Flood Cars Back on the Market

Jakarta Floods Displace Thousands

Everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past few weeks has seen the news footage of the massive floods caused by Harvey and Irma.

There were an estimated 1.1 million cars flooded in TX by Harvey and probably more than that number flooded in FL by Irma. Some of those cars will make it back onto the market and be sold to unsuspecting consumers later this year.

To protect yourself, first do not buy a vehicle that was registered or offered for sale anywhere near these areas at the time of the storm. Second, get any TX or FL vehicle pre-checked before you buy it. Make sure that the vehicle is clean before you pay for it. The cost of this independent inspection could save you thousands of dollars and many hours of headaches.

Carfax states that there are over 325,000 vehicles being driven on roads right now that have a previous flood history. That number is up 20% from just a few years ago and is expected to at least double after these two most recent major storms.

Texas leads the way with 51,000 previously flooded cars on the road, followed by 29,000 in Louisiana, 21,000 in Florida and 16,000 in Kentucky.

“Flooded cars rot from the inside out as water corrodes the mechanical parts, shorts the electrical system and compromises safety features like airbags and antilock brakes. Health concerns are an added problem, as mold and bacteria permeate the soft parts of the car,” the Carfax release says.

“Our data shows there’s still much work to be done in helping consumers avoid buying flood-damaged cars,” Carfax President Dick Raines says. “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.”

Carfax is allowing consumers to check for flood damage at carfax.com/flood at no cost.


Over 1 Million Cars Destroyed by Harvey


Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25th and dumped more than 40 inches on rain.

As a result, an estimate 1.1 to 1.3 million new and used vehicles were flooded. Many of these vehicles may make it back onto the resale market and the buyers may not know anything about the prior water damage until the mechanical and electric failures start to happen.

If you are shopping for a vehicle now or will be in the near future, make sure to check both the Carfax report and the Autocheck history report to see where the vehicle was last registered or offered for sale. You should seriously consider passing on the vehicle if it was registered or reported for sale in Texas around the time of Harvey. The value of the vehicles registered in TX during this major storm will be severely affected, whether storm damaged or not.

The federal government set up a website to try and keep track of all vehicles affected after hurricane Katrina, so we expect that they’ll do the same this time around. We’ll post that info and a link to that site once it’s live.