Whether it be hiding a spare key, stashing things away in a hidden compartment or tire, or hiding your entire car itself—we all have our reasons. Repo men running rampant and you may have defaulted on your car payments, or you may have a curious case of absentmindedness and need to hide a spare key for yourself so you don’t arrive late to that next work/family appointment. There’s no need to fear, regardless of the reasoning for you wanting to hide your car or things relating to it, we’ve got you covered.
Where To Hide Your Car? Hiding your car in a garage, a gated compound, or somewhere that is far from a public area is your safest bet to keep it safe. If you’re trying to hide from a repossessor, removing the tracking device and taking the car out of state is the best course of action for the worst case scenario.
Your property is your property, and unless the bank is about to foreclose on your home, using your garage is beneficial to allowing you to hide your car from a repo man. They’re not allowed to break into your property to repossess someone else’s—two wrongs do not make a right in this situation. It might work to just keep your car in the backyard.
If you’ve defaulted on your car payments and the repo man is coming, there are plenty of ways to get your car “off the grid” just as there are plenty of ways for a repo man to track you down. Owning a rental piece of land or parking your car on an abandoned piece of land; both are viable options, it just depends on your situation.
Most more modern day vehicles—along with VIN numbers and license plates, have tracking devices implanted. Removal of those devices can effectively take your car off the map and allow you to work with extra time to scrounge up the money that you owe on your car payments. Do be warned though, as FindLaw states that if you signed a waiver allowing your lender to attach a tracking device to the car, you may lose the right to it the second you take it off.
If you’re just looking to disallow any unwanted visitors from taking your car, you may want to invest in a car boot. I recommend the Tevlaphee Universal Wheel Lock, it’s multipurpose and usable on more than just your car, as well as having a low barrier of cost that can help keep your car safe and stationary. Get Yours on Amazon Today!
When Can Your Car Be Repossessed?
Your car can be repossessed when you default on your payments. The time for repossession varies by state, with some states only giving a notice as short as thirty days.
According to a TransUnion, Millennials and Gen Zer’s are often 60 days behind on their auto loans than they’re older counterparts. Not only can this mean lower credit scores mixed between the two groups, but also the collateral of their car has a higher chance of being repossessed at a missed payments notice.
The typical amount of time that passed before a loan is defaulted is ninety days (though again, this varies by state).
Just like when you’re loaned money or have an overdraft fee, you must pay your dues eventually. If you find yourself behind on payments, you may soon have to speak with a repo men who will nonchalantly take your car after giving you court ordered papers. If you can start making payments again, and if you haven’t fallen too far behind, you may be able to halt your car’s repossession for the near future.
When dealing with a repo man, know that once they acquire the proper court ordered forms, they are able to do with it as they wish. Appearing at your house at any given instant, more possibly even finding out about your daily route and schedule so they will know when there is a large amount of time in which your car is unoccupied.
If your car is repossessed, you’re forced to not only continually make payments on your loan, but also having to go out of your way to the lot that your car is being held. You will have to pay a small fee (though large due to your financial troubles). You’re taking more money out of your bank account to pay for something you can’t even afford, it’s unfeasible and recommended that you’d find another way to circumvent this scenario rather than approach it head on (physically and financially).
* Find Out Here: Is my Car on a Repo-list?
Can You Stop a Car Repossession?
You can stop a car repossession if a court ordered form has not been delivered nor has your car been taken, communication is key in this aspect and it is wise to speak with your lender.
If you have the capital or are willing to somehow scrounge up the funds necessary for you to keep your car, it is possible to avoid a repossession entirely. Though if you wish to go through with this, you will need to effectively communicate with your lender the second you get behind on payments. Failure to do so can harm you overall, the instability of your relationship will further be strained and pushed into turmoil and they may not be willing to help you.
There are a multitude of helpful ways a borrower can get out of a dicey situation with their lender. They range from Deferments, Reinstating your loan, or in some less than viable scenarios Surrendering your car.
|Legal Ways to Avoid Car Repossession
|What Will Occur
|Deferments of Car Payments
|An automobile lender allows you to defer payments for a set amount of time. You will have to call them (some may need you to mail a Hardship Letter, explaining your predicament). A usual deferment period ranges from One To Three Months.
|Reinstating Your Loan
|Taking place before or after your car has been repossessed, the borrower pays (in full) all past missed payments and late fees. Once this has been done the loan itself is reinstated.
|Surrendering Your Car
|A last case resort when you don’t want your car to be repossessed, voluntarily surrendering your vehicle back to the lender can have a greater emotional impact than them having to send a repo man after you. Though you can do this in good conscience, do know that a repossession and a voluntary surrender both reflect badly on your credit score.
* For Further Info: How Do I Get My Car Back From Repossession
How Do I Hide My Car From A Repo man?
Hiding your car from a repo men comes down to various circumstances. Know when you have defaulted on your car payments, your options in terms of hiding (A garage is a wonderful way to start) as well as the timing before a repo man eventually shows up to repossess.
Even though you may feel as if it’s your right to be able to hide your car, know some of the consequences that can arise from doing so.
They are as follows:
- Depending on the state you live in, it may be illegal for you to hide your car. It is always best to check what laws will work in your favor or against you in a dire situation such as this.
- Even if you can hide your car, your car lender (Dealership, second hand seller) might file a lawsuit for breach of contract.
- If your car has a built in tracking device, that makes it all the more easier for your lender to be able to trace it down and give the necessary information to a recovery agent.
