It’s always tricky to buy a pre-owned car, but after a major catastrophe like Superstorm Sandy, it’s even more complicated. In the months following the disaster, many damaged vehicles will be reconditioned and sold to consumers across the country. It is not illegal to sell a vehicle that was flooded or declared as salvage as long as the buyer is aware of the vehicle’s status.
Unfortunately, many of these flooded or severely damaged vehicles may be advertised for sale without any indication that they were affected by a catastrophe. So consumers need to ask the right questions and get a second opinion from a trusted third-party expert before making their purchase decision.
For additional help, you can download checklists and learn more about flood and salvage vehicle scams and post-disaster contractor repair schemes by visiting the National Insurance Crime Bureau website. Also, NICB’s VINCheck allows free consumer access to the vehicle salvage records of participating NICB member insurance companies.
Please share your pre-owned car buying tips.