Flood Cars in the U.S. Jump 20% Since Last Year

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CENTREVILLE, Va. (September 13, 2017) – New research from Carfax suggests that drivers may be behind the wheel of more than 325,000 previously flooded vehicles. That number is a 20% increase from 2016 and a stark reminder to consumers to do their due diligence when used car shopping.

Vehicles reported as flood damaged by a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), insurance companies and more have washed up in every state, and these ten states have the most:

1. Texas – 51,000

2. Louisiana – 29,000

3. Pennsylvania – 20,000

4. Florida – 19,000

5. Kentucky – 16,000

6. Illinois – 15,000

7. South Carolina – 13,000

8. Virginia – 13,000

9. North Carolina – 13,000

10. Michigan – 11,000

“I bought a car last year and the seller never told us anything about it being a flood car,” said Charlene Geiger from Pennsylvania. “When we got home and ran a Carfax, there it was – a flood car from Hurricane Sandy. It showed that the seller bought it as a salvage car and the title was washed when he brought to Pennsylvania. We lost $16,000 over all of it.”

In addition to the current total, several hundred thousand more flooded cars may emerge from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Historically, about half the vehicles damaged by floods end up back on the market. Flooded cars rot from the inside out as water corrodes the mechanical parts, shorts the electrical system and compromises safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes. Health concerns are an added problem, as mold and bacteria permeate the soft parts of the car.

“Our data shows there’s still much work to be done in helping consumers avoid buying flood damaged cars,” said Dick Raines, president of Carfax. “They can, and do, show up all over the country, whether it be a few miles or hundreds of miles from where the flooding occurred. With two devastating storms already this year, it’s vital for used car buyers everywhere to protect themselves from flooded cars that may wind up for sale. Start with a thorough test drive, a vehicle history report and a mechanic’s inspection before buying any used car.”

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Carfax is letting consumers check for flood damage free of charge at carfax.com/flood

Editor’s note: Localized flooded vehicle statistics are available upon request. An infographic also is available for use at https://www.carfax.com/press/resources/flooded-cars

A Carfax representative is available anytime for interviews via satellite, phone, Skype or in-person. Please contact Emilie Voss at 703-934-2664 to schedule.

About Carfax
Carfax, a unit of IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), helps millions of people every day confidently shop, buy, own and sell used cars with innovative solutions powered by Carfax vehicle history information. The expert in vehicle history since 1984, Carfax provides exclusive services like Carfax Used Car Listings, myCarfax, Carfax History-Based Value and the flagship Carfax® Vehicle History Report™ to consumers and the automotive industry. Carfax owns the world’s largest vehicle history database and is a nationally recognized top workplace by The Washington Post and Glassdoor.com. Shop, Buy, Own, Sell – Show me the Carfax™. Based in London, IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.