Discover the indications of flood damage to avoid purchasing one of the thousands of flood damaged cars on the road.
"We were interested in an ‘08 Smart Fortwo Cabrio. The ad and the dealer’s website failed to mention there had been flood damage, so I am really glad that we decided to get a CARFAX Report. The report showed that it had been flooded, and that before the flood damage it had been totalled. Thanks CARFAX!” – Ryan H
Buying a flood damaged car can be a costly mistake. Unscrupulous sellers can make a car which has been totaled through flood damage look good as new with a fresh coat of paint and new upholstery.
For the average buyer, it can be difficult to tell whether a car is flood damaged at first glance. You can protect yourself against these cars by being aware of the tell-tale signs of water damage.
Every year, tens of thousands of cars are flood damaged, and more than half of those end up back on the road. Unsurprisingly, this problem is magnified in regions which are vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.
But as scammers will often move cars between states to hide flood titles, anyone buying a used car needs to be aware of the signs of flood damage.
Flooding can seriously damage a car. Electrical and computer systems are particularly vulnerable, and this can affect the lights, windshield wipers and locks. It can also cause airbags and anti-lock braking systems to malfunction.
This can lead to serious safety issues, particularly if you are involved in a crash.
If you unwittingly buy a car which has been previously flooded you may lose out financially too, owing to large, unexpected repair bills and a low resale value.
The scale of vehicle flooding caused by major storms and hurricanes:
Buy from a reputable dealer who offers a full CARFAX report. Our used car listings let you easily and quickly find vehicles near you which are free of flood damage and protected by the CARFAX buy-back guarantee.
Flood damaged cars can be hard to detect at first glance, but thoroughly checking your vehicle before purchase can reduce your risk of unknowingly buying a flood damaged car.
CARFAX also offer a free flood check tool, which checks if your car has any flood damage. All you have to do is enter your VIN number!
* These title documents will not necessarily be marked flood damaged.