The National Automobile Dealer’s Association (NADA) estimates that 250,000 cars were totaled by Hurricane Sandy. As a result there are a lot of people in the New York and New Jersey coastal areas in search of new cars. If you’re one of them, try, if possible, to exercise patience when shopping. This bears especially true for used cars.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Used Car
With car demand so high in the Tri-State area, it’s a sellers market. Consequently, used car prices have jumped as high as $1,000 per vehicle. This isn’t so much a case of price gouging, but the realities of demand outpacing supply.
To counter high prices, try, if your situation allows, to shop around. This will increase your chances of finding a used car that meets your budget and current transportation needs.
Once you hone in on a particular car, be sure to either order a car history report or have it inspected by a certified mechanic. Or better yet, do both. This will protect you from unknowingly purchasing a previously flooded vehicle. Unfortunately this occurs across the country after every flood. Unscrupulous sellers take flooded vehicles, tidy the exterior cosmetics, wash the titles, and then try to sell them as functioning used cars at bargain prices.
Car experts advise that if the used car’s price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Any vehicle with a noticeably low sticker price should, in your mind, be a red flag.
<h2>Consider Buying a New Vehicle</h2>
If your budget allows, consider purchasing a new car. This will protect you against buying-a-previously-flooded-car worries. And many Tri-State dealerships, in conjunction with the car manufacturers, are offering deferred-payment plans. And there are reports of local dealerships giving customers $500 discounts if they provide proof of losing a car in Hurricane Sandy.