When buying a used car, here is one tip you need to pay attention to.
If you are in the United States, you are most likely aware of the extraordinary rain in Houston Texas.
All That Flooding Means Lots Of Flood Cars.
If you’re in the market for a good used car, be vigilant for the next several months. Many of the Houston flood cars will be coming to market.
The number could be in the thousands of cars and trucks.
How this is connected to Healthy Living? Getting stuck with a flood car, is not good for a healthy frame of mind.
Here Is What Will Happen
There are a few possibilities in the process.
Insurance companies end up with many of the cars. Generally once a flood car is processed as an insurance claim, CarFax will have a report. That’s what they do.
Many of the cars processed by insurance companies end up as total losses and are sent to the re-selling market for such cars.
Two giant insurance auctions end up with the lions share of the cars.
IAA, (Insurance Auto Auction) and CoParts. As a general rule, these actions will mark the title as a flood car. Buyers will know what they’re buying.
Other cars may be marked for export only. Thousands of insurance claim cars, whether flooded or wrecked, are exported every year. The parts are needed in countries all around the world.
The claims settled by insurance are not the concern.
It is all those flood cars not covered by insurance that we need to watch for.
Think About This.
A former oil field worker has a fairly nice Ford F-150 pick up. It has mileage in the high 90’s and is only six years old. The owners five year loan was paid off last year.
The Oil field bust has left him cutting every corner he could find.
He stopped paying for insurance coverage beyond the most basic liability that is required to keep his drivers license intact.
Then the flood. When the water receded, he began to clean up the truck.
He pulled out the seats and carpet and dried them in the sun. He used a fabric cleaner and sanitizer trying to get the smell out.
He worked fast and beat the mold and mildew that was sure to grow.
There was a lot of mud under the hood so a power wash was needed to clean it up.
You get the point.
It is only a question of time before the things you can’t clean begin to fail. Electrical stuff is going to quit. A lot more will too, but without electronics, the flood car is worthless.
More On Our Case Study
The truck gets traded. Our financially strapped owner needed to do something.
He takes the truck out of town, away from the flooded area, and accepts what he can get.
The trading dealer immediately sends the truck to auction.
If you are not familiar with auto auctions, there are hundreds of them across the United States. Many are huge, selling hundreds to thousands of used cars every week.
In our little story, the flood truck, once owned by our unemployed oil field worker, finds it’s way to one of the large auto auctions.
A dealer in Illinois,unaware that it was in a flood, likes the value, and buys the truck. It ends up looking great on a lot a thousand miles from the flood. Who would think it came from Houston?
Here Is Your Tip
Think of the problems you’re going to have if you buy a six year old pick-up that looks great but, was under water for three days.
The two things you can do to protect yourself.
1. Have the used car inspected. A skilled and honest auto mechanic can find problems related to flood cars.
Insist on having your mechanic do the inspection. If the dealer says no, move on.
2. Have the dealer provide you with a CarFax report.
Even if the car has no reported insurance claim, you can find out where the vehicle came from.
Cars serviced at the dealer, often the case when under warranty, will have the service listed in a CarFax report.
If you review a CarFax report and see that the vehicle was serviced in Houston Texas, keep looking. It’s not the car you want.
Always remember that the used car industry has, as it’s life blood, the auto auction business. Dealers take cars to the auction for wholesale. Dealers buy cars at wholesale. The inventory can come from all over the country.
A Texas dealer sends cars to auction. Different cars have different values in various states. It is common that cars are transported across the country to an auction that has better wholesale values.
The moral here, a Houston Texas flood car can easily end up at an auction in Miami Florida or Omaha Nebraska.
The best tip for buying a used car is be careful. Do the research, Read the CarFax report. A flood car, of which there are thousands, can end up on a car lot near you.
If you have a question or want to comment. Drop your note in the comments section here.