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Buying Salvage Cars From Insurance Companies

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How to Avoid Being Scammed By a Flood-Damaged Car


There are many advantages when you prefer a salvage car to a brand-new one. Chances are, you can have a truly awesome car by spending only a fraction of the actual budget you’d planned. Of course, there are some issues too. Getting scammed by a flood-damaged car is one of the most important one. It’s also one of rare issues that you cannot fix easily.

As you know, flood-damage can affect the car in a wholesome manner, not only making ineffective but also often unrepairable. Since the world has been having a lot of floods lately, it is a high-chance that you may come across a flood-damaged car so often. Here, however, we are to help you with this matter. In this article, we have covered a useful few steps that will help you avoid being scammed by a flood-damaged car.

Shall we start with the first one, then?

Step #1 — A Thorough Check of Vehicle History

Every vehicle with a VIN will have a detailed history report behind. By checking this history, you can have a clear idea whether you should purchase the salvage vehicle. Of course, there are multiple steps to check out the vehicle history and to see if the vehicle has been subjected to water damage. First, you can start with a basic-level database that will tell you whether the vehicle has a salvage/stolen/rebuilt title. If you come to a thought that the vehicle is indeed salvage, there are better ways to track the vehicle history.

Using NMVITS providers, you will be able to have a fully-fledged history of the vehicle sales, registration data and the journey it has come through legally. The idea is to confirm that the vehicle in question is damaged by flood and that you don’t fall for the insurance company’s alleged ‘clean’ title. Once you have the basic set of idea NMVITS providers, you can try something like CarFax, where you get a detailed report. Chances are, these private platforms will offer you an even comprehensive report compared to the free ones.

For starters, you should confirm that the car has a clean title and that it’s not water-damaged. If that is the case, you have a (partial) green signal.

Step #2 — A Detailed, Time-Taking Inspection

This step should consume a huge amount of time, and if it doesn’t, you’re likely to waste some money — at least in the long run. The quick ways of inspections don’t do anything good if you are planning to purchase one of the best salvage cars out there. In case you did not know, the car dealer would have done some things to make you believe that the vehicle isn’t flood-damaged. For instance, you won’t be able to find mud or the other types of dirt inside or outside the vehicle.

Nevertheless, the thing about flood is that it affects the internals of the vehicles, like never before. The car would become almost irrecoverable if it was salt-water damage. It does not matter if the vehicle is an entry-level Sedan or a Lamborghini; salt water will affect the car, and even if you make some repairs, you are likely to see some quality deterioration in the time to come. What we mean to say is that you should do a specific, time-taking and expert-assisted inspection.

If you are a person who is an expert in the field of automobile, you can be the inspector. But, you should be aware about the shams done by the dealer to make you believe that the vehicle is actually clean. That is why we always recommend getting a professional for the job of inspection, where they can take a deep look and tell if the vehicle internals have been compromised. It’s not wrong to be a bit prejudiced when it comes to judging a salvage vehicle, you know.

Once the vehicle has passed the in-person inspection as well, you have kind of the full green signal to move ahead and purchase the car.

Some Things to Look for While Inspecting

Here are a few important things you should care about while inspecting a flood-damaged car.

  • Airbags are commonly vulnerable when they are subjected to flood and other damages. It means you can have a hard time using the purchased vehicle if the damage has been spread to the airbag areas. So, before you sign the buying agreement, you should get a confirmation from the dealer that airbags of the vehicle have been replaced. Fixing the damaged airbags isn’t a good method, trust us on that.
  • Electric Modules of the vehicles also require proper during the inspection process. The problem with electronic modules is that you cannot look using your naked eyes and tell if there is a problem. Even though the modules may be working perfectly fine, there may be errors with circuitry and other parts that can cause trouble. So, a 360-degree inspection is required for proper confirmation.

Pay proper attention to both the abovementioned aspects so that you can stay safe and prevent spending a lot of money. You should also think about the costs of repairing and cleaning if the vehicle seems to be quite dirty or used. We always listen to the expert’s choice in this matter, because they can give a proper estimate about the amount of money you are going to spend.

If you can seek professional help and spend a few hours in the inspection procedure, you are likely to have a wonderful salvage car, even if it’s minimally flood-damaged. Chances are, you may also get a premium car without spending too much.

The Bottom Line

We hope this article has given you a clear idea on how to avoid being scammed by flood-damaged car. If you have been paying attention, it’s clear that looking at the history and doing a manual inspection are equally important in helping you get a worth-spending-on vehicle. It is because dealers use all sorts of techniques to wash the previous titles and grab a clean one for the salvage vehicles for sale. So, make sure you follow the abovementioned tips to get the best car.

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