Skip to main content

Used Car Buyers: Beware of Hurricane Harvey Flooded Vehicles



Used Car Buyers: Beware of Hurricane Harvey Flooded Vehicles

Consumers and Businesses looking for a used car should be on high alert for flood-damaged vehicles that may have come from areas affected by the recent hurricanes and flooding. As a result of Hurricane Harvey there will be many flood damaged cars coming into the market over the next couple of weeks and months.  Some will be “repaired” and to the average consumer’s eye they will look good.  Anderson Rogers Insurance recommends that you do your due diligence for any upcoming used car purchases and walk away from any vehicle that might have been involved in flooding.  Here are a few tips that can help you in researching the used car you are looking at::

1. Buyers Beware!

While most states require vehicle titles to indicate flood damage, some wholesalers may intentionally transfer titles to avoid having the damage noted and diminish the value of the car.

2. Looks can be deceiving

While the car may look perfectly fine on the surface, there could be hidden defects that are not immediately noticeable. Flood damage can compromise the car’s computer and safety mechanisms, which pose significant safety hazards to the new owner.

3. Do your own inspection

Take the time to inspect the car for yourself:

  • Check the engine for a high water mark on the block or radiator, which is a clear indication that the car has been flooded.
  • Look for rust or corrosion on wires and other components under the hood.
  • You should also be suspicious if the carpet smells damp and of mildew.

4. Consider where you buy

  • Flooded vehicles oftentimes end up at car auctions.
  • Shop at a reputable dealership.

 5. Ask questions 
Before buying the car, ask the dealer to obtain a report with a detailed history of the car. You should also consider taking the car to a qualified mechanic to inspect the vehicle thoroughly.Comprehensive vehicle history reports are produced with the vehicle identification number (VIN) and are available for a fee from a variety of sources, including:

Some of the information in this post originally appeared on the website of: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is a voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The overriding objectives of state regulators are to protect consumers and help maintain the financial stability of the insurance industry.
Beware of flood damaged cars

image credit: bloomberg via getty images