Tag Archives: repossessions

holiday car shopping

Tips for Buying a Car During the Holidays

If you’re looking to splurge on yourself this holiday season, a car might be just the thing! After all, you need a vehicle to get you to and from work, so it makes a practical gift. It may also be time for an update, especially if your current vehicle is lacking the latest safety features. 

But is the holiday season really the best time to buy a new or used car? Or should you wait until after the holidays? Actually, you can’t go wrong with either one! Savvy car buyers know that December and January are great times to buy because dealers are hoping to unload old inventory.

Keep in mind that with car shortages, this year may look a little different in terms of prices and inventory. But we still have some useful tips that will help you make a smart car purchase during the holidays. 

Shop on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are some of the best days to shop for a car. Dealers are eager to get old inventory off the lot, and they know that buyers are motivated to make a purchase. 

Research shows that you can get an average of 8.12% off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), which adds up to thousands of dollars in savings. If you can, it’s also better to shop in the mornings when the crowds are smaller and you can get more attention. 

Be Ready to Act Quickly 

Even though car inventory is low this year, people still need cars. Therefore, if you find a good deal, you must be ready to act quickly. This is why we recommend doing your research at home so that you can compare your options without pressure. 

At RepoFinder, you can browse our inventory of repossessed vehicles at your leisure. Find cars that meet your needs, take time to review their features and ask the sellers questions. When you’re ready, you can place a strong bid. 

Consider Last Year’s Model 

Even though you might be drawn to the 2022 models, you can save big bucks by going to a 2020 or 2021 model. The car is still new and probably has similar styling and features as the latest models, but they’ll be thousands of dollars cheaper because the dealers consider them dated. 

Bring Your Own Financing 

Another helpful tip for purchasing a new or used car over the holidays is to come with your financing in place. Dealerships make part of their earnings through interest rates, which means they’re often higher than they need to be. 

You can save money by going to your own bank and acquiring a pre-approved loan. For an even better deal, shop for a car at RepoFinder.com where banks and credit unions sell their repo inventory. You can get financing straight through them, and they’re often willing to negotiate even better deals. 

Shop at RepoFinder this Holiday Season

Hopefully these tips have given you the direction you need to start shopping for a new or used vehicle over the holidays. If you miss the month of December, you can expect some great deals in January, too! But for the very best deals every day of the year, be sure to check out the repo inventory on RepoFinder.com

buying a car in 2022

Three Reasons to Wait Until 2022 to Buy a Car

Are you thinking about buying a new or used vehicle before the end of the year? You might be better off waiting until 2022, if you’re able to. Why? A number of negative factors have come together to make 2021 one of the worst years to buy a car. Between supply shortages, few incentives and a lack of choice, many people have delayed online car shopping. 

Below are the top three reasons why it’s best to wait until 2022 to buy a new or used car. Thankfully, it’s just around the corner, so you can start preparing for your car purchase today! 

1. Inventory is Low 

Inventory for vehicles is low right now. The computer chip shortage is largely to blame, as some electronic parts use 500 to 1,500 chips depending on their complexity. As this article points out, car manufacturers like Toyota only have an 18-day supply of new cars. 

But what if you can’t wait and need a new car right now? Rest assured you can find a used vehicle through RepoFinder. We continue to maintain a strong inventory of repo cars, trucks, vans and SUVs that are available to purchase. 

2. Few Incentives are Available 

With high demand and low inventory, there are few incentives available. Normally, both car manufacturers and dealerships offer incentives so they can sell more cars. But since there aren’t many vehicles available to buy, you won’t find many good incentives. 

This also means that negotiations probably won’t get you far, either. Car dealers know that if you don’t want to buy the car for the price it’s listed for, the next person will. Again, if you want a good car at a decent price, it’s best to open up your options and consider repo cars. 

