Kelley Blue Book warns used car buyers to beware of flood-damaged vehicles

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 317 views 

Used vehicle prices are expected to spike as a result of the lower supply and higher demand after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey might have impacted as many as 1 million vehicles, according to Cox Automotive and Kelley Blue Book analysts. On Friday (Sept. 22), Kelley Blue Book released a question-and-answer piece for used car buyers in the wake of the hurricanes.

Buyers can avoid purchasing a flood-damaged car by obtaining a vehicle history report and to inspect the vehicle for signs of flooding, such as finding silt residue under the carpet or dash. Buyers should avoid trying to find a deal on a flood-damaged car. “Given the higher likelihood of future problems and the eventual resale-value implication, the chances of finding a diamond in the rough are pretty slim,” according to Kelley Blue Book.

Buyers should be wary of flood-damaged vehicles even if they don’t live near Texas or Florida. “Unscrupulous parties can obtain a flood-damaged car for very cheap, ‘clean’ the title by registering it in a different state and then sell it in another state for full value by passing it off as an unaffected vehicle,” according to Kelley Blue Book.

In the area Hurricane Harvey impacted along the Texas Gulf Coast, more than 6.7 million vehicles were in operation, according to Experian. Between January and July, 83,929 used vehicles were registered per month on average in the area. In August, the estimated number of used vehicles registered fell to 59,002. Between September and November, 204,000 used vehicles are expected to be registered. In 2018, 77,215 used vehicles are projected to be registered monthly.

In the area Hurricane Irma impacted along the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts, more than 3.4 million vehicles were in operation. While it’s too early to estimate the number of vehicles impacted by the storm, mitigating the effect were the advanced warning that lead to large vehicle evacuations and the off-season for part-time residents.