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Starting your own auto repossession business

Updated March 23, 2017

To start an auto repossession business, you will need a computer with Internet access, phone, and record-keeping software. Proper licensing and insurance is needed to safely run your business. Knowledge of keymaking and starting a car without a key can make your job much easier. After building a professional reputation, you may only need four or five clients to maintain a comfortable income. Expand your services to include motocycle and boat repossession to increase profits.

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Licenses and Insurance Required to Start an Auto Repossession Business

Depending on your state, you may need to apply for a license. This allows you to find and repossess vehicles with delinquencies attached to them. Check with the Attorney General's office, Small Business Administration office, or Secretary of State's office to learn more about licensing procedures and costs.

If you plan to tow vehicles yourself using a tow truck, you will need a CDL (Commercial Driver's License). Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to learn more.

Purchase business insurance with liability coverage in case of an accident or injury while repossessing a vehicle. Liability coverage also covers accidental repossession (you accidentally repossess the wrong car), and damage to the vehicle during transport.

Equipment Needed to Repossess a Car

To repossess a car, you will need lock-picking tools and a tow truck. In many cases, you will be given a key code by the client so you can have a key made.

Key codes are found on most car titles for cars that are at least six or seven years old. This code is used to make copies of keys. If you don't have a key-cutting machine, take the key code to a local locksmith.

If key codes aren't available, you will have to open the car door using a slim jim or other opening device. Learning how to start a car without a key is an important skill to learn especially if you have to repo an older car.

If you can't afford a tow truck, hire a local towing company to help you move the car. Auto repossession experts who have been in business for a while usually purchase their own tow trucks to tow vehicles away in order to cut costs.

Marketing Your Services

Banks, new and used car dealerships, rental agencies, and car loan companies are typical businesses to target when marketing your services. Contact these businesses directly or place flyers or ads in local newspapers to let people know of your services.

Create business cards and include the types of vehicles you specialise in repossessing on the back. In addition to cars and trucks, you may also repo motorcycles, boats, RVs, off-road vehicles or service vehicles.

Attend networking events for small business owners to meet those who may need your services. Because banks and dealerships grant loans to multiple people each month, you may be asked to repo three or fours cars a day by the same client.

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About the Author

Based in the Washington metro area, Jessica Jones has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in business topics. Her fiction has also been featured in publications such as "The Jamaican Observer Sunday Literary Supplement" and at websites including HackWriters. Jones earned a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing from Lesley University.

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