Flood titles and To keep or to Sell?

Better not to buy?

eBay Motors Auction for:
2011 VW Golf Base
“The title is rebuilt due to very minor flood damage at 18,000 miles when we purchased the car. The car now has almost 48,000 miles with no flood related issues.”
Private seller, bought the car with his nephew and is now helping him to sell it bc he’s moving to Austraila. Good feedback ratings. Has replied promptly to my other questions.

Is it a bad idea to bid on this car even though it has been in good shape for 25,000 miles? Are there likely to be be electrical or other problems down the road depending on how deep the waters were if it was in salt water etc? Opinions?

To sell or not to sell?

I have a a beloved 2003 VW GTI 1.8T 90,000 miles

I have some chronic health problems and am not working which limit my energy and ability to deal with things like car trouble. While it’s impossible to know if any car is going to have problems , ideally I would like to avoid spontaneous car trouble as much as I can and anticipate if the chances are high that theses cars typically have more problems after 100k.

Currently, I’m living with my parents and could sell my car without rushing to buy a replacement. I’d also get more for my car since there aren’t any problems and I could put that directly into something a little newer.

Does anyone own or have much experience with these cars who could share their two cents about if they would hold onto the '03 or take advantage of being in a place where I can take my time both in selling and buying?


Hang onto your own car, and maintain it well. I don’t know if you’ve been doing it, but you need to start. Follow the severe service maintenance schedule, as most US drivers fall into that category. Trans service every 30K, regular oil changes, timing belt changes at the right time interval, even if you don’t drive a lot

Avoid flood title cars at all costs

In fact, don’t buy any car with a branded title, because they’re worth significantly less, versus the same car with a clean title

That said, sellers ALWAYS price their dirty title cars almost as high as cars with a clean title

As long as people are willing to consider these cars, they’ll keep doing it

Not only that, but depending on your area’s rules, they can be much harder and expensive to register and insure

In many cases, it would be best if branded title cars were not put back on the road

The seller of this flood VW probably knows of all sorts of problems . . . and he won’t tell you about them

He probably wants to dump it for a nice profit to some unsuspecting buyer . . . don’t be that sucker

And if the . . . t hits the fan after the sale, the seller will say “Everything was perfect when I sold it to you yesterday.” And he’s going to have a . . . t-eating grin on his face when he says it. And there won’t be anything you can do about it

RUN away from this flood car and don’t look back

One thing I would look into is freshawater vs saltwater damage. I could probably lean towards a freshwater damage car but would avoid a saltwater damage car. Compare the prices to non damaged cars and go from there. I would consider less than 30% markdown a no go.

Minor flood damage (no such thing) title and possible insurance problems-spending money on a EBAY vehicle while living with parents-selling for someone else who is leaving country-How many more red flags do you need?

I am a skeptic on any car I can’t pesonally, examine and take to a trusted mechanic. A couple of years ago, a Mercedes Benz broke down in front of my house. The car dumped its transmission fluid right there on the road. The owner said she had had nothing but problems with the car since,she,had purchased it on e-bay a month earlier. She,had the car transported from Florida to Indiana. Her mechanic here said the car was a disaster. She bought it because it looked so nice in the pictures.
I had a colleague who found a car he thought he wanted in an ad on the internet from a dealer 150 miles away in Chicago. He drove up with the intent to buy the car only to find it was a piece of junk.

RUN AWAY. As noted above, no such thing as minor flood damage. Not worth another thought.

I may have found the VW on EBAY and the buy it now price is at the very top of Kelly Blue Book and has really awful looking after market wheels with what seem to be 18 inch 40 series tires. It is not the base model. It is a manual transmission that I would advise someone with health problems to avoid. Of course I always am doubtful when they say they are selling for someone leaving the country.

“selling for someone leaving the country.”

If that story can even be believed . . .


Yep three strikes and thats it. Ebay, flood title, and guy moving to Australia. Any one of them is a deal breaker but all three together spells “no way”.

If the flood part is true that would not concern me nearly as much as the moving to Australia part of it and the fact that it’s overpriced for a salvage title car.

The seller seems to have sold a lot of cars in the recent past so I would assume the seller is a dealer or salesman masquerading as a private seller.
How many of those other sales had a nephew, niece, brother in law, or deceased granny attached to them…

Stories about leaving the country, serving overseas in the armed forces, car in an eBay storage facility (there ain’t no such thing) and so on is a pretty common sales tactic usually associated with scams at the worst or syrupy heart string pulling stories to help sell the car at best.

Too many red flags to even consider purchasing this vehicle.

“As noted above, no such thing as minor flood damage.”

Just as it is not possible to be “slightly pregnant”, flood damage is not going to be minor.
This…deal…has so many red flags waving from it that I find it difficult to believe that anyone would give even a moment’s consideration to buying this bomb.

This is akin to the one owner by little old lady who only drives the car to church on Sunday.

It’s a blind item. You have no idea how bad the flood damage was. It could be very serious and the owner went through the trouble to get the car titled again…but there are so many hidden problems caused by flood damage that won’t show up for months or years.

Run Away.

This reminds me of that thread awhile back . . . the guy that wanted to buy a submerged Subaru with a reconstructed title

I seem to recall he didn’t actually appreciate our advice

And I may be wrong about this, but I seem to remember the owner of the company that “revives” those submerged Subarus chimed in to defend his business

My advice was to strike those submerged Subarus with torpedoes


I think you can get this one cheap:

Yeah I remember that one. Seems to me he claimed everything was stripped down and replace. Course anyone who has tried to make any money in life realizes that there is simply not enough profit margin to replace everything and still sell at a discount and make money, Unless of course engine from car A is put in Car B and engine from Car B is put in Car C and so on. Yep everything has been stripped and replaced.

Years ago, a car mag had a cartoon. A couple were in a used car lot, and the salesman was telling them, “This car was owned by a little old lady who lives in Pasadena and only drives it on Sunday.”

Around the corner of the office, walking away, was a little, old lady with leathers and a racing helmet under her arm.

I liked that old show, think it was the Twilight Zone or something where a used car dealer took a car in that was haunted. The owner had to tell the truth which caused a problem selling his used junk. At the end he managed to sell the car to Khrushchev for $50 and he was happily being driven away in his new car.