3. Dealers Prices are High 

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the price the manufacturer suggests selling the car for. To be competitive, dealers usually stick to this price range, but this is not the case today. Many dealers are charging $10,000-$20,000 over sticker price. 

Cars are already expensive, so you have to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on a car. Keep in mind that you must be able to afford your monthly payments, too. Also, since dealers are raising the prices of new cars, the banks are valuing them higher and this can make it harder to get approved for an auto loan. 

Need a Car Now? RepoFinder Has Inventory Available! 

RepoFinder maintains a steady inventory of vehicles. Even though there is a car shortage, we’ve been able to turn over our inventory because the banks are repossessing vehicles due to outstanding loan balances. If you can’t wait until 2022 for prices to decrease and inventory to increase, you can find what you need through RepoFinder. 

car repo'd during COVID

Can Cars Be Repossessed During COVID?

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COVID-19 has disrupted the economy, leaving millions of Americans struggling to pay their bills. The economy is slowly improving, but this doesn’t mean that all families have bounced back. It can take months, if not years, to recover from an income loss. 

One of the biggest monthly bills for Americans is their car payment. The average monthly car payment in the U.S. is $563 for new vehicles, $397 for used vehicles and $450 for leased vehicles. With payments this high, some people have stopped paying them due to pandemic-related hardships. 

If you’re in this boat, you might be wondering if your car can be repossessed. Below is everything you need to know about car repossessions during COVID-19. 

Are Cars Still Being Repo’d in 2021? 

In difficult times, repossessions go up. Due to the coronavirus recession and high levels of unemployment, over 7 percent of all car loans in the U.S. are in some type of deferment program. Missing car payments damage credit scores and can result in a visit from the repo man. 

While some lenders have declined repossessions during COVID-19, not all have. And unlike mortgages, utilities and rent payments, there hasn’t been much relief for auto loans. So, while many lenders have tried to be more flexible with auto repossessions, they are still happening every day during the pandemic. 

Where Do Repossessed Cars End Up? 

While it’s always in the consumer’s best interests to speak with their lender and try to work something out, it doesn’t mean they’ll get to keep the car. Lenders can still repossess vehicles without warning. 

When a car is repossessed, the lender usually tries to work something out with the owner. If they can’t catch up on their payments, the car will usually go to an auction. Most commonly, repos go to dealer-only auctions where you’ll need a dealer’s license to place a bid. This is why dealerships get their hands on repos first. 

But there are options for the general public. On RepoFinder.com, banks, lenders and credit unions sell their vehicles directly to the public – no dealer’s license required. You can browse our selection of vehicles for free and place a bid at your convenience. 

What are the Benefits of Buying a Repossessed Car? 

Due to pandemic-related hardships, car repossessions are up in many areas. While it’s not fun to be on the giving side of this relationship, people who are shopping for affordable, accessible cars can benefit. 

Here are some of the advantages to buying a repo car:  

  • Cheaper than new and used cars from the dealership – pay a fraction of the price! 
  • Work directly with the banks and lenders – no middleman to drive up prices or complicate the process 
  • Highly motivated sellers that are open to negotiations 
  • All-in-one shopping experience as you can get financing directly from the seller 
  • Wide selection of vehicles available for purchase NOW – unlike the dealerships that are facing a chip shortage 

While it’s unfortunate that cars are still being repossessed, it does allow for a strong repo inventory for those searching for cheap, readily available vehicles. Find a car that suits your needs and budget today on RepoFinder.com

buy car from bank or private seller

Banks vs Private Sellers: Which is Safer for Buying Cars?

If you’re interested in buying a used car, you have several options. Many people choose to buy a used vehicle from a dealership, but cars are hard to come by these days. The global microchip shortage is restricting new car inventory, and this has led to restricted used car supply because fewer people are trading in their vehicles. 

With less used cars at the dealership, more people are turning to banks and private sellers. Let’s look at the differences between buying cars from a bank or credit union versus a private seller and what option is best for you. 

