Purchasing a used car is a smart idea. Someone else absorbs depreciation and you enjoy a vehicle with a more affordable car payment. On the flip side, not knowing a car's history can put you at a disadvantage. In a region where big storms often lead to flood damage, New Jersey residents are well-served having a prospective used car inspected for flood damage before completing a sale.
The Dangers of Flood-Damaged Cars
Purchasing a flood-damaged car can put you at risk for future mechanical problems as well as costly body damage as the result of rust and corrosion. Before you purchase a used car, we recommend having a third-party mechanic thoroughly inspect the vehicle first. The inspection should include:
- Checking the vehicle's public accident and potential repair history. You can even do this part on your own, checking the vehicle's identification number (VIN) against public records like Carfax, which will let you know the vehicle's history, including car accidents and repairs as the result of flood-related damage.
- An inspection underneath the car's carpet, looking for mud, rust or other debris that indicates the car has been in a flood.
- Looking in the hard-to-clean areas for potential debris such as mud, dried clay, twigs and rotted leaves, etc.
- Paying close attention to the smell. If you notice any signs of mildew, mold or notice a musty smell, it's a sign the vehicle has experienced water damage.
Your auto insurance policy is only as good as the cash value of your car.
Contact CCW Insurance to learn more about your auto insurance coverage and what your policy will or will not cover when it comes to the dangers of flood-damaged cars.
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