Jason David Simpson of Arizona: Tips on Spotting Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Jason Simpson of AZ owns New Deal Used Cars in Glendale, one of the largest independently owned used car dealerships in Arizona.

Used car prices are expected to increase slightly in the months following Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed at least 250,000 used cars. Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed over 300,000 vehicles, caused a 3 percent increase in used car prices. Those currently in the market for a used car should be aware that many flood-damaged cars appeared in lots across the country following Hurricane Katrina.

To avoid purchasing a flood-damaged car, begin your search at a reputable dealership. Thoroughly inspect the car before buying, though obvious signs of damage have probably been removed. Good places to check for water damage are the engine compartment, which is difficult to clean, and under the seats, for rusted metal parts. The smell of mold or mildew is a sure sign of flood damage. If you need a second opinion, you can always take the vehicle in question to a mechanic for a professional inspection.

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