Vehicle History 

A private seller will typically have more information on a vehicle’s history than a bank. Private sellers are usually selling a car they own or have driven, so they’ll be somewhat familiar with its history. However, not all private sellers are honest, so it’s up to you how much you want to trust them. 

Banks and lenders, on the other hand, might repo hundreds or thousands of cars per year, so they usually know very little about a car’s history. Your best option is to request a Carfax report so that you have access to the vehicle’s history. Having some background information will offer you peace of mind. 


Financing a used car is a bit trickier than financing a new one. Interest rates are higher, and some banks won’t finance cars that are past a certain age or mileage. It’s also harder to find financing when you buy a car from a private seller. Lenders worry about dishonest sellers that could result in the buyer defaulting on their loan. 

When you purchase a repossessed car from a bank or credit union, you’ll have a much easier time getting a loan. In fact, many of the banks that sell vehicles on RepoFinder are highly motivated and often willing to negotiate financing. Plus, it’s one-stop shopping! You can buy a car and get financing all in one! 

Purchase Price 

Another important factor to consider is the purchase price of the vehicle. Many people think that private sellers are cheaper, but this isn’t always the case. It’s not uncommon for private sellers to price their vehicles higher because they have an emotional attachment to them. 

Banks have no attachment to their vehicles so they’re usually in a better position to negotiate. When you use RepoFinder to buy a repossessed car, either a price will be listed or the seller will be taking bids. Do your research so that you can make a strong bid! 

Hopefully this information has helped determine what is best for you – buying a used car from a private seller or a bank. If you’re interested in browsing the latest repossessed inventory, click on your state on RepoFinder and find a vehicle that works for you! 

repo car

2021 Repo Statistics You Should Know

RepoFinder offers a full directory of banks, credit unions and public auctions selling repossessions in all 50 states. Buying a repossession is a great option for do-it-yourselfers who aren’t afraid to look for a great deal and purchase a car that might need some TLC.

What you may be wondering is where all these cars come from! Believe it or not, repossessions are very common in the U.S. Whenever a person misses payments on their auto loan, the lender can take their car away. This situation is not uncommon, especially lately with so many people facing hardships due to COVID. 

How Long Does it Take for a Car to Be Repossessed? 

In some states, lenders have the right to take back a vehicle after just one missed payment. In other states, it takes several missed payments to repo a vehicle. Most lenders will give the car owner a chance to catch up on their auto loan, and if they’re unable to do so, the car will be auctioned off. 

Many repossessed cars are sold in dealer-only auctions. This means that you need a dealer’s license to buy a vehicle. However, RepoFinder sells repossessions to the general public. All of the cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles in our directory are available to the public at discounted prices. There’s no middleman – you’ll buy your new car directly from the bank or credit union! 

Why Repossession is So Common in the U.S. 

In the United States, 2.2 million vehicles are repossessed every year. Repossessions are not uncommon, especially in today’s world when nearly 1 out of 3 Americans are having trouble covering their household expenses, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

To complicate matters, auto loans are not cheap. Cars are expensive and most people have no choice but to finance them. The most common term is 72 months, with 84 months not far behind. And, the average monthly car payment in the U.S. is $563 for new vehicles, $397 for used vehicles and $450 for leased vehicles. 

Ultimately, if a person misses their car payments, they can have their car taken away at any point. While this will put a dent in their credit score, it may be their only option. 

2021 Car Repossession Data 

In the United States this year: 

Repossession rates are at 65 percent compared to yearly new car sales. This means that for every 2.4 cars sold, one existing vehicle will be repossessed. As this article points out, auto defaulting is at its highest. Americans are borrowing more than ever before for vehicles, but this also puts them at a higher risk for defaulting. 

