Tag Archives: used cars

teen driver

New Teen Driver in the House? Get Them a Bank Owned Vehicle!

If you have a teenager in the home and they want a car, you have a few options to consider. You can buy the car for them, let them pay for the car on their own or do a combination of both. While it may seem tempting to go out and buy your teen a new car, especially if you have the money, it may not be the best option. 

Something else to consider is buying your teen a bank owned car. These vehicles have been repossessed from their previous owners and are now owned by the banks. However, the banks are in the market to lend money – not sell vehicles. What does this mean for you? You can get a decent first car for a fraction of what you’d pay at the dealership. 

Let’s look at the benefits of buying your teen a repossessed car. 

Honest, Affordable Prices 

Car dealerships drive people in with attractive ads, but they’re often deceptive. They might tease low payments, when in reality, the payments are temporary. Or they might show prices after a large down payment or low rates that only go up to a certain amount. Whatever the case, once you get to the dealership, the prices will be more than you thought.

Bank owned vehicles are affordable for a couple of reasons. First, the banks are highly motivated sellers that want to recoup some of their losses. Second, these cars are sold as-is. Whatever problems they come with are your responsibility. In return, the banks offer steep discounts to make these vehicles attractive. 

Low Monthly Payments 

When you pay less for a vehicle, the monthly loan payments will be lower as well. If your family can’t afford another car payment right now, a repo is a great option because you’ll pay far less than if you were to shop at the dealership. In fact, many repos are cheap enough that you can buy them outright without an auto loan. This is a great option for teens that have a nest egg saved up. 

Already Used and Loved 

Repossessions are previously owned so they’ve already been driven, used and loved. Even though your teen may feel that something new and shiny is best, this is rarely the case from a practical standpoint. Kids are kids and first-time cars often take a beating. 

The nice thing about used cars is that they’ve already been loved. You don’t have to worry too much about dents and dings. And your teen won’t have the pressure of keeping the car in pristine condition – they can focus on their driving experience instead. 

Find Your Teen Driver a Car at RepoFinder

RepoFinder has a huge database of repossessed cars that are perfect for new drivers. You can use our search tools to find a car that offers the features your child needs to be safe on the road while saving money and keeping payments low. Shop with us today and see what you can find for your teen driver! 

vehicles at an auction

4 Things to Know When Buying a Used Car at an Auction

Auto auctions allow buyers to purchase used vehicles through a bidding process. This usually ends up being a lot less than what a dealership would charge. Not all auctions are open to the public, but some are. To find auctions in your area, you’ll have to do some research. Auctions are available both in-person and online, allowing you to choose the method of shopping you prefer. 

While auto auctions can turn up a great deal, there’s also the risk of buying a beater car. Below are four things to know about buying a used or repossessed car at an auction. 

1. Pick the Right Auction 

Both brick-and-mortar and online auctions are available. Some say that the best deals can be found in person, though shopping online is more convenient. It really depends on how you prefer to shop. You can usually shop at auctions for free, but prepare to pay some type of fee to make a bid whether it’s online or in person. 

Another thing to watch for is public vs dealer auctions. Public or open auctions are available to the public. Dealer auctions are only open to those who hold a dealer’s license. Unless you work at a dealership, you probably don’t have a dealer’s license.

2. Determine Your Risk 

Many people use the “stoplight system” when shopping at auctions. This system helps buyers assess their risk and compare it to the price of the vehicle. 

  • A “green light” means that the vehicle is free from any known defects. Arbitration may be possible if severe problems turn up. 
  • A “yellow light” indicates that the car has some issues. However, arbitration is not an option. 
  • A “red light” is sold as-is. Repossessions are essentially “red light” cars because you purchase them in their current condition. 

3. Know How to Bid 

It’s easy to cave and bid more than you should on a car you really want, especially if there is other interest available. But there are many factors that will influence whether or not you get the car, so only bid what you are comfortable paying. You also want to leave money in your budget to take care of any problems that turn up. 

To help with this, it’s best to bring along someone who knows about cars. They can help determine the best bid to make, preventing you from over-bidding on cars that aren’t worth it and under-bidding on those that are a great deal. 

4. Inspect the Vehicle 

Cars sold at auctions are rarely available for test drive. So, you’ll have to rely on your knowledge to assess its condition and value. There are a number of resources you can use online such as Kelley Blue Book, CarConsumers.org and Nada Values. These guides can give you the confidence you need to identify the best vehicles and make an accurate but reasonable bid. 

RepoFinder has a great selection of repossessed cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. View our database for free and find repos in your area. If you want more features, consider upgrading your account to RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month – cancel anytime!

odometer on used car

Used Car Shopping: How Many Miles are Too Many?

