Spotting a flood/hurricane damaged vehicle

A little public service announcement: Before you buy a used vehicle, check it out with this list of Ten tips for spotting a flood-damaged vehicle from the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The used car market is sure to be awash (ha ha!) with retitled vehicles in the coming months and years. Best to be wary.

I’m a big fan of buying used cars but I worry about being fooled by unscrupulous scammers. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal (“Beware Flood of Retitled Cars,” Joseph B. White, WSJ, Oct 10, 2005) points out that it’s possible for someone to retitle even a totalled car in another state, effectively removing the red flags on the title that should warn people about the car. There are efforts underway to compile a list of flood-damaged cars so they can’t be resold, but that’s likely to be a while away.