After the recent catastrophic storms in the southern United States, it is estimated that as many as 500,000 cars may have been flooded and seriously damaged. A large percentage of these vehicles will find their way into the market for re-sale.
Although state motor vehicle registries “brand” cars that were flooded and change the car’s title to a salvage or junk title, or even a flood title, dishonest sellers will wash the vehicle’s title by moving it through states with differing regulations.
The National Automobile Dealers Association has the following tips on how to minimize the risk of buying one of these cars:
1. Be alert to unusual odors.
They may be a symptom of mildew build up.
2. Look for discolored carpeting.
Large stains or differences in color may indicate that standing water was in the vehicle.
3. Examine the exterior for water buildup.
Signs may include fogging inside headlamps or taillights.
4. Inspect the undercarriage.
Look for signs of rust and flaking metal.
5. Be suspicious of dirt buildup in unusual areas.
These include areas around the seat tracks, or the upper carpeting under the glove compartment.
Of course, the old adage is true. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Reputable lenders will work with you be make sure you are protected. If you are thinking of buying a pre-owned car, or have questions on car related issues, feel free to contact We Florida Financial, your credit union at 954-745-2400 or go online to WeFloridaFinancial.com.