Buying a used car is often a great way to save money while getting something dependable for work or school. As you shop for used or repossessed cars, you may be wondering how many miles are too many. Generally speaking, the higher the number of miles, the lower the value of the car. 

The problem is that not all miles are created equal. For example, a car with 100,000 highway miles is probably in better shape than a car with 50,000 city miles. As you consider your options for a used vehicle, here are some considerations when it comes to miles driven. 

How Do I Know if a Car Has Too Many Miles? 

When you look at two used or repo cars, one of the first things you’ll compare is the miles. If one car has 50,000 miles and the other has 100,000 miles, it’s easy to assume the vehicle with less miles is more desirable. However, it’s not quite that simple. 

Highway miles are actually easier on a car than city miles. You’re traveling long distances at high speeds, but this is good for the alternator and battery because it let’s them charge properly. It’s also better for fuel efficiency because you’re traveling at constant speeds. 

City miles, on the other hand, involve a lot of stop-and-go traffic. This type of driving is much harder on the vehicle because of the braking and accelerating, which is bad for your engine, transmission and brakes. Stop-and-go driving also hurts your fuel efficiency. 

The Age of the Car Matters 

Another thing to consider is how old the repo vehicle is. 15,000 miles a year is considered to be the industry average, so it’s not unreasonable for a 10-year-old vehicle to have 100,000-150,000 miles on it. If the repo car that you’re interested in has far more or less miles, it’s worth asking why. 

Some cars might have less miles than they should, which looks attractive at first glance. However, if the car hasn’t been driven in a while, you may need to replace the oil, change out the oil filter and replace the transmission fluid. If the car has more miles than what is reasonable, it may need a lot of maintenance. 

How Long Do Cars Last?  

In terms of mileage, cars have an average life expectancy of 200,000 miles. Today’s vehicles are built stronger than ever, allowing many to be pushed over the 200,000 mark, regardless of whether it was reached in two years or ten. In fact, high-mileage cars are a good indication that the engine is running smoothly and has lots of life left.

Find a Used Car with the Right Mileage at RepoFinder

RepoFinder.com has a full database of repo vehicles sold by banks and credit unions across the U.S. To find a reliable used vehicle for a fraction of the price, contact us today. You can browse our database and find local repossessed cars, trucks and SUVs that work for you. 

buying cars from a private seller

Risks of Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller

Purchasing a car from a private seller can be a great way to save money on a vehicle while avoiding the dealership. If you know what you want, there’s no reason not to entertain buying a car privately. But, there are some risks to be aware of. Once you learn about these risks, you may feel more comfortable buying a used car from a more trustworthy source like a bank or credit union. 

Lack of Consumer Protection

The first thing to know is that state and federal laws that apply to dealerships do not apply to private sellers. Even though people don’t always enjoy working with dealerships, there are protections in place if you’re not happy with your purchase.

Unfortunately, you don’t get these same protections when shopping privately. You’re buying the car as-is, which means whatever problems it has will become your problems. Additionally, you won’t get any warranties, unless the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid. In this case, the warranty can be transferred to your name. 

Greater Responsibility 

When you walk into a dealership, you have multiple people talking to you and asking about your wants and needs. The knowledge that car salespeople have can be incredibly helpful to your search. Even if you came in looking for a specific car, they can recommend other vehicles that will fit your needs and budget. 

Naturally, you aren’t going to get this type of customer service when buying from a private seller. The seller may be nice enough to answer your questions, show you the manual and take you for a test drive, but they don’t have to do any of these things, either. Consider all of the time you’ll spend researching cars, scheduling meetings, arranging for transportation, etc. Time is money after all. 

More paperwork

Not only are you responsible for everything listed above, but also you and the seller must handle the paperwork. This means you’ll have to work with the seller to transfer the title, registration and any related fees, taxes and warranties. Usually, you’ll have to make a trip to the DMV to sort this out. 

Difficult Negotiations 

Again, this all depends on the seller, as some are more accommodating and will accept lower offers. However, many private sellers are not flexible on price. They’re expecting to make a certain profit, or they may be emotionally attached to the vehicle. This is why private sellers often charge more than they should. 

Banks and Lenders are a Safe Alternative to Private Sellers

If you’re unsure about working with a private seller but want to avoid the dealership, consider purchasing a repossessed vehicle through a bank, credit union or lender. Because these vehicles come straight from the source, there’s no middleman, easier negotiations and attractive financing offers. Plus, the banks aren’t emotionally attached to the vehicles – they want them sold!

To see what types of repos are available in your area, browse the inventory on RepoFinder.com

repossession

What Does it Mean to Buy a Repossessed Vehicle?

