Cleanups are still underway for half the east coast after Hurricane Irene. And while most of us weren't affected by the water running down city streets or wind damaged trees, expect to see ripples from the storm making their way in your used car search or local used car listings as residents clean up.
That's right, as water drains and wreckage is cleared, more and more waterlogged cars will be making their way to auction lots after being declared scrap by the insurance companies. And while some will end up as genuine scrap, and others destined to be smashed, thousands of ruined vehicles will be picked off to be resold on local used car listings. An especially lucrative proposition for the shady, considering high quality used cars has been selling near new car prices.
The problem however is most of these water damaged cars are not gems and will likely sound to good to be true. Low mileage, 40 MPG, two or three year old sedan for hundreds below KBB's listing? It sounds great until you know if those used cars for sale have ABS system or electrical systems trashed from flood waters or not.
But the shady maneuvers don't stop there for flood damaged cars. People affected by flood water saw the cars floating like children's toys. People know which dealer lots ended up under water. So instead many attractive sounding cars with low mileage or 40 MPG, but water damaged throughout will be sold and titled out of state as cars under $10000.
Why? They'll do this to help erase records of their damage, throw off services like Carfax, and to bait unsuspecting customers miles and miles away to bite on used car search listings which never mention the fact these used cars for sale were already declared a lose.
So inland residents on the East coast beware, and people of the Midwest you have been forewarned. And if you live down South you know about these scams already. If you see incredible deals for cars under $10000, or see near new cars for a fraction of new car prices then remember. If it looks to good, it probably is. Get the car looked at, see if Carfax does have anything recorded, and remember to ask questions. Otherwise you don't know what could be driving if you don't.