Take Advantage of Repo Inventory 

In summary, repossessions are common but many of them never make it to the general public. They’re picked up by dealerships that then go on to sell the cars for a profit. For access to a huge selection of repossessed cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles like boats and ATVs, shop on RepoFinder today. 

paying for car in cash

Budgeting for a Car: 5 Tips for Paying in Cash

Cars are expensive, which means you shouldn’t make spur-of-the-moment decisions! In fact, by taking your time to look for vehicles and putting away money each month, you might be able to pay cash for your vehicle! This will eliminate your car payment and give you more breathing room in your monthly budget. 

While saving enough money to pay for a car in cash isn’t easy, it is possible with proper planning. Here are five tips to help you pay for a used or repossessed vehicle with hard-earned cash

1. Determine Your Budget 

First, determine how much you can afford to spend on a car. The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend any more than 20% of your income on a vehicle. So if you make $100,000, your car should only cost $20,000. Most people pay way more than this! Plus, you need to make room for surprise repairs. 

2. Start Saving Early 

Start saving as early as you can. Even small amounts of money add up over time. Think of it this way: To save almost $1,100 a year, you only need to put away $3 a day. By making coffee at home or bringing a sack lunch to work, you can save thousands of dollars in just a year or two! 

3. Avoid Temptation 

Don’t walk into a dealership or start shopping for repos online until you have something saved up. Maybe it’s not enough to purchase the car in its entirety, but it will at least be enough for a down payment and title and registration fees. The more temptation that’s in front of you, the harder it is to stick to your goals. 

4. Narrow Down Your Search 

Keep your search as narrow as you can. Do this by identifying your needs and researching the cars that will work. Otherwise, it’s easy to be swayed by the latest features like heated seats and remote start. While these features are nice, you don’t want to be paying for them for the next 5 to 6 years! 

5. Know How to Negotiate 

If you plan to buy a used or repossessed car, strengthen your negotiation skills. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and know what you’re willing to compromise on. Of course, being a good negotiator is not the same as being stubborn. It requires you to know what you’re buying and what you can save on. 

These five tips will help you pay for your repo vehicle in cash. Paying in cash offers a number of benefits, including stronger negotiations and not having to pay interest. To browse a wide selection of repossessed cars in great condition, visit RepoFinder and click on your state! 

online car shopping for repos

Your Top 5 Questions On Buying a Repo Car…Answered!

Thinking about buying a repossessed vehicle? This is a great way to save money while getting a reliable car with all the latest features. But chances are, you probably have a few questions about what the process entails and how to find the best deals. We’re here to help! 

Shopping for repo cars is easy, but it helps to be an informed buyer. This is the best way to ensure you bid on the right vehicles and walk away with something safe, reliable and reasonably priced. 

Below are the top five questions we hear from people interested in buying repos, along with our responses.

1. What are repossessed cars, exactly? 

When people can’t afford to make their car payments, the bank that gave them the loan can take the car back. Some cars are returned voluntarily while others are taken by the repo man. Based on 2021 data, there are over 2 million repossessions every year. While there are many repos out there, not all are available to the public. Many repos are sold at dealer-only auctions. 

2. Should I buy a repossessed vehicle? 

Only you can make the decision as to whether or not you should buy a repossessed vehicle. However, we can tell you that there are many reasons to consider this avenue such as: 

  • Cheaper than used vehicles sold at a dealership 
  • Able to negotiate the price – repo sellers are highly motivated 
  • Quick turnaround times, especially in today’s market 
  • Save money on insurance and interest  

3. How do I know I’m getting a repo car? 

The only way to know that you’re getting a true repo is by buying directly from a bank or credit union. Dealerships sometimes advertise repos, but this isn’t really true. Usually in these cases, the dealer purchased the car at a discount, cleaned it up and is now selling it for a profit. 

You can research repos in your local area or use a site like RepoFinder to find repossessed cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and motorcycles. RepoFinder gives you a much better selection and you can feel good knowing that all transactions are between you and the seller – no middleman. 

