Tag Archives: repossessions

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: 

Dealership

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!

red repo truck

What are the Cheapest Cars to Insure?

When buying a new car, it’s a good idea to consider how much your insurance rates will be. To help you out, there are several studies that provide this research so that consumers know which cars will be most affordable. Fortunately, knowing this information can help you save hundreds of dollars a year on car insurance! 

What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy? 

First, it’s helpful to know how car insurance is calculated, as it’s not all about the car you drive. Each company has their own formula, which is why rates vary among car insurance companies. However, most companies use the following factors to determine the price of their auto policies: 

  • Your driving record
  • Your credit history  
  • How often you use your car 
  • Where you park your car 
  • Your age and gender
  • The type of car you drive

What Cars Have the Cheapest Insurance Rates? 

Even though there are many factors that influence what you pay for insurance, the type of car you buy can make a big difference on your rates. If you’re trying to keep your monthly expenses down, you’ll want to be aware of the most and least expensive cars to insure. And as always, compare rates with multiple carriers. 

Generally speaking, minivans and small trucks are the cheapest to insure compared to other vehicles. On the other hand, large sedans, sports vehicles and luxury cars have some of the most expensive insurance rates. New cars are also more expensive to insure because they’re worth more. 

Specifically, here is a breakdown of the ten least expensive vehicles to insure

  1. Honda CR-V – Small SUV
  2. Chrysler Pacifica – Minivan
  3. Honda Odyssey – Minivan
  4. Ford F-Series – Standard pickup truck
  5. Toyota RAV4 – Small SUV
  6. Chevrolet Equinox – Small SUV
  7. Chevrolet Colorado – Small pickup truck
  8. Toyota Tundra – Standard pickup truck
  9. Honda Ridgeline – Small pickup truck 
  10. Ford Fiesta – Subcompact car

Other Ways to Save on Your Auto Insurance 

Aside from the type of car you buy, there are some other ways to save on car insurance. Bundling your auto insurance with a life or home policy is one of the best ways to get a discount. Also ask the insurance carrier about discounts they offer for safe driving, having no claims, being a good student and having safety features in the vehicle. 

For a great price on vehicles, shop with RepoFinder.com. We have a huge database of cars, small and standard pickup trucks, SUVs and more that are owned by banks or lenders. They don’t want these cars and are motivated to sell them to a new owner! You can get a great deal this way, and if you shop smart, you can save on car insurance, too! 

repo cars

What are the Steps to Buying Repossessed Cars?

When making the decision to buy a repossessed car, the best thing you can do is educate yourself on the process. Even though buying a repo car is similar to buying a used car, there are still some differences to be aware of. The more you know, the better position you’ll be in to make strong bids and take home the car you want.

Below are the steps to follow to make repo car shopping smooth and stress free!

Visit RepoFinder.com 

RepoFinder makes buying a used car easy. We are a directory of banks selling repossessions across the country. You can browse our listings for free and become a member and start bidding for just $4.95 a month! Our site is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it easy to find valuable information on the cars you’re interested in. 

Narrow Down Your Search 

Make sure you do the proper research when browsing and closing in on a car. You can also filter vehicles by different categories to find something that’s just right for you! Repo car listings include the vehicle information, specifications and features. Most sellers do a good job of posting images, so be sure to examine the photos for the condition of the vehicle, possible damage and more. 

Bid on the Car You Want

Once you find the car you would like to purchase, you will need to bid on the vehicle. The most common is an open bid where all buyers are able to view the highest bid. Sometimes it’s a closed bid, meaning you won’t see what others have offered for the vehicle. Don’t get bid-happy though! Only offer what you feel comfortable and leave some budget for repairs and maintenance. 

Schedule an Inspection

You probably won’t be able to test drive the vehicle for liability reasons, but you should have it inspected. You can hire a mechanic to assess the vehicle or bring along someone who understands cars. If the vehicle is in another state, you’ll have to find an inspection company within that state. The mechanic will provide updates and their analysis of the car. Mechanics may not always find all the issues but their input is critical. 

Pay for the Car

After getting the analysis on the car you recently bid on, you’ll have to complete payment. Buying the car from a credit union is similar to buying from a car dealer or private party. The banks will assist you with the financing, and you’ll have to fill out paperwork and make a down payment. 

Buying a repossessed car is a process that most people may not be as familiar with, but it’s easier than you think! And you can get a great deal by shopping for bank-owned vehicles. Check out RepoFinder’s database today to start viewing the cars we have available! 

first-time driver

How to Save Money on Cars for First-Time Drivers

First-time drivers look forward to buying a car, however, they typically don’t realize how much a new car can cost. Buying a new car off the lot can be very expensive and you may end up regretting your purchase in the future. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on cars while still getting the features you want. 

