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How to Detect Flood Damage on Vehicles

The most recent floods in Texas have devastated the region. In the weeks and months following a natural disaster car buyers need to be cautious of damaged vehicles on the market.

How to Detect Flood Damage on Vehicles

The most recent floods in Texas have devastated the region. In the weeks and months following a natural disaster buyers need to be cautious. Flood damaged vehicles will be shipped across the country and will wind up for sale to many unsuspecting buyers.

The NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) is working to identify and catalog water damaged vehicles to keep them from being resold. However, many vehicles will still be for sale without any indication they’ve been sitting under rain water.

Flooded Vehicles Titles:

Owners of these vehicles are supposed to file a claim with their insurance company and the insurance company then flags the vehicle as a total loss. These vehicles should get shipped to a junk yard or salvage dealer where they’re sold for parts that weren’t affected by the flooding. If they do get resold as cars they’ll come with “salvage” titles. It is sometimes the case that dishonest dealers purchase the vehicles and don’t change their title status and that’s how the vehicles end up back in the market.

What to watch out for:
  • Look in the interior – is there a smell?
  • Are there water stains or pebbles/rocks in the cabin or engine?
  • Check under the floorboard carpet for stains or marks from evaporated water
  • Do you see any rust on metal fixtures?
  • Does the interior have any fading?
  • Is the price below fair market value? (always a red flag)

All vehicles listed on Instamotor are pre-screened, which includes checking for vehicles sold at auction and vehicles that have come from out of state.

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The Instamotor TeamThe Instamotor Team

Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.

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