How to buy a repossessed car

How to buy a repossessed car

new car photo

When looking into buying a new car, one often looks first to new vehicles at dealerships, moving onto used vehicles for more affordable options. There is another option to choose form, however, in the form of repossessed vehicles.

Over the years, buying a repossessed vehicle has grown in popularity. These vehicles offer a like-new experience at an affordable price, and are often in fantastic condition. If you are interested in taking this route, read on for how the process works.

Buying directly from a lender

Your bank may allow you to look at their repossessed portfolio, which lists all the cars and trucks that they have repossessed and are looking to sell. Often, the lender needs to recoup their losses, which means that you may be able to negotiate a deal for one of the impressive Wesbank repossessed cars for sale.

To purchase this way, you simply need to make a bid on the repossessed car of your choice, but be sure you know the car’s book value before placing a bid. The bank may refuse your offer or wait to hear other offers, and this process can take up to three weeks. If your bid is chosen, you will be allowed to perform an inspection before paying and signing any documents.

Buying from a repossessed reselling service

There are many companies which offer lenders help in reselling their repossessed cars, and the ones you should be on the lookout for are those that transfer the vehicle from lender to buyer, without taking ownership themselves.

To buy from a reliable service of this kind, you will need to search for the make and model online. Be sure to avoid resellers who stipulate viewing fees, as these often turn out to be fraudulent services. Make a bid at or over the minimum bidding price, and if your bid is accepted you will need to perform an inspection before making the final purchase.

Buying from a police or lender auction

If you find a police or lender auction, be sure to register beforehand to beat the rush and to comply with the rules and regulations of the auction house. Be sure to look at all the models on offer on the website, if possible, or ask for a catalogue when registering. This way you will be able to see if the car you are interested in is on the list.

In order to buy a car this way, you will have to be alert and willing to be ruthless. The auctioneer or presiding official will bring each car into the lot to be bid on. The highest bidder wins, so be prepared with the right amount of cash to hand if you win. Set yourself a budget before going, so you do not find yourself out of pocket or unable to pay the amount you have bid.

Buying from a used car dealer

To save yourself from the business and overwhelming nature of an auction, you can head to a used car dealer who has purchased from auction. The dealership will usually do a full, in-depth clean on both the interior and exterior of the car, replacing what needs to be replaced and making repairs where necessary.

However, the dealer will still want to make a profit from his auction purchase and so may increase the price to do so. If you prefer the easy process of buying from a dealer, this is the option for you. You may also be able to organise a 30-day warranty, in-house financing and more by going this route.

Useful tips

If you are considering purchasing a repossessed car, here are some useful tips to help you on the journey to your new wheels:

  • Always be sure to ask to see the official receipt as well as the certificate of registration to ensure they correspond with your chosen vehicle.
  • Because repossessed cars are almost always sold “as is”, be sure to request a viewing before you make a final decision. If you are unable to do so, have a careful examination of the photographs posted online or provided, looking out for any rust spots, tyre wear and so forth.
  • Ensure that the signing of a Deed of Absolute Sale occurs as soon as you have won the bid and put down your deposit or paid. This deed gives you proof of purchase and transfer between yourself and the previous owner. This document is required to transfer the official receipt as well as the certificate of registration onto your name.


Buying a repossessed car does not have to be confusing or difficult. It can be a rewarding endeavour. Be sure to take a friend or partner along with you to auctions or dealerships, who will ensure that you stick to your budget and are not swayed by salespeople. If you remain savvy and are prepared ahead of time with the knowledge provided above, you will be zipping off in a new car in no time.


Authored by: Pete Anderson

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