- If you are given a court ordered form to Surrender your vehicle to the lender, then you are required to by LAW. No amount of hiding or talking can stitch back together the foundation when it has been uprooted and replaced with a constitutional agreement.
Now that you know the risks, it’s time to get down to brass tax, what’re some of the best ways for you to hide your car—let’s find out.
NOTE: All of these tips are to be used for you to give yourself time to make payments, these are not and never should be used as a long term solution.
Ways To Hide Your Car
- Swapping your car with a friend who lives out of state
- This can allow your car to disappear, crossing state lines is an effective way to halt any repo man from driving for more than it’s worth.
- Pros: Your car being out of state disallows a repo man from traveling too far for something that isn’t worth it, and buys you more time to figure out your financial woes.
- Cons: Depending on the state you reside, this can be a legally grey territory, depending on the amount of time that has passed from you defaulting on your car payment, the vehicle may be flagged as STOLEN by your lender, bringing about charges for you and your friend.
- Removing the GPS Tracker that has been placed in/on your car
- Most lenders (dealerships/banks) have a tracking device placed on the car during times of a loan. Removal of this can halt the recovery agent of the necessary information that he needs to repossess the car.
- Pros: If you have a spot to stash your vehicle that is far from your place of residence, the repo man will have an extremely challenging time tracking it down.
- Cons: It’s best to check the papers you signed when you took your loan from your lender, removal of the tracking device is terms of breach of contract and can cause you to face misdemeanor charges and/or a court issued citation that requires you to Surrender the vehicle.
- Using a gate community or compound that is not easily accessible to the public to stash your car
- If you have access to a gated community, an old warehouse, or something that is not in the public’s eye, stashing your car there is a decent course of action that can hinder a repo man’s ability to find it.
- Pros: Not inherently illegal (depending on the current state of your defaulted car payments) that allows you to hide your car with ease of security knowing that it is in a safe place that only you have access to.
- Cons: If the repo man finds the car within these communities/spaces, he is still well within his job’s right to properly seize the vehicle.
- Lending your car to a neighbor, or someone who has access to a garage (If you do not have access to one)
- Giving your neighbor your car in the event of a repossession presents a possibility that allows you to carry on with your daily routine knowing that your neighbor has access to the vehicle and it can safely be put in their garage.
- Pros: Hiding something under the nose of whoever wants to take it can be simpler than going through other, more elaborate methods that can have the same outcome.
- Cons: The recovery agent is still well within their right to seize the car, regardless of who’s driving it, who’s property it’s on as well as during any time of day.
- Hiding your car in your own Garage
- Hiding your car in your own garage (especially if it is electronically controlled) gives you the comfort of knowing where your car is, as well as dashing the possibility of the repo man finding the car randomly on the street one night.
- Pros: You’re the only possible person that has access to your car, leaving no room for error that the repossessor can find it even when you aren’t home.
- Cons: The garage is the first place a repo man would surmise to look, and if it’s in there, he has a higher chance of acquiring a court issued form that will allow him to seize your property—with or without you voluntarily surrendering it.
- Selling your car
- Selling your vehicle (for the right place) can cure your financial woes, get the repo man off your back, and is the best course of action that is legally allowed to avoid a repossession.
- Pros: Selling the car can provide you with a fresh start, paying off your missed car payments and allowing a breath of air to pass into your life.
- Cons: You will have to remain in contact with your lender during the selling of your vehicle, as well as knowing that if enough time goes by and the car is not sold, they are within their right to legally repossess the vehicle.
- Putting a Boot on your car
- More commonly used to stop cases of Grand theft auto, this method can also halt towing.
- Pros: A cheap, cost effective way that provides you with security not only that a repo man will not be able to tow your vehicle away (granted if they have a flatbed tow truck this will not work).
- Cons: Besides them having a flatbed truck, more vigilante style repo man may be willing to cut off the boots and take your vehicle.
Note: Adding a car cover to any of these steps when your vehicle is not in use can further hide and obscure your vehicle from prying eyes. I recommend this Silver Weatherproof Car Cover, it fits most consumer grade vehicles and not only protects the identity of the car—but also acts as a filter from the elements! Get Yours On Amazon Today!
Those are just some surface level ways you’d be able to hide your vehicle, if you’re thinking outside of the box—the possibilities are endless.
Just know the financial (lowered credit score) and possible legal troubles that can come with hiding your car from a repossessor. You must do what you must do in order to keep your property your own, but know that hiding your car should always be a last resort.
Should I hide My Car to Stop a Repossession?
Hiding your car to halt a repossession is a short term solution for a long term problem. Sooner or later, the repossessor will be able to find it, and when they do that stirs more financial trouble for you.
In this short video (Three Minutes) a long-time repo-man gives on the job advice on what you should do instead of hiding your car from repossession.
Castle goes over some obvious details that one should know if they are willing to hide their car. Filing for bankruptcy may be a course of action to follow as that can give you leeway—and potentially lower your car payment. His professional recommendation is not to hide your car, it can end badly for you and you’ll dig yourself deeper in the financial hole that allowed a repossession to potentially occur.
The good news is that there are a variety of options besides hiding your car. The adage, “Out of sight, out of mind” only rings true for problems that don’t necessarily need to be solved. Having your car out of sight—whether through hiding it or attempting your own twist on halting a repossession, can have a negative impact on your life financially and mentally.