Buyer Beware: Storm-damage vehicles will hit the market

Buyer Beware: Storm-damage vehicles will hit the market

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More than one million vehicles in Texas have been reportedly damaged or destroyed by Harvey's floodwaters, and some of those cars could end up on a lot for sale.

Bart Reagor, Owning Partner and CEO of Reagor Dykes Auto Group, has been in the business for 30 years. 

"Being here in West Texas, we don't worry about flooding," he said.
Right now, he's on alert. He was just informed by the Texas Automobile Dealers Association about possibly dealing with flooded cars.
"We have over 20 locations now," he said. "I've got several people looking at cars. We are educating our people on this too, because we want to make sure we don't get tricked into buying a flooded car."

According to reports, with Harvey and now Irma hundreds of thousands of storm-damaged vehicles will end-up on the used-vehicle market.

"Typically you are checking CARFAX and TrueCar these things, but none of that information is going to be updated yet," he said.

Director of Sales Randon Blacklock said there are many things a consumer can look at before driving off in their new set of wheels.  He said one of the things to look at it is checking underneath the mats.

"You can check the floorboard, and see if there is any wet soggy stains," he said.

He also suggested smelling the inside of the car. He said make sure the car doesn't have a musty smell.

"Whenever it has been in a flood damage, you are going to see some standing water sometimes some condensation built up in the lighting," he said. 

He said with newer vehicles, another red flag is in the electronics. 

"So, the light on your dash when it has been involved in some kind of flooding, or water has been in there to long the lights will start to flicker a little bit."

Blacklock said at the end of the day, try to buy from a reputable dealer.

"One of the things that we do is every vehicle that we retail, it goes through a full inspection and full UCI."

Reagor with a big reminder about finding a good deal. 

"If the deal seems to good it probably is," he said. "If it seems like it is a really amazing deal there is usually a reason for that."

Most mechanics will conduct a pre-purchase inspection. 
Reagor said you can bring a vehicle to one of his service departments, and they will check it out.

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