This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Hurricane-Flooded Cars For Sale! Car Buyers Beware

KIRKLAND, Wash., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's a Bentley, Aston Martin, or Harley Davidson, Hurricane Sandy didn't exclude anything. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles alike have been damaged by one of the biggest superstorms to hit the east coast. What happens to those cars? A lot of them may end up for sale in the used car market.

Auto industry experts are forecasting that this calamity will have a larger impact on the auto industry than Katrina did. Going back in 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged approximately 640,000 vehicles in the Gulf Coast. VinAudit.com, a vehicle history reporting service, reports that many cars damaged by Hurricane Katrina are still on the market today. With Hurricane Sandy hitting a larger region based on population, we can expect history to repeat itself.

Flooded cars are not easily identified. Many states, such as New York and New Jersey, have laws that for branding vehicles damaged by flooding. But crooked dealers or owners can often move cars to other states where a clean title can be issued-- a practice known as "title washing."

After Hurricane Katrina, authorities reported truckloads of flooded vehicles being taken out to other states, where they were dried out, cleaned, and readied for sale to unsuspecting consumers. Prospective purchasers of these vehicles may not have known that the vehicles had been subjected to a saltwater flood, making the vehicles' engine controllers, airbag systems and other electronic systems prone to failure.

So how can we check whether a vehicle for sale has been previously flood-damaged? There's good news here: a national database called the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) aggregates data from state DMVs, salvage yards, and insurance carriers into a national repository of historical records-- records that cannot be "washed." Used by law enforcement to trace vehicles across state lines, the NMVTIS database can also be accessed by consumers online through www.vinaudit.com, hosted by approved NMVTIS access provider VinAudit.com. Private vehicle history reporting companies like Carfax maintain an independent database and serve as an alternate source.

Of course, checking the car itself is as important as checking historical brand records. VinAudit.com recommends that consumers also obtain a vehicle inspection by an AES-certified mechanic and to be wary of deals that are too good to be true. The saying "trust, but verify" can just as well be applied here.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs