typically comes quickly. The loan amounts are usually low, but this won’t be a problem if you’re planning on buying an affordable repossession. 

As you can see, there are many options for financing your repo car purchase. Repossessions are lower in price to begin with, so when you choose the right financing option, you can expect reasonable monthly payments that won’t break the bank.

man shopping for cars online

Tips for Online Car Shopping During Coronavirus

Car dealerships remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic because they are considered essential services. If your car tanks, you’ll need a new one after all. However, the pandemic is changing the way people shop for vehicles. Rather than coming into the showroom and being in close contact with others (car salespeople, financing department), you can shop for vehicles online. 

If you’re thinking about buying a new car during the pandemic, there are some things you should know. By following the tips below, you can ensure a smooth and successful online transaction whether you’re buying a brand new vehicle or a used repossession. 

Do Your Research 

Research is key when buying a vehicle online. You don’t have someone to show you the ropes and go over the available features, so you’ll have to do this yourself. Most people don’t mind, as it allows them to browse for vehicles at their leisure. If you’re shopping for a repossessed car or truck, keep your expectations realistic. Know what you can afford and the types of vehicles available in your price range. 

Decide Where You’ll Buy From 

Most dealerships have a good selection of inventory online, but they’re not the only ones that sell cars and trucks. You can also go with an online car site that sells all types of vehicles at different price points. Or, you can shop with an online auction site that allows you to bid on the vehicles you want. In addition to cars, RepoFinder.com has pickup trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, ATVs, boats and even small aircraft. 

Consider the Test Drive 

The one downfall to shopping for cars online is that you can’t test drive them all like you could at a dealership. In fact, you might not be able to take a test drive at all! Not all online car services are accommodating with this type of stuff, so you’ll need to be flexible. Your best bet is to do your research and look for virtual tools that allow you to “drive” and explore the vehicle of your choice. 

Get Used Cars Independently Inspected

Because test drives aren’t always available when shopping online, we recommend getting an independent inspection. When shopping for repossessions, for example, you’ll usually have the chance to inspect the vehicle before signing anything. Bring along someone who knows cars, and if the vehicle is far from home, hire someone local to do a quick inspection. 

Decide How You’ll Get the Car 

Dealerships often deliver vehicles right to your doorstep for a fee. However, other services expect you to come and pick up the car. In this case, you’ll need to coordinate the details. Often times, two people will come down together in one car and then drive both vehicles back home. 

RepoFinder offers a full list of banks and credit unions that are selling repossessed cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. You can do everything online, from viewing the pictures to making a bid. Visit us today and enjoy a safe, convenient way to shop for affordable repossessions in good condition. 

wheels

AWD vs 4WD: What’s the Difference?

When shopping for used cars, there are a number of features to pay attention to. An important one is all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD). Years ago, if you wanted four driven wheels, you were limited to a small selection of vehicles. Today, this is not the case. Close to half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. have either AWD or 4WD. 

So what’s the significance of having all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive? Is one better than the other? We’ll answer your questions in this article. 

What is All-Wheel Drive? 

All-wheel drive systems send power to both the front and rear wheels. Some AWD vehicles have all four wheels driving continuously, while others operate in mostly two-wheel drive. If you need the extra traction, the car will automatically send power to all four wheels. 

The benefit to AWD is that you don’t have to make any decisions about your wheels. Either the wheels are driven the whole time, or the system will drive with two and send power to all four if it senses a loss of traction. This allows you to drive smoothly in all types of weather conditions and terrains. 

What is Four-Wheel Drive? 

Four-wheel drive systems have become incredibly sophisticated over the years. They can handle more off-road use and are found in a wide range of vehicles, including luxury cars. However, 4WD is robust and remains most popular for ruggedness and pulling power. 

Like AWD, 4WD comes in two types: full-time and part-time. With full-time 4WD, the wheels receive power continuously. With part-time 4WD, only the two wheels move. If you need to send power to the other wheels, you’ll need to make the decision and push a button or shift the lever. 

Which is Better: AWD vs. 4WD? 

There is no best option for everyone. It all depends on where you live and what types of driving conditions you encounter. Before buying a repossession in your area, think about how you plan to use the vehicle. Will you be going off-roading with your new truck? Do you drive in snow and ice in the winter? Is fuel economy important to you?

We recommend AWD for many drivers because it delivers traction in the right conditions, offers better fuel economy and can be found in a wide range of vehicles, including luxury cars and SUVs. On the other hand, if you live in a remote area, work in extreme conditions or enjoy off-roading, we suggest 4WD. It’s better equipped to handle these rugged conditions. 

Find Your AWD or 4WD Repo Today 

When you shop for repossessed cars and trucks with RepoFinder, we try to put AWD or 4WD in the vehicle’s description. This way, you can easily see what system each vehicle comes with. It’s a quick and easy way to narrow down your options, especially if you prefer one system over the other. View a full list of repos in your area by visiting RepoFinder.com today. 

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.

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! 

woman using a repo listing site

5 Reasons to Use a Repo Listing Site

If you are considering buying a repossessed car, truck or recreational vehicle, it’s best to start with a list of available vehicles in your area. This way, you can check out what lenders, banks and credit unions are selling in and around your location. 

It’s important to know that repo listing sites often charge fees. While you may not mind paying one or two fees, you certainly don’t want charges from multiple listing sites. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay to get a great selection of repossessions in your area. RepoFinder.com is free and allows you to search for repos by state. 

Below are five reasons to use a repo listing site like RepoFinder to find your next vehicle. 

1. Easy to find what you’re looking for. 

In most cases, it takes time to find a repo vehicle that meets your needs and budget. During your search, you don’t want to be jumping back and forth from one site to the next. A repo listing site allows you to browse vehicles in one simple place. 

2. View photos and descriptions. 

Repossessed listing sites feature photos and descriptions of the vehicles for sale. This way, you can get a close look at the used vehicles and the condition they’re in. Plus, because you’re using a listing site, you’ll find a consistent display of information. For example, RepoFinder offers the following info on most vehicles: 

  • Price 
  • Vehicle type
  • Location
  • Asking price 
  • Features 

3. Narrow down your search.

Using a repo listing site, you can narrow down your search based on several factors. For example, you can find vehicles by the category you want (i.e., aircraft, boat, car, equipment, etc.). You can also choose the banks, lenders and credit unions you prefer to work with. RepoFinder even offers quick links to used cars under $1,500, used trucks under $999 and auction yards in your area. 

4. Get an updated selection. 

One of the best parts about shopping on a repo listing site is that everything is updated regularly. As long as you check back often, you can ensure a great mix of repossessed cars, trucks and ATVs that have been recently listed. When you find something you’re interested in, you can research the vehicle and decide if you’re ready to place a bid. 

5. Find vehicles that aren’t posted elsewhere. 

When you do a quick Google search for repo vehicles, the results will turn up dealerships that are selling restored repos. That’s because the dealerships have money to pay for these advertisements. A repo listing site, on the other hand, has vehicles you won’t find anywhere else. They are true repos being sold at discounted prices. 

Shop with RepoFinder Today 

RepoFinder makes it easy to find repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, ATVs, boats, etc. in one place. Our site is free to use and explore. If you choose to sign up for RepoFinder Pro, it’s just $4.95 a month with the option to cancel anytime. There are no sales and commissions, and you get unlimited searches and full access to our repo reports. Find your budget-friendly repo today! 

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.