Buying a used vehicle? Flood-damaged cars from Hurricane Ian may soon hit the lots

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — AAA Northeast issued a warning to consumers on Thursday that flood-damaged cars from Hurricane Ian may be making their way into New England.

According to CarFax vehicle history reports, nearly half of flood-damaged totaled cars return to the market as used cars.

“Insurance companies often declare flood-damaged vehicles as total losses, and those cars are then sold to salvage companies,” AAA Northeast said, in a release. “However, rather than being dismantled for parts, some of these vehicles are purchased by individuals who restore them to some degree of working order.”

Before purchasing a car, signs to look for include:

  • Damp or musty odors inside the vehicle.
  • Carpet or upholstery that has been replaced or recently shampooed.
  • Mud and dirt on the underside of the dashboard.
  • Rust on the underside of the vehicle.
  • Rust, mud, dirt or discoloration in body seams and small out-of-the-way crevices on the doors, under the hood and inside the trunk.
  • Open all doors, hood, and trunk to inspect for corrosion, mud and dirt or discoloration on the door frames, hinges and under the weather stripping.
  • Inspect the dashboard underside for signs of mud and dirt.
  • Electrical components, such as lighting, the heater/AC fan, window motors and more that are not functioning properly.
  • Check all warning lights, window motors, and all electrical components to ensure they are working properly.

“If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. The continued shortage of used car inventory coupled with increased buyer demand will continue to push up prices,” AAA Northeast added.

Categories: Massachusetts, News, Rhode Island