Are you thinking about buying a repossessed vehicle? It helps to know the facts about these vehicles so that you know what to expect. Some people think that repos are always in poor condition, but this is not necessarily the case. In fact, many people are able to purchase the car they want in great condition for a fraction of the price! However, patience and diligence are two qualities you’ll need.

Below is more information about what a repossessed vehicle is and what this means for you. 

What are Repossessed Vehicles? 

Owning a car can be a luxury, but it also comes with a steep price tag. According to Experian, average car payments are $554 for a new car and $391 for a used car. If you have other financial obligations like a mortgage payment or student loans, paying hundreds of dollars for a car every month may not be feasible.

As with other purchases, it’s common for people to overbuy on their vehicle. They can easily get swayed by the latest features or a newer model and end up taking on more than they can afford. For others, it’s a change in financial circumstances that makes it impossible to keep on top of their payments. 

Now, you might be thinking, “why not just return the car?” but it’s not that easy. Cars depreciate around 20% to 30% by the end of their first year. From years 2-6, depreciation ranges from 15% to 18% per year. This means that by year 5, cars have already depreciated by 60% or more of their initial value. 

How Quickly Can the Banks Repo Cars? 

Most people who buy cars use financing to do so. By taking out an auto loan, the borrower is agreeing to make the monthly payments on-time each month. If they don’t hold up their end of the deal, the lender has the right to take away the car. 

How quickly a car is repossessed depends on the lender and your state. Some lenders don’t start the repossession process until three payments are missed, while others will start it right after one missed payment. By law, lenders have the right to take your car away the day after a missed payment!

When are Repos Made Available to the Public? 

Once the car is repossessed, the banks usually try to give the owner another chance to catch back up. If this doesn’t happen, they’ll auction the vehicle off. Cars in poor condition are usually sent to a junkyard and not listed for sale. 

Repossessions come at a discount. This is what makes them valuable to car buyers. Many of the vehicles put up for auction are in good condition. However, they most likely haven’t had any maintenance, as the owner couldn’t even afford to make the payments. But with a bit of attention, most of the cars will be as good as new! 

Well, there you have it. Now you know about repossessed cars, where they come from and how they become available to the public. RepoFinder allows you to buy repossessions directly from banks and lenders. These are true repos at discounted prices. View our database for free and see what’s available in your area!

shopping for cars online

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shopping for Used Cars Online

This entry was posted in Repo Cars and tagged , , on by .

Online shopping is convenient, especially when you’re buying essential products like shampoo, conditioner and laundry detergent. But when you’re spending big money, you have to be more careful about what you buy. 

There are pros and cons to shopping for used cars online. You get the convenience of shopping at home (which is especially helpful during a pandemic!) and comparing different features and prices. But, you don’t have a salesperson or test drive to lead the way. 

As you consider shopping for a used car online, here are the advantages and disadvantages to be aware of. Fortunately, you can make your online car shopping experience positive by being an informed consumer. 

Advantages of Online Car Shopping 

Many people have great experiences with online car shopping, but it’s important to do your homework. Here are some of the biggest benefits to expect when you buy a used car from the internet: 

  • No need to work with a car salesman or haggle for prices 
  • Compare hundreds of vehicles at once – you’re not limited to what’s on the car lot 
  • No risk of being upsold like you could at a dealership 
  • Enjoy a low-stress shopping experience from your home 
  • Research the vehicles on your list 
  • Take your time making a decision – you won’t face any pressure 
  • Apply for financing online through different carriers 

Disadvantages of Shopping for Cars Online 

Even though browsing used cars online is convenient and practical, there are some things to be aware of:

  • Unable to test drive the vehicle (at least at the moment)
  • Buying a repossession means you’re buying “as-is,” so you won’t have protection if something goes wrong 
  • No options for leasing the vehicle 
  • If the car is in a different state, it will be harder to see

Why More People are Buying their Cars Online 

Many people feel taken advantage of when they visit a dealership, and this pressure can lead to buyer’s remorse. Shopping from home is convenient and makes sense for people who don’t like the high-stress environment of a dealership. 

When you shop RepoFinder’s inventory, you can view the vehicles that fit your wants and needs, explore their condition and make an offer. You don’t have to leave home to do this, and you can enjoy a user-friendly platform that allows you to work directly with the banks and credit unions. Because it’s just you and the seller, you have the power to negotiate an even lower price. 

We always recommend doing an inspection before signing anything. Bring along someone who knows cars so that you can get an objective opinion. Otherwise, buying a used car online can be a great experience that allows you to purchase a vehicle you won’t regret later on! 

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. 

online car shopping

Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Buying a New Car

This entry was posted in Repo Cars and tagged , , , on by .

