What’s It With Buying Repo Vehicles – Deal or Disaster

Thursday, October 7, 2010, 12:04 PM | Leave Comment

I used to go to repossessed cars lot to buy a car but never bought one. Not because that the cars were too bad to drive but I just didn’t dare to go for it.

I would go to a used car lot and look for one or kick the tires so to speak.

On the other hand, a friend of mine was a regular customer of the business and every few years he would buy a repossessed car for his family.

  • The difference between a similar used car and a repossessed car…

    If you have driven past a repo lot where vehicles are auctioned off, you might have wanted to know about the place and how they do business with their customers.

    The vehicles parked on the lot are repossessed by banks, leasing company, or lender when the original owner missed enough payments that the lenders took them under their arms.

    If you are not familiar with the process, your first step is to sit in the audience just for watching and observing what the business does and how it is done.

    I didn’t sit and watch the process of the auction and that’s probably the reason why I didn’t actively take part in it. I would always visit the place when there was no auction going on.

    My friend tells me, there is no difference at all between the two places. He says, on the contrary, you can get a better deal for a repossessed vehicle not only money-wise but a better-conditioned car as well.

  • Can you save money by buying a repossessed car?

    Of course you can. Statistics show that you can save somewhere between 25% to 40% off the cost of if you were to buy a similar used car some place else.

    The condition of the vehicle is another story. It can be as good as buying from used-car dealer or can be as bad as buying from used-car dealer.

  • Beware of Repo as well as used-car dealerships

    You can get a lemon in either place. Granted there are anti-lemon laws in most states, but still you have to be careful. Examine the car.

    You can take a non-repossessed used vehicle to a mechanic and get some kind of confidence from the mechanic.

    But the Repo lot, you might not be allowed to do that.

    The biggest problem with buying a repo is that without a good mechanic, it’s hard to have confidence even a little in the vehicle.

    When you buy a used car, you can always get a mechanic to check the car out for you, but not with repos.

    This is not very comforting, because the person who defaults on the car payments may not have done all the scheduled car maintenance when required.

In a Nutshell
If you are able to test the car by yourself, start it, listen to the engine, test brakes, check all the fluids especially automatic transmission fluid and oil and somehow get some feeling that the car has been maintained somewhat properly, then you can get a chance of buying one.

Do the calculation. The price you pay plus the potential fixing you must do ought to be taken into consideration and see if you feel comfortable with the total price.

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