According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the term repossess means "to regain possession of" or in the financial sense, to take possession of (something bought) from a buyer in default of the payment of installments due. This article deals with vehicles bought back by banks (or financial institutions) since their owners cannot pay their amortizations billed by banks every month.
If you are willing to take the plunge or looking an alternative to buy a used car, read this first before gambling
Where Do I Buy Repossessed Units?
Usually, banks (the largest ones) do have them at their warehouses. Examples of them are PS Bank (warehouse is located in E. Rodriguez Avenue Libis), Union Bank (located in Dr. Santos Avenue Paranaque, near Airport Citimall and in Malugay St, Makati City), RCBC Savings (Manila warehouse is located in Sandoval Avenue, Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City), Banco De Oro (Somewhere in Balintawak, Quezon City), BPI (in West Avenue and South Super Highway in Muntinlupa), and East West Bank (you may either go to Edison Avenue Paranaque or Festival Supermall). Other banks do have listings so better check them out. Toyota Financial Services have their repo units along Pasong Tamo Makati. You may Google them out or browse the Sunday Classified Ads of Manila Bulletin.
Majority of the units are latest model year vehicles, since financial institutions cannot finance vehicles older than five to seven years old. Majority of them are in varying states of condition, from the untouched to the poor ones. And most of the vehicles are sold in a "as is, where is" basis, and some do have their warranties intact (but read it properly, since some might be forfeited because of some provisions).
What To Look At?
Don't do this alone, bring a trusted mechanic with you to check what's fishy with the car you are considering. Check the oil from the engine and the transmission, if they have been replenished and good as new. If possible, make kalikot or open the things that you can open (such as caps in the engine and the handles). As with buying a used car, make sure to drive it around and test every gears (some don't allow a brief test drive). Have a camera ready to take pictures of the car since some douche bag may steal some parts. Expect some inferior quality tires and dead battery, and even some interior stains. Some have been flooded or totally wrecked, so do have an eye for them and avoid. And lastly, check if the registration is named after the bank, with some incidents like a stolen vehicle record may occur.
You may either participate in a bidding style or buy it one the lot (but remember, lot prices are slightly higher than auction prices). If you participate in the auction, make sure all documents are submitted to their main office and an initial deposit is paid. If you buy straight, make sure that the car is in good condition. If you have the car (or won), all legal documents are in your responsibility and they won't help you.
If Something Goes Wrong
In that case, better have someone in the bank to take care of you. If there are car problems, make sure it could be remedied ahead.
Buying a repossessed car could be a happy moment or a sad day for one. The good thing is they are recent year models but the bad they could be neglected. Besides, it wouldn't hurt to look at them since who knows, you might want that car, for less.