flooded vehicles

flooded vehicles

Be wary when looking at that used vehicle with a price that is too good to be true.  After Hurricane Florence, make sure to do your homework when purchasing a used vehicle. A new CarFax report states that almost 500,000 flooded vehicles are in use, either driving or on the market to be sold.  That is 150,000 more flooded vehicles than reported after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma when they made landfall last year. It’s almost 250,000 more flooded vehicles than last year as a whole.  These flooded vehicles, however, are in use throughout all 50 states, not just hurricane-stricken areas, so be very careful when in the market for a used vehicle.



flooded vehicles
The graph shows a 47% increase in the number of flooded vehicles on the road from 2017 to 2018

With Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael touching down so far this year, experts at CarFax believe around 107,000 more flooded vehicles will either be on the road or up for sale in the coming year.  Moody’s released a statement saying that Hurricane Florence could potentially wind up costing around $20 billion, as North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, assess all the damage. Black Book also released estimates stating that approximately 20,000 vehicles will be damaged or deemed undriveable from Hurricane Florence alone.


What Can Water Damage Do To A Vehicle?

Water from floods can damage a vehicle to the point where it is practically useless.  Water destroys the electrical component of vehicles, especially in newer vehicles. This water can cause short circuits in the electrical gear.  Saltwater can sometimes be even more detrimental as it can erode a car’s engine and internal structure.

Along with the electrical aspect of a car being affected, water can also damage the mechanical and safety systems of a vehicle.  With all these systems being impacted by water, it is clear that flooded vehicles are potentially extremely dangerous to drive.  Safety risks aren’t the only thing potential buyers of these vehicles should be aware of, however. Potential buyers should be aware of how much these vehicles cost because more often than not, buyers will pay hundreds, if not thousands more than the car is actually worth.


Vehicle’s History On Its Value

After these catastrophes happen, insurers must calculate the value of these now damaged vehicles.  This can be difficult, but it is crucial, as insurance companies risk major losses on these vehicles. One way insurance companies determine the value of flooded vehicles is to take a vehicle’s VIN, to learn that specific vehicle’s history.  A vehicle’s VIN is a 17 digit code, comprised of both letters and numbers that details vital information about that vehicle.  To learn more about what a VIN is, and what it tells you, click here. (Insert link to ars article)  

A vehicle’s past has an impact on its value in the present. Learning this unique history helps insurers determine the value of the car. Still, even with this technology, insurance experts must continue to use their own judgment in determining the value of these damaged vehicles. That leaves the door open for misevaluations and mistakes.  VIN specific evaluations on average are 31% more accurate than evaluations that don’t take into account the history of a vehicle.

Vehicle history is especially important when comparing two vehicles that have the same make, model and year.  What gets taken into account when looking at a vehicle’s history? The number of accidents, number of owners, usage, title problems, etc. In general, this history shows facts about a vehicle that are not apparent through observation.  Insurers will continue to depend on vehicle valuation data as hurricanes and other natural disasters will inevitably keep occurring.


Have a Flood-Damaged Vehicle You Can’t Sell?

Knowing the dangers of flooded vehicles is critical when in the market for a used car. It’s especially important with the number of flooded vehicles on the road nowadays.  Do you have a flooded vehicle that you need to sell? You Call We Haul may be able to help. You Call We Haul can assist you in finding a licensed buyer who will tow away your vehicle. You’ll get cash on the spot for your flood-damaged car.  For more information about selling/donating or disposing of your Hurricane Florence flood, visit our website.


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