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Can I Buy A Flooded Car

Any car that's been subjected to water should be sold well below market value, and unless the dealership can prove extensive restoration, you should be offered a dream deal. After all, when buying a flood-damaged car, you're assuming a substantial financial risk that major repairs could be necessary. Make sure that you don't pay more for the car than you're willing to pay if the worst-case scenario occurs. Also know that when a car is flooded, typically, the manufacturer's warranty is voided.

can i buy a flooded car

Is it safe to buy a vehicle that was flooded? Generally, the answer is no. Anytime a car has sat in water past its tires, there's potential for hidden damage down the line. But we've got some tips to keep you safe and dry.

Hurricane Harvey has dumped tons of rain on the Greater Houston Area and those floodwaters have swallowed up thousands upon thousands of cars. The news coverage will, for good reason, focus on the damage to personal property and homes, but the sale of flooded vehicles is another serious casualty of these kinds of storms.

You may be able to recover your losses under several causes of action outlined below. My recommendation to obtain a certification that the vehicle has not been flooded makes it easier to go after the dishonest individual or business who sold you the vehicle in the first place.

You may have a fraud claim against the seller of the vehicle if the seller made some statement that the seller knew or should have known was untrue and you relied upon it to your detriment. For example, if you asked the seller if the vehicle had been flooded and they expressly told you it had not when, in fact it had, you likely have a fraud claim against the seller.

If you have purchased a vehicle that you believe was flooded, please feel free to give me a call at 713-999-9398. I may be able to help you recover your damages and go after the business or individual who harmed you by selling you a flooded car and failing to disclose that fact. You can also email me at

The issue with a flooded car is what comes with the water rather than the water itself. Mud and silt are a bit difficult to get out of your vehicle, and these always result in significant issues. When you miss spots where mud or silt has settled, it will be hard to control the damage that comes with it, like mold and mildew.

Buyers should research a used car's vehicle history report to make sure they know what they are buying, regardless of when or where they make the purchase, because flooded cars often end up for sale in places far from where they originally were damaged.

To untrained eyes, signs of flood damage on a car can be quite difficult to discern but make no mistake, even if it looks great, a flooded car could be plagued with many problems that pose a major risk to its current owner and potential buyers.

Used car buyers should always keep an eye out for deals that are too good to be true because they might be dealing with a car that has been flooded. Here are the dangers of buying a flooded car and signs you can look out for to avoid buying one.

You should check for rust under the interior carpets, the seat railings, and the space where the spare tire is located as well. These spots are usually affected when a car is flooded and without proper drying and cleaning, will lead to the formation of rust.

People often ask our consumer advocate team here at how much they should pay for this used car they are looking at that was disclosed to have a flooded title. To answer this question, today we'll flood you with all sorts of pros and cons of buying a used car that has been flooded.The more important question to ask is should you buy that car with a branded title? How do we determine how much a flooded car is worth? We need to investigate the depreciated value of a car that has sustained major water damaged and has been written off by the car insurance company with a black mark on the title, known as branding, and the branding states the car has been previously reported through a vehicle history report as flooded

The storm of the century Hurricane Sandy slammed into New Jersey and New York flooding tens of thousands of cars. Remember Hurricane Harvey that flooded tens of thousands of cars in Houston, TX? What about Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Irma in the Southeastern United States?

Once these flooded cars have become a total loss and written off by insurance companies their titles must be branded as "Flooded" by law so any future buyer will know the car was a complete loss and can avoid being ripped off. Then these cars with branded titles can now be sold at those special salvage auctions because mainstream buyers don't want a flooded car or the risks associated with these cars.

There is an industry of people who purchase used cars with flooded titles from salvage auctions and repair them enough to launder the title back to used car status. Thanks to companies like AutoCheck, you can get a vehicle history report which we recommend on every used car before you buy, and it tells you that the car you are about to buy was flooded.

The vehicle history report also shows previous sale dates of the used car so you can tell what state it was located and how it sold. You'll often see flooded cars get moved several states away to be sold out of sight and out of mind from ground zero.

If the used car you are about to buy was a flooded car from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, chances are it was totaled by the car insurance company, and will likely appear on the vehicle history report as a red flag to allow buyers who don't want flooded cars to move on to the next used car on their list.

Suppose you see a used Honda Accord classified listing that fully discloses it was previously flooded, perhaps by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, or Hurricane Florence in the Southeast. The car might work great now, but there could also be areas of trapped moisture, or hidden corrosion could have set into printed circuits of the computer control modules under the dash.

What if expensive oxygen sensors are compromised? We don't know everything that was done to repair this car. Many of the emissions system oxygen sensors are $500 when they rust and fail. There are pros and cons to buying a used car that has been flooded, and these pros and cons depend on your financial condition.

There's a lot of risks and sometimes the selling price is not as low as you would expect for a flooded or heavily water damaged vehicle. Most people don't want flooded vehicles; you will have a hard time reselling this car later and what if it turns out to be a lemon? Then you will never be able to resell this car to anyone or get rid of it.

We all have our own definition of a good price, there is no standard for pricing in this category of cars, so here is a useful pricing model for flooded cars that our consumer advocate team here at designed for you:

We think you should plan for $2,000 of future repairs related to the previous flood to be built-in to the purchase price of the used car. Suppose a used Lexus you want to buy is worth $15,000 in the private party person-to-person market. A flooded vehicle should be 25% less, then another $2,000 lower to allow for repairs. That flooded Lexus should then sell for:

We always tell buyers to get a vehicle history report, which also shows you when they took ownership and how long the seller has been sitting on that car. But you also must make sure to have your own mechanics look underneath where you can bet the dealer has not ventured and failed to repair critically flooded parts.

Look on eBay Motors for "completed" auctions of your same used car model to determine the real market value of a flooded car. This proves what the market is willing to pay for your car right now on eBay.

Then apply our flooded used car depreciation formula of deductions above to reduce the sales price. On fixed-price AutoTrader, dealers typically ask $3,000 over market value as they try to get retail value. But eBay has already established what a good specimen of your car is really worth.

Another thing to consider is when was the car flooded? When was it repaired? This is where the history report comes in handy. The longer the car has been in operation since the flood, the better for you; because it shows the car has not suffered issues that might have surfaced by now.

Nonetheless, merchants who specialize in the purchase and resale of flooded cars often take big risks that come with potentially big profit margins. Meanwhile, consumers might be enticed by these cars, which usually come with surprisingly low prices. Flood-damaged cars can typically be purchased at a 40% to 70% discount on Kelley Blue Book valuations, Drury said.

These cases can have significant value depending on the nature and extent of the prior damage and to what extent the dealership inspected the vehicle. What if I were to tell you that a vehicle had $12,000 a prior damage and a franchised dealer inspected it and had it certified pursuant to a 125 point inspection checklist required to be reviewed and inspected by the manufacturer. This would appear to be a no-brainer and nobody would ever believe the selling dealership claim that they did not know that this type of vehicle had been in an accident or had been flooded. Also remember that a franchised dealership in the process of certifying (CPO) the vehicle had it certified and inspected by technicians trained by the manufacturer and trained by the dealership. There is no reason, nor any excuse for a dealership to sell a vehicle that had been in a prior accident or had been flooded and claim that they did not know that the vehicle had been in an accident or sustained damage. Inherently this just does not make any sense and inherently it is not credible and this is certainly not a position that anyone wants to argue to a jury in Superior Court in New Jersey.

The extent of the damage depends on how long the car has been exposed to water and whether it was running at the time. Driving through a flooded section of road may damage the engine, but leaving a car in a flooded parking lot may be more damaging to the interior and electrical system. 041b061a72


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