Monday, June 1, 2015

Buyers Beware: Tips To Avoid Buying A Flood-Damaged Vehicle

Thousands of vehicles are expected to be disbursed around the country and could possibly appear as a ready to sell used vehicle, when in fact, they could be damaged goods.

Flood-damaged vehicles for the most part are worth about 40 percent less than the actual book value, the amount a non-damaged vehicle usually sells for on the used car market. 

So, to insure that you’re not left holding the bag, paying too much for a flood-damaged vehicle or to literally steer clear of a flood-damaged vehicle, here are several tips to help navigate the inspection process. In fact, this process is useful for any used car purchase, not just flood-damaged vehicles. 

1.          Access the government databaseThe National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, which helps protect used car buyers from buying a vehicle with a salvaged or scrapped title. The fee for the report starts at $3.50. Making this short-term investment now could cost less on the front end, as opposed to investing a sum of your hard earnings to what could be a sinking ship (or in your case a vehicle) on the back end.

2.          Examine the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) report for free to determine if the vehicle has been classified as stolen or salvage.

3.          Retrieve a vehicle history report from is another means to access a vehicle report, too, although AutoCheck is more comprehensive. Reports from both companies range from $24.99 to $99.99.

4.          Check for water damage. Look underneath the carpet. Check for a water ring around the sunroof. Look for rust underneath the seats and in the glove box. Also check for any odd odors. These could be signs of a food-damaged vehicle.

5.          Check under the hood and underneath the vehicle for mud or rust.

6.          Take the vehicle to a reputable new-vehicle dealership for an examination, checking the electrical wiring, too. It’s actually worth paying from $100 to $200 to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a new-vehicle franchised dealer, before sealing the deal.

7.          This is a more extensive list provided by Manheim Auction and their dealers.  

Source: Tips Provided By and SiriusXM's  "Auto Trends with"


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