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How To Find Repo Cars

How To Find Repo Cars and Tips for Smart Buying

If you’re looking for how to find repo cars there are several options available.

Repo cars, or vehicles that have been repossessed when owners default on loans, can sometimes be purchased for below market value, but not always.

Remember that banks or dealers are still going to try and get fair market prices for the vehicles to recoup their losses.

Relevant Articles To Read:

Where to Find Repo Vehicles

Websites and Online Auctions

If you’re in the market for a repossessed car, there are several websites you can visit to find a wide range of options. These platforms offer vehicles from banks, credit unions, and other lenders looking to recoup losses from unpaid loans. Here’s a list of reputable websites where you can search for repossessed cars to buy:

1. Auto Auction Mall

Offers a large database of salvage, pre-owned, and used cars. It allows people without dealer licenses to bid, potentially saving thousands off retail prices

2. A Better Bid

Features repossessed cars for sale in specific states like New York and Connecticut, with a variety of vehicles available for bidding

3. Repocast

Conducts weekly online repossession and consignment auctions, including automobiles, boats, campers, and more. It’s part of Miedema’s Repocast with over 40 years of experience

4. Bid N Drive

Focuses on bank-repossessed auto sales, offering a platform to bid on repossessed vehicles online

5. BSC America

Hosts online and physical car auctions in Maryland, including repossessed cars. They provide information on how to participate in these auctions

6. Repo Finder

Offers a comprehensive list of banks and credit unions across the United States that sell repossessed cars and homes directly to the public

7. Money Lion

While primarily a financial services platform, MoneyLion provides valuable information on how to buy repossessed cars, including tips on finding online auction websites like eBay, Copart, and Manheim

Online Dealer Auctions

Major websites like Copart and Manheim offer online auctions for repo cars. You’ll need to create an account to bid. These sites have huge vehicle selection, but you cannot test drive or inspect vehicles before bidding.

Insider Tip: These auctions typically require you to have a dealer’s license, but if you know a licensed dealer personally, they may allow you to purchase under their license.

Physical Auction Houses

Many cities have independent auction houses that handle local repo vehicle sales. These allow in-person inspection and bidding. Find local options via directories or listing sites.

Bank and Credit Union Auctions

Some financial institutions sell repos directly, either independently or via auction partners. Check institutions’ websites for sale calendars and policies. Public access and bidding vary.

Used Car Dealerships

Dealers source vehicles from auctions, then handle prep and paperwork for resale. Prices are higher than at the auction, but should still be lower than your average used car.

Here is an added section to address if repossessed cars are worth it:

Are Repossessed Cars Worth It?

Buying a repossessed vehicle can be worth it for bargain hunters if you do your due diligence, but there are some risks to be aware of:

Pros of Buying Repossessed Cars:

  • Significant discounts of 20-40% off market value for similar used models
  • Vehicles are often relatively new with low mileage
  • You may find well-maintained units if the previous owner simply faced financial hardship
  • Reputable lenders allow inspections and provide some history on the vehicle

Cons of Buying Repossessed Cars:

  • No warranties – vehicles are sold strictly “as-is”
  • You can’t test drive or get full service records in many cases
  • Previous owners may have deferred maintenance or removed parts/accessories out of spite
  • Bidding process at auctions can drive up prices
  • Extensive research is required to avoid problematic units

The bottom line is that repossessed cars are almost always a good value, but you have to be an informed buyer willing to invest extra time and effort.

Smart Tactics for Buying Repo Cars

Conduct Research First

Thoroughly investigate vehicle histories via CARFAX and mechanics before bidding. Note any prior damage, odometer tampering, or title branding.

Inspect Whenever Possible

In-person auctions allow inspection before bidding. For online sales, thoroughly check out vehicles upon winning and walk away from excessive issues.

Watch for Extra Fees

Beyond sale price, tally transport, preparation, taxes, repairs and any auction fees. These can pile up so budget accordingly.

Consider Financing Carefully

If needing financing, have pre-approval from your institution at competitive rates, as auction house loans can have high APRs.

Understand the Risks

While deals abound, repos come “as-is” with no return policy. Mechanical or repair issues down the road must be handled at buyer’s expense.

My Final Advice

Repo vehicles can make for bargain buys but also carry real financial risks.

Remember: Repoed vehicles were driven and owned by people in financial trouble, and they likely did not have the finances to properly maintain the car.

Set expectations accordingly, vet options completely, and walk away rather than take on cars needing more repairs than anticipated.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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