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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Are Flooded Vehicles Legal to Resell?
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Tuesday, February 6,2024

Are Flooded Vehicles Legal to Resell?

By Teresa Aquila  
Disasters like hurricanes not only leave a devastating aftermath, but there is another storm on the horizon. In the wake of events such as hurricanes, what is left behind are vehicles that have been swamped, causing lasting effects. These vehicles have been submerged and waterlogged, and while they should be taken off the road, they sometimes wind up back on the market. Another storm that is brewing is the demand for used cars.

So how does one steer clear of purchasing one of these lemons in the first place? Flood damage can be difficult to spot. Water can seep into unseen areas of a vehicle, and identifying a repaired flood car is not always easy. After all, a thorough cleaning is just a good policy when selling any vehicle. Search for rust, water stains, mud, and grit in hidden interior spots.

A flood car should not be on your shopping list. Even if a seller is upfront about the damage, shows plenty of proof of repairs, and offers a deep discount, such a car is likely to mean future problems, both mechanical and otherwise. When flood damage isn’t covered under a basic auto insurance policy or if the damage isn’t enough to total the car, the car’s owner is responsible for insuring the vehicle is salvaged.

It is not illegal to sell flooded cars.

It is illegal for dealerships to do so. Many times, these flooded cars can end up back on the market, if the car was not insured and the owner had it inspected. It can legally be sent back into the market and resold. With the recent flooding in the U.S., I suggest – if you’re thinking of purchasing a used car – make sure to have a mechanic give it a once over. Happy Motoring.

 

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