4. What concerns should I have when buying a repo? 

The hard thing about repo cars is that you don’t know how well the previous owner took care of them. Some repos are in great condition while others need some work. The key is to place a smart bid that leaves room to afford necessary repairs. 

We always recommend that buyers do their research, ask questions and schedule an inspection before signing the paperwork. Avoid overbidding as well. Even though we’re experiencing a car shortage, you shouldn’t pay more than you need to. Patience goes a long way in this industry! 

5. Why should I shop for repos at RepoFinder? 

RepoFinder lets you buy repossessions directly from local banks and credit unions. Our site is free to use, though you can upgrade to RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month – cancel anytime. We add new repos on a regular basis and make it easy to research and place bids directly on our website. 

Don’t take our word for it – shop at RepoFinder and find affordable repos in your area. 

test driving a vehicle

Can I Test Drive a Repossessed Car?

A common question repo sellers often hear from customers is whether or not they can test drive the vehicle. It’s a great question to ask, especially when people are used to going to the dealerships and driving around the vehicles they want before buying them.

However, shopping for repossessed cars is a bit different. If you’re planning on buying a repossessed car, here’s everything you need to know about taking the vehicle for a spin. 

Sorry, But Test Drives Usually Aren’t Allowed 

Unfortunately, most sellers won’t allow you to test drive a repo vehicle. All you can do is sit in the car, turn it on and possibly put it into gear. Why is this the case? Are they trying to hide something? 

Actually, no. The main reason why auctions won’t let you drive the vehicle is because it’s a liability. When test driving a car from a dealership, it’s typically the dealer’s responsibility to cover any damages that may occur. Most dealers have a fleet policy that covers all of their vehicles. 

On the other hand, banks, lenders and credit unions don’t have fleet insurance. Remember, they loan money – they don’t sell cars! Not only that, but they don’t know what type of condition the car is really in. That’s why they’re selling it as-is. When you sign the paperwork, you are waiving these rights. But until then, driving it under the seller is a liability. 

You Can (and Should) Inspect the Repo Car 

Even though you can’t test drive the used vehicle, you can have it inspected. You can identify a lot of problems this way. Many sellers also allow bidders to start the car and put it into gear, but not all do, so be sure to ask these questions beforehand. 

We recommend bringing along someone who knows cars if you don’t. This can be a knowledgable friend or professional mechanic. They’ll know what to look for and can prevent you from getting too excited over a car that’s not the right fit. You certainly don’t want to overpay for a car with problems. Beware of sellers who won’t let you come and see the vehicle. 

Find Reputable Repo Sellers at RepoFinder 

RepoFinder has a huge selection of cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles that are waiting for their new owners. Our sellers are reputable and include trusted banks, lenders and credit unions. When you find a few vehicles that you like, schedule an inspection to see them in person! 

parking lot of cars

What Happens When Cars are Repossessed?

When a person has trouble paying their auto loan, they can face repossession. Repossession laws vary by state, but in most cases, cars can be repossessed anywhere and without notification. Usually, the owner will have an opportunity to reclaim the car by catching up on payments or paying off the loan. If they’re unable to do this, the lender will keep the car and sell it to recoup their losses. 

Banks and credit unions are motivated sellers. They are in the business to make money by borrowing money – not selling motorcycles or sports cars. So, if you’re looking to buy a car at a discount, it’s worth looking into repo inventory sold directly through banks and lenders. You can get a car at an affordable price and possibly negotiate something lower! 

How Long Does it Take to Repossess a Car? 

From a legal standpoint, a lender can repossess a car after missing just one payment. It all depends on the state and the terms of the auto loan. But while they might seem eager, lenders don’t want their borrowers to default on their payments. And they don’t want to repossess cars, either. This process costs money. 

Unfortunately, not all vehicle owners can or want to catch up on their payments. If they can’t reclaim their car after the 30-day holding period, the banks will list it for sale. 

