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shopping for cars online

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shopping for Used Cars Online

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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. 

car keys buying a car

Car Fees to Expect When Buying a Used Car

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

Buying a new vehicle is an exciting experience, that is, until you see the number of fees you’re hit with! Some of these fees are conveniently rolled into your monthly payments, but you still want to be aware of what extra things you have to cover. You don’t want to get stuck paying for fees that aren’t really necessary. 

Below we’ll cover the most common fees you encounter when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Keep in mind that every state is different in how they charge sales tax on trade-ins and rebates. Plus, most states don’t have a cap on documentation fees, so they can range from $50-$400 or more depending on where you live.

What Fees Can I Expect When Purchasing a Car? 

Generally speaking, there are three categories of fees you will encounter when purchasing a used or repossessed vehicle:

  • Title and registration fees. When you buy a used car, you’ll need to transfer the title and register the vehicle in your name. Without a title in your name, there is no way to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle. 
  • Used car sales tax. You’ll probably have to pay a used car sales tax when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. The amount you pay depends on the state you’re buying the car in. 
  • Documentation fee. Most states require you to pay a documentation fee before driving away with the vehicle. This fee covers things like processing paperwork, storing documents and writing up contracts. 

Aside from these fees, you may have to pay the following as well: 

  • Export and shipping fees. If you purchase a repossessed vehicle from a different state, consider how you’ll get the car. You may have to pay a third party to ship the repo to you.
  • Sales taxes. Depending on your state, you may have to pay sales taxes on the vehicle. Some factors can influence the taxes you pay, such as trading in another vehicle or qualifying for rebates and incentives. 
  • Repairs. Cars sold through auctions often need some repairs, so be sure to factor these into your cost. It’s best to stick with cars and trucks that only require light repair work like tire and break changes. 

Shop for Your New Car with RepoFinder

Are you thinking about buying a repossessed car from an online site like RepoFinder.com? Many people have had great experiences with their purchases through us. We have a full list of banks, credit unions and lenders that are selling cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. Most are in great condition and ready for a new owner! Browse our site today and find your dream vehicle. 

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.

woman shopping for auto loans

How to Get a Low Rate on a Used Car Loan

Shopping for cars is fun. Shopping for car loans – not so much. The good news is that you are in a stronger negotiating position when you shop for auto loans in advance. Many people don’t do this until they find a vehicle, but at this point, you’re at the mercy of the banks. 

Below are the steps to take to get the best rates on a used car loan. 

Shop in the Right Places 

Don’t wait to look for financing until you’ve won your bid. The best way to get lower interest rates is by shopping for car loans ahead of time. This way, you can compare shop and take advantage of available discounts and incentives. 

Where can you shop? Consider large national banks like Chase or Bank of America, as they tend to have special promotions and automated processes. Also try credit unions and community banks. Credit unions usually have lower interest rates than banks, whereas community banks tend to be more flexible and easier to communicate with. Other options worth looking into are online lenders and financial companies. 

Get Pre-Approved on Your Auto Loan 

Once you have shopped around for quotes, take the next steps to get pre-approved. Having a pre-approval in place shows the seller that you are qualified to purchase the vehicle. And, if you choose to use the seller’s financing services, they’ll know what rates they have to beat, which can result in an ever lower rate for you. 

If you find that you’re not approved for a car loan, be wary of dealers that say they can finance your purchase regardless of your credit. You could end up paying very high interest rates. In this case, it’s better to work on building your credit and trying again for a loan at a later date. 

Know Your Credit Score

Speaking of credit scores, it’s important to know how these numbers affect your ability to get a loan and their influence on your interest rates. Credit scores are important because they tell lenders how likely you are to pay back the loan. Having a high credit number is a good sign, resulting in faster approvals and lower rates. 

According to Experian, buyers with bad credit pay four times more than those with excellent credit. Again, if your credit isn’t good, it may be best to wait on a vehicle and work on improving your score. This way, you can get better rates and loan options when it comes time to buy a repo. 

Manage Your Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

The loan-to-value ratio is the value of the vehicle you’re buying compared to the amount you’re borrowing. For the best interest rates, you’ll need an LTV of 80% or less. If you have an LTV that is greater than 100%, this means that you’re underwater or have negative equity. If something happens to your car, your auto insurance carrier won’t pay for the total loss, which means you’ll still be on the hook for the rest of the loan balance. 

When shopping around for a repo, be sure to check out your options for financing in advance. This way, you’ll have everything ready to go when you start bidding on vehicles. For a full selection of repo lists from local banks and credit unions, visit RepoFinder.com