Watch out for Sandy damaged vehicles when buying used - NBC40.net

Watch out for Sandy damaged vehicles when buying used

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Salt water damaged thousands of cars during Hurricane Sandy, and now many of these vehicles are finding their way onto used car lots.

When looking for used, car buyers say they are already taking a risk, but now the possibility of purchasing a lemon is even greater, as Sandy cars hit the market.

"There was a great deal of vehicles damaged by Hurricane Sandy, not just in New Jersey but in other states. So they really should be smart when they take a look at purchasing a used vehicle," said Raymond Martinez, the Chairman of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission there has been an increase in the sale of flood-damaged vehicles over the past three months.

Some of the sales were made at used car dealerships, but most of them were private sales to car buyers looking to save a buck who neglected to look closely at the cars before signing on the dotted line.

"First thing to look for down by the gas pedal and brake pedal is any rust down by the metal arms of those pedals. Look by the seats to see if you see any corrosion or rust on the metal components under the seats," said Tom Nicolas, Chief Operating Officer at Auto Lenders.

However Luke Hallissey, who owns Superior Auto Detail says his business has seen an increase and that if these newly refurbished vehicles are now for sale the damage may already be covered up.

If you have a specific car in mind that you are interested in buying the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has created a website that they hope makes that decision easier.

You can use the drop down menu to find cars issued a salvage or flood title by their make and model, or if you have it the VIN number. You can access that by going to NJMVC.gov.

Information about flood damage to any vehicles purchased at a reputable car dealership should be disclosed at the time of sale.

Any damage to a Hurricane Sandy flood vehicle should be noted on the title of the car with the letter "F".

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