It’s not exactly news that consumers should be aware of a pre-owned car’s history when buying. According to the Attorney General’s office, however, it is more important now than usual in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
“Flood-damaged vehicles could soon enter the preowned market due to the tremendous rainfall brought by Hurricane Florence,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “It is important that consumers check a vehicle’s history. Anyone thinking of buying a car should make sure their good deal isn’t too good to be true.”
Selling a flood-damaged vehicle is illegal under state law without a salvaged title, which requires a total loss to only be repaired by a specially-licensed salvage mechanic. The car’s repairs must then be documented, the Attorney General’s office says.
If you plan on buying a vehicle from a private owner, make sure you get it inspected by a trusted mechanic.
The A.G.’s office also tells consumers to be wary of a vehicle with multiple owners from different states in a short amount of time. Different states have different salvage laws, so simply avoiding such vehicles can prevent the consumer from buying a car from a state with less stringent laws.
Furthermore, if either an inspection report or your research suggests that a car may have been submerged or otherwise storm-damaged, be ready to question if that car has a salvage title or not.