Posted on 06/27/22

How To Avoid Purchasing Flood Damaged Cars

How To Avoid Purchasing Flood Damaged Cars

Flood damage can be devastating for a car. Flood damage can cause cars to be irreparable.

Knowing what to look out for is the best way to avoid flooding damaged cars. Water damage is common in flood-damaged cars, especially under the hood and in the electrical system.

How to identify a flood-damaged car

These are some tips to help you avoid flooding cars.

1) Look at the title

When you are looking at used cars, make sure to examine the title to verify that it has not been flooded. If the car has been damaged from flooding, it must be titled with a "flood", or "salvage," designation. This is the case in Louisiana and Texas.

2) Check the car for flooding damage

Even if your title is clean, you should inspect the vehicle for flood damage. This is especially important.

  • Check the interior for water spots and signs of mold or mildew. It is usually a musty odor, discoloration, or stain on upholstery, carpeting, and door panels.
  • Look under the hood for signs and symptoms of corrosion or rust.
  • Any moisture, such as condensation, in the taillights or headlights.
  • Check the windows and doors for leakage.

3) Request a vehicle history report

A comprehensive history report is a must if you are going to purchase a used vehicle. This is one way to avoid purchasing a flood car. The report will include details about any major events, including accidents, title changes, or being declared a total loser by an insurance company. The report will show whether the car has been repaired and re-listed.

4) Request a CARFAX Report

A CARFAX vehicle history report is another great way to avoid purchasing a flooded vehicle. This report will tell you whether the vehicle was in flood and provide other valuable information about the car's past. To get the report, you will need the VIN number of the vehicle, which is usually found on the driver's side. You can also enter it into CARFAX.

5) Get a mechanic to inspect the car

A thorough inspection by an experienced mechanic is the best way to prevent buying flooded cars. A mechanic will be able to spot signs of water damage and any other problems. It is best to walk away from a deal if the mechanic finds evidence of water damage.

6) Look for discrepancies

Check the CARFAX report for discrepancies with the seller's information when you inspect the car. You might consider rethinking buying the car if there are discrepancies. Be wary if a seller offers a used car for an unusually low price. They might be trying to sell a flooded car.

7) Test drive it

Take the car for a test drive. You will be able to see if there are any obvious signs of water damage and get a feel for the car's driving style. A car that emits strange sounds or smells is likely to have suffered from flooding.

If you are aware of what to look for and take the time to inspect the car thoroughly, it is possible to avoid purchasing a flooded vehicle. These tips will help you avoid costly mistakes.

The dangers of buying flood-damaged cars

Unsuspecting car buyers often buy water-damaged vehicles. This is a fact that many people don't know. It is quite common for flooded cars to be repaired and then put back on the marketplace without any evidence that they ever suffered from water damage. There are some fundamental reasons to avoid buying a flooded vehicle.


Flood-damaged cars may have suffered damage to the major systems including the engine and transmission. These systems are critical for the safe operation of your vehicle.

Maintenance costs have risen

Flooded cars are more likely to have problems down the line, such as rust, mold, and electrical issues. These issues can be expensive and require regular maintenance.

Resale value reduced

Even if the car is damaged by floodwaters, it will still have a stigma that will lower its resale price.

It is difficult to get insurance

It is difficult to get insurance companies to cover a car that has been damaged by floodwaters. Insurance companies will often charge higher rates for flood-damaged vehicles. If they discover that your vehicle is damaged by floodwaters, they might cancel your insurance policy.

Hidden damage

Flood damage can often go unnoticed and not be noticed for months, or even years.

Legal questions

It is illegal in some states to sell flood-damaged vehicles without disclosing the damage. You may not be able to sue the seller if you purchase a car that was damaged by floodwaters.

Is it possible to repair a flood-damaged car?

While the short answer is yes, it is important to remember that not all flood-damaged vehicles can be completely repaired. The extent of the damage to the vehicle will determine whether it can be repaired.

Minor repairs may be required for cars that have been partially submerged. This includes a new battery and fluids. Although the car may have suffered some interior damage, the engine and major systems should not be affected.

Submerged cars will require more extensive repairs. The extent of damage to a car will depend on its time underwater and the depth of water. It is usually not economically feasible to repair a car that has been underwater for a prolonged period.

Remember that even though a car may have been repaired, the stigma of flooding-damaged will still be attached to it. This can impact the car's resale price and make it difficult to get insurance coverage.

Is it possible to insure a car that has been damaged by flooding?

You can insure a car that has been damaged by floodwaters. It will likely require a higher premium, and there may be some restrictions.

Flood damage is not usually covered by traditional auto policies. These typically include collision coverage and liability coverage. Comprehensive coverage covers flood damage if you live in an area susceptible to flooding.

Your insurance company could consider your car a total loss even if you have comprehensive insurance.

Ask your agent about coverage and physical damage coverage for flood-damaged vehicles.

What happens if your car is damaged by flooding?

There are some things you can do if your car has been damaged by flooding.

  • As soon as possible, get a mechanic to inspect your car. They can help you identify potential problems and fix them before they become serious issues.
  • Make sure that all repairs are done by a qualified mechanic. This will ensure the job is done correctly and preserve the car's value.
  • Keep detailed records of any repairs or upkeep. If you ever have to sell your car or file an insurance claim, this will prove very helpful.
  • You should be prepared for higher maintenance costs. Flood-damaged cars are more likely to have problems down the line, so budget for extra repairs and maintenance.

A flood-damaged vehicle is an expensive purchase. If you decide to buy one, be prepared for higher costs and possible legal issues down the line.

Take a bow

It is not worth the risk of buying a car that has been damaged by floodwaters. There are too many risks and the potential problems are not worth the savings. A qualified mechanic should inspect any used vehicle you are considering buying. To avoid costly mistakes, make sure you ask about the car’s history.

You should get written proof that the seller has disclosed the flood damage before you buy a flood-damaged vehicle. This will help you in the case of any problems. To protect yourself against costly repairs, make sure you have comprehensive insurance.

Are you looking to ship your car with a professional? Get a quote from Move Car Auto Transport today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.