Here are some money saving tips that first-time car buyers – teens and college students – can benefit from.

Set a Budget

By setting an appropriate budget, you’re less likely to go overboard on your purchase. The average car depreciates 14% every year, so you certainly don’t want to be in a financial hole for the next 5 years.

To determine how much car you can afford, it’s usually recommended to spend no more than 35% of your pre-tax annual income on a car. Lower is better, but ultimately, you’ll have to decide what you are comfortable spending. You can use this calculator to help establish a sensible budget. 

Assess Your Needs 

It’s not necessary for first-time drivers to own an exotic vehicle. While you might want to get a certain car for bragging rights, this probably isn’t necessary right now. Instead, consider what you need the car for (i.e., to get to work or school), how often you’ll be driving and the types of conditions you’ll be driving in.

For example, if you live in a cold-weather climate, you’ll want to consider cars that are equipped with four wheel drive or an anti-lock braking system. These features make winter driving safer and more comfortable. Also, what will you be using the car for? If you’re simply driving to school and your part-time job, you won’t need a car that’s built for off-roading. Something simple and modest will do. 

Consider a Repo Car

Repo cars are vehicles that have been repossessed due to the owner defaulting on their loan. As with used cars, repo cars are available in different makes, models and conditions. Purchasing a repo car off RepoFinder.com is very similar to purchasing a used car.

Repossessed vehicles are also considerably less than a car from a dealership, offering significant savings. Take your time researching the vehicles and always request an inspection before signing any paperwork. However, do be aware that repo cars aren’t usually available for test drives due to liability reasons. 

Find a Cheap Repo Car Today 

To summarize, there are many unique ways to save money on cars for first-time drivers. Doing your research, being open to all options and shopping for repos are all great ways to save money. Not to mention, you can build good money-saving skills that will reward you long into the future. To find an affordable used car for a new driver, shop with RepoFinder.com today.

repo car

Frequently Asked Questions about Repo Cars

If you’re considering buying a repossessed car, you probably have questions about what the process entails and the types of vehicles to expect. Sometimes there is a stigma about buying these types of vehicles because little is known about them. But savvy car buyers aren’t afraid – they know what to look for and how to find great deals. 

Let’s cover some of the most frequently asked questions about repo cars so that you can be an informed buyer. 

What is a Repo Vehicle? 

When you can’t afford to make payments on your car, it will go into default and repossession follows shortly after. Based on 2020 data, nearly 2.2 million vehicles are repossessed every year. That breaks down to 5,418 repossessions every day, 226 repossessions every hour and 3.76 repossessions every minute. 

As you can see, repossessions are not uncommon. Sometimes repossessions are voluntary and sometimes they are involuntary. As a car buyer, you won’t know which type of repossession you’re getting. But it is important to know that not all repos are found stashed away in garages. Some are voluntarily turned in. 

Should You Buy A Repo Car? 

Repo cars come in all different conditions. No two used cars are the same, and this goes for repo vehicles as well. The best thing you can do is get your hands on a Carfax report and ask the seller to review the service history. You should also do your own research and schedule an inspection before signing any paperwork. 

As long as you follow the above tips, you’re likely to find a great repo to take home. Leave room in your budget to provide the car with the maintenance and repairs it needs. Some cars need a lot of TLC and some don’t. This is usually reflected in the purchase price. 

What Concerns Should I Look For? 

Buying a repo car is similar to buying a used car. There are things you’ll want to look for to ensure you’re getting a good vehicle and paying the right price. We recommend reading the Consumer Reports Guide for used car buying

However, do be aware that you’re not usually able to test drive repos because of liability issues. But you can look inside and outside of the vehicle and bring along someone who knows about cars. 

Will I Get a Good Deal by Buying a Repo Car? 

Typically, repo vehicles are sold through an auction so that the banks can recover some of their losses. This is why they’re sold at low prices – the banks want to make them attractive to the public. To win a bid, you’ll need to be the highest bidder, but even this should be a lot less than what you would pay through a dealership. 

RepoFinder.com has a huge database of repossessed vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, minivans, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and more. You can view our inventory at your leisure, contact the sellers directly and place a bid. Find a great deal with us today! 

repo car cleaning

Car Cleaning Hacks for a Like-New Car

No matter the type or age of your vehicle, keeping it clean is a priority for most car owners. There’s just something refreshing about getting into a clean and tidy vehicle that smells just as good as the day you brought it home – if not better! 