Where are Repossessions Sold? 

Lenders typically use third parties to repo and store their vehicles. Because they have to pay for storage fees, they want to move repossessions quickly. If the owner is unable to catch up on their payments, the banks will sell to one of the following: 


Those who have a dealer’s license can purchase repos directly from an auction. Dealerships do this all the time and have the resources to inspect, clean and repair the vehicles. However, it’s important to know that these cars are not true repos, at least to the consumer. They are more like used vehicles because they have gone through an inspection and cost more. 

Private auction

Another option is for banks to sell their repossessed inventory through an auction where private sellers are welcome to place a bid. Private auctions give priority to their members who pay a fee to use their services. You don’t need a dealer’s license to join a private auction, but you will need to pay a fee. 

Public auction

Public auctions are open to the public. Typically, you can browse the inventory for free, but if you want to place a bid, you’ll need to pay a nominal fee. Public auctions tend to have a wide inventory of used cars, but you might have to dig through them to find what you want. Good cars go fast, so we always tell customers to be patient as well. 

Shop for a Repo Vehicle Today 

Repossessions are just like other vehicles, though some do require a bit more work and maintenance to get them up to speed. If their previous owner wasn’t making their payments, they probably weren’t taking their car in for oil changes and tire rotations, either. As long as you’re willing to put this into your new ride, you can walk away with an affordable car with all the features you want! 

pickup truck

Seized vs Repossessed vs Government Owned: What’s the Difference?

When shopping around for a used vehicle, you have more options than just the dealership. You can shop easy and get a great deal when you consider seized, repossessed or government owned vehicles. But first, it helps to know the difference between these types of vehicles, where they come from and how to get the best prices. 

What are Seized Cars? 

Each year, thousands of cars are seized by the banks, the government and law enforcement agencies. Many of these vehicles are put up for auction and sold to the public. Some are purchased by dealerships, cleaned up and then sold for a higher price. If you’re looking for a bargain, you’ll want to stick to vehicles that are being sold directly from the banks or lenders. 

Cars seized by the banks or government don’t always have a lot of information on them. Therefore, it’s up to you to do your research, look at the images and ask questions. You can also learn more about the vehicle by understanding what type of car it is and where it came from. 

Types of Repossessed Vehicles 

Cars are sold at auction for different reasons. Oftentimes, they were taken from their previous owner who defaulted on their payments. In some states, it takes just two or three missed payments to start the repossession process. Banks and lenders work quickly because they need to recoup their losses. Other times, the cars come from law enforcement or government agencies. More details are often known about these vehicles. 

Let’s look closer at the different types of repo vehicles: 

  • Seized cars. These cars are taken by law enforcement for having too many traffic violations. Or, they can be confiscated during a raid. These vehicles are usually well-maintained by the owner. In fact, the IRS and courts tend to seize luxury vehicles in good condition because they’re worth more.
  • Repossessed car. Repo cars are seized by lenders who haven’t been receiving payments. These cars are sometimes in poor quality because the owners couldn’t afford their loan, and therefore, probably couldn’t afford maintenance and repairs either. But a lot of great repos are out there! 
  • Previously-owned government cars. Government-owned cars were owned by government agencies that no longer need them. Most agencies update their cars often so these cars tend to be newer and in better quality. 

Where Can I Find Seized Vehicles? 

There are a number of places where you can find repossessed, seized or previously-owned government vehicles. You can start your search on government auction sites. Many offer free trials, but you generally have to pay to become a member and place a bid. 

For the best bargains and widest inventory, check out RepoFinder.com. We have a huge database of repossessed cars, trucks, minivans, RVs, ATVs, motorcycles, boats, small aircraft and more. We provide information on all of our vehicles, as well as plenty of images. Our site is free to use, and to unlock all of the features, you can upgrade to RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month – cancel anytime. 

To find bank-owned vehicles at great prices, RepoFinder.com has what you need!