How to Avoid Buying a Flood Damaged Vehicle

flood damaged vehicleThe 1-800-Charity Cars car donation program realizes the importance of having reliable transportation since we have provided thousands of free donated vehicles to struggling families across the United States. Flood damaged cars are sometimes sold to salvage or donated to a car donation charity like 1-800-Charity Cars; where we accept flooded car donations nationwide, sell them and use those proceeds to fund our car donation and car distribution programs to help struggling families. However, sometimes the vehicles are sent to many used car dealerships and sold to the public. We would like to offer you some guidelines for protecting yourself from buying a flood damaged vehicle.

Things you can do:

  1. Always seek out a used car dealer whom is reputable within your community.
  2. Specifically inquire about whether the vehicle has suffered any type of flood damage.
  3. Ensure that you get the dealer to give you their answer regarding it being a flood damaged vehicle in writing with the bill of sale.
  4. Check the title of the vehicle to see if it is stamped as salvage or flood and if it is not, ask to see the car’s history to verify it did not come from an area that experienced any flooding.
  5. Have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicle for any signs of flood damage.

Things you can look for:

  1. A headliner that is sagging
  2. Any built up water or condensation in the taillights or headlights is a huge indicator of a flood damaged vehicle
  3. Musty or moldy odors inside the vehicle
  4. Check around the fuel tank, brake lines and the undercarriage for any signs of corrosion.
  5. Check underneath the carpeting in the floor boards for any signs of water stains or residue.
  6. Check the interior of the vehicle, underneath the vehicle and the engine for any signs of mud, grit or rust.
  7. Check the spare tire well, if located in the trunk, for water.
  8. Check the upholstery for any signs of fading, mold or mildew.
  9. Check the vehicle for any signs of flaking metal.
  10. Listen as you open the door, open the trunk, turn on the radio, turn on the wipers, etc. Everything should work without static, creaks or screeching, as those could be signs of a flood damaged vehicle.

Everyone needs safe, reliable transportation and taking a little extra time to investigate and inspect a vehicle for evidence of flood damage can save you in the long run. Flood damaged vehicles can come with not only costly issues that can arise along the way, but can be hazardous.

1-800 Charity Cars has been providing reliable transportation to people in need since 1996. You can help change the lives of struggling families by making a monetary donation or car donation to 1-800-Charity Cars today. To donate a truck, car, RV or donate a boat in any condition, running or not – with free towing provided nationwide, just give us a call at 1-800-CHARITY (1-800-242-7489 x 2) or visit our easy online car donation form. To make monetary donations, you can utilize our online donation services through JustGive or PayPal found at