It’s easy to make mistakes when buying a car. This is an exciting adventure for most people, but it also means that emotions can get in the way of making a rational decision. To avoid overpaying hundreds or thousands of dollars, here are some common mistakes you’ll want to steer clear of. Don’t let the initial excitement of shopping for a car turn into buyer remorse later on. 

Mistake #1. Limiting your selection.

While it’s always good to define what you are looking for in a car, it’s best to keep your options open in terms of manufacturers and models. If you fixate on a particular model, you could miss out on other vehicles that will meet your needs and budget. 

Mistake #2. Skipping the test drive or inspection. 

A lot of used cars look good on paper but don’t translate this way in person. This is especially crucial if you’re shopping for repos online and relying on the pictures. Dealerships usually let their customers test drive their vehicles, but not all banks and credit unions do. If you’re buying a repo, at the very least, have an inspection done. 

Mistake #3. Thinking about financing at the last minute. 

Don’t wait until you’re talking with the seller to think about financing. Do your homework and research your financing options. Educate yourself on the latest interest rates and what you’re most likely to pay. This will help you calculate your monthly payments too. 

Mistake #4. Not researching the value of the car. 

Before you settle on a car, we recommend researching the value of the cars you’re interested in. Why? Because this will tell you what you’re likely to get if you trade in the car or sell it to a new owner. If you’re willing to put in the extra work, you can often get more by selling the vehicle yourself. 

Mistake #5. Shopping at just one dealership. 

It pays to shop around. Visit at least 2-3 dealerships either online or in person. View their inventory, ask for quotes and compare deals. When looking at repo inventory on RepoFinder.com, you can “shop” with different sellers. Simply click on your state and a list of banks and credit unions will turn up. 

Mistake #6. Buying from someone you don’t trust. 

A vehicle is a big purchase. Never buy one from someone you don’t trust. If anyone makes you feel uneasy or can’t answer your questions about the car, you don’t need to buy from them. Choose a different seller who is honest, transparent and helpful with your questions. 

Mistake #7. Not considering repossessed vehicles. 

When shopping for used cars, it makes sense to check out the repo inventory from RepoFinder.com. Our inventory contains a wide selection of cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. that have been repossessed from their owners. Many are in great condition and being sold at highly discounted prices. 

As long as you avoid these seven mistakes, do your homework and keep a level-head, you should end up with a vehicle that you feel good about!

SUV car

How Do I Buy a Car from RepoFinder?

If you’ve landed on our website, you’re probably shopping around for a car and looking for a great deal. We’re the place to make this happen! Our website offers a full list of banks and credit unions that are selling repossessed vehicles. (You can learn more about repossessions here). Even though the banks take these vehicles back, they don’t care to keep them. This is why they sell them to dealers or the general public. 

Many banks and credit unions choose to sell their repo inventory to dealers because they can get rid of many vehicles at once. Unfortunately, everyday people who are looking for a discounted vehicle aren’t able to access this inventory. But, you’re in luck! RepoFinder only sells to the public. This allows you to purchase repos directly from the source.

What are the Steps to Buying a Vehicle from RepoFinder? 

Whether you’re shopping for a car, truck, SUV or recreational vehicle, RepoFinder has it all. We even get small aircraft and boats! We’ll walk you through the process of buying a repossession so that you know what to expect. Please note that each bank and credit union has their own process for selling repos, so there may be some slight differences. 

View our list of repossessions

Start with our USA map and click on your state. This will pull up all of the banks and lenders that sell repo inventory. Because banks are always getting new vehicles, check back often if you don’t see something you like right away. Repo sales require patience! 

Make an offer 

When you find a vehicle that fits your needs and price range, you can make an offer. Most repos are priced by the bank based on the vehicle’s book value or recent appraisal. However, don’t be afraid to offer less. 

Sometimes you can see what other people are offering (open bid) and sometimes you can’t (closed bid). Open bids are more common because you can compete with others. You can give your offer verbally over the phone or by filling out an online form. 

Inspect the vehicle 

If your bid is accepted, it’s important to do your due diligence. Only work with sellers who are willing to let you inspect the vehicle. You may not be able to take it for a test drive, but you should be able to look at its condition. Remember, you don’t get protection with a repo, so it’s yours to keep once you drive it off the lot. 

Purchase the vehicle 

Once you’re comfortable with the purchase, you can proceed with the sale. The benefit to working with the banks is that you can get financing directly from them. In fact, banks are often willing to negotiate better pricing, terms and interest rates when you buy direct. And, you don’t have to deal with pushy salespeople working for commission. 

Hopefully you can see how easy it is to buy a car from RepoFinder. Remember these three things: be patient, do your homework and check back often. If you keep these things in mind, you should have no trouble finding a great vehicle at a fantastic price! 

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.