The automotive industry could receive a boost from consumers replacing cars lost during Hurricane Sandy this week. In the short term, October sales figures are expected to be low as dealerships across the Eastern Seaboard, which account for 20 percent of all U.S. car sales, will miss several days of sales. That could equate to as many as 100,000 units less in October.
However, November could see a boost as consumers rush to replace their lost vehicles. As of Wednesday afternoon, State Farm noted clients had filed 900 auto-related claims. “If anything, it’ll make November an interesting month to watch,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for Edmunds.com.
Buyers will also need to be wary of water-damaged vehicles making their ways to used car lots. Consumers should look for signs of water damage including water or condensation in the headlights and taillights, a musty smell, mud and water in the vehicle’s trunk.
“A car that’s been in a flood, with the engine submerged for any length of time, will never be the same,” said Carl Sullivan, who has nearly two decades of experience inspecting vehicles for AiM, a California-based team of auto inspectors. “It’s important for used car shoppers to know how to spot flood damage no matter where they live, because these cars can end up on a dealer lot anywhere in the country.”
Federal and state governments have put in laws to prevent damaged cars from being sold in secret. States including New York and New Jersey have “lemon laws,” which are rules covering vehicles that have been totaled in accidents or floods. The federal government requires totaled vehicles to be listed on a national database.
Consumers should always do their research when purchasing used cars.
|Mama’s Used Cars