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Car replacements due to hurricane

Now we leased our car during the week of the hurricane, got a great factory deal, and that deal has not returned, but our used car lots around town seem to have no shortage of inventory, I would have guessed there would be a gazillion cars going south, but it does not appear to be the case. Are people in TX, FL and Puerto Rico just finding enough cars locally?

There are so many used cars around that the auction houses are probably busy and shipping vehicles to Puerto Rico is not going to happen for a while.

Most likely just the opposite. The flooded cars will be headed north to states that don’t have “flood” and/or “salvage” tick boxes on their titles. It’s called title laundering. I’m betting some folks here in the upper midwest will end up buying cars that were totaled by the hurricane.


I agree with @shadowfax. Check under the carpets and other areas with difficult access if you plan to buy a used car in the next 6 to 12 months for mud or water damage.

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There was a story on the news recently and a huge lot in Houston shown with something like 10-15k used flood cars sitting in it. It’s not likely those cars are going to the boneyard.

I live in North Texas (commonly referred to Oklahoma). I’m not really in the market for used cars so I can’t give a fair assessment on inventory in my area but my brother commented that a local small used dealer in his small town loaded up several trucks of their cars that were shipped south to Houston area. My guess is that transport truck would be hauling flooded cars north on a return trip.

Many older cars may not have full coverage and it is likely that many newer cars with notes could easily be upside down. Many people are likely forced to fix their car because they don’t have the wherewithal to go out and buy a different car.

My wife’s cousin was flooded. Her suburban was flooded. Her boyfriend got the vehicle running and they stripped out the carpets for now and continue to drive it.

One more thing to think about. The estimates are quite high on the number of vehicles flooded. Not all those vehicles will be replaced. Maybe I am abnormal but I have several vehicles (3 autos, 3 trucks, 1 motorcycle, 1 shuttlebus) Between my wife and I, many of these are not fully utilized. If something terrible happened to us, our 8 vehicles would be replaced with 3 (2 daily drivers + 1 farm truck).