If you recently purchased a used vehicle, here are some car cleaning hacks you’ll want to follow. We recommend these tips to customers who purchase repossessed vehicles from us. Many of the cars we sell are in great condition but they still require basic maintenance. The good news is that these tips will save you from costly detailing services. 

Use a Makeup Brush to Clean the Vents 

We recommend keeping a makeup brush in your car to clean out the air vents. These vents get dusty and this dust blows all over the car when you’re running your heat or air. Keep a makeup brush stashed away in your glove box and use it to remove dust from the air vents. 

Squeegee Pet Hair off the Seats

If the previous owner had a pet, there’s a good possibility that you’ll find pet hair all over the seat. As sticky as this hair can be, you can get it off your seats using water and a squeegee. Fill up a spray bottle with water, mist the seats and run a squeegee over the upholstery. This will remove all the pet hair. 

Use Cooking Spray to Remove Bugs 

If there’s a ton of bugs on your repo car, use a can of cooking spray to get them off. This is a lot better than scrubbing the bugs off, as this can damage the paint job. Be sure to let the cooking spray sit for a few seconds and use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the bugs. 

Deep Clean the Upholstery

To take things a step further, you can deep clean the seats in your car using a vinegar and baking soda paste. Mix the two ingredients together until it forms a paste. Scrub this paste into your seats and then rinse it out. It will remove stains and leave your car smelling fresh and clean! 

Use Magic Erasers on Surfaces 

Magic Erasers are cheap and easy to use. Keep some on hand to scrub away dirt, dust and grime. These sponges are especially effective on plastic and vinyl surfaces, though you will want to be careful on leather as it can scratch. You can also use a toothbrush to clean out dirt from nooks and crannies. 

Wax Your Car 

Getting your car waxed a couple of times a year goes a long way in keeping it clean. When you go through the car wash, dust and dirt will lift away. Waxing your vehicle also prevents nicks and chips from forming in the paint. To save money, you can wax your car yourself using basic ingredients like dish soap and hair conditioner. 

Bring Home a Repossession Today 

These are just some of the ways you can get your repo car looking like new! Most repos need a little TLC when you first bring them home because they haven’t received much attention from their previous owners. The good news is that all of these hacks are cheap, easy and use basic ingredients from the home. To shop for repossessions, click on your state on our home page and search though the available vehicles. 

recently sold repo car

5 Things to Do After Buying a Repossessed Vehicle

Bringing home your repossessed vehicle for the first time is a wonderful feeling! By this point, you’ve probably spent hours upon hours searching for the best repo cars, doing your research on each one and placing bids. 

Now that you have your car, the work isn’t done yet. Repossessed cars were previously owned by someone, and that someone may have neglected their car while they weren’t making their payments. To ensure you can drive safely in your new car, here are five things you’ll want to do after buying your repo. 

1. Transfer the Title and Registration 

The title is a legal slip that shows who the owner of the vehicle is.The seller should be able to process the title and perform the title transfer between you and the previous car owner. You can also apply for plates and registration on your own through your local DMV. This is an important process that must be completed before you do anything else with the repo. 

2. Get Insurance 

The next thing to do is insure your new car. If you already have auto insurance, all you need to do is call your agent and let them know of your new vehicle. If the car isn’t added to your insurance policy and you get into an accident, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the repairs. And, if you don’t have insurance, work with a broker online or in person to find the most affordable car insurance. 

3. Clean Your Repo 

Your repo belonged to someone else, so you’ll want to give it a good cleaning. Banks and lenders are not car dealerships, so they don’t clean the repos when they come to them. You can choose to have your repo professionally cleaned or you can do it yourself. It all depends on the condition your car is in and your budget. 

4. Perform Repairs and General Maintenance

Some repos need a lot of work and others need none. Again, it depends on the vehicle you bought and how much you spent. Sellers try to make note of the repairs the vehicle will need, but you’re also buying the repo as-is. This means that whatever problems the car has, you will inherit. At the very least, check the oil, change or rotate the tires, change all the filters and replace all other fluids. 

5. Review the Owner’s Manual 

Lastly, look over the owner’s manual. If your car doesn’t have one, you should be able to get one online. The owner’s manual contains basic information about the car so that you can determine the correct tire pressure, recognize the lights on the dashboard and schedule routine maintenance. 

To find the best repos at great prices, shop with RepoFinder.com today. We have a huge selection of repossessed inventory, including pickup trucks, motorcycles, sedans, SUVs, minivans and more.