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How to Avoid Buying a Used Flood Vehicle

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Avoid buying a used flood vehicle with the most comprehensive vehicle title history database, now offering zero fees.

September and October saw hundreds of thousands of vehicles submerged under flood waters as a result of natural disasters in the U.S., and there are already approximately 400,000 vehicles being driven today with previous flooding damage. 

To protect consumers from unwittingly buying flood-damaged vehicles, CARCO’s CheckThatVin.com is offering waived fees on vehicle title history reports. CheckThatVin is the most comprehensive vehicle title history database in the industry. CARCO also provides open recall information in its reports, providing another layer of safety to its customers.

Consumers are at risk of buying flood‐damaged cars that may be passed off as undamaged. CheckThatVin and CARCO’s pre-insurance inspection program have identified thousands of flooded vehicles for consumers, many of which were passed off as undamaged.

“If a deal looks too good, be careful,” said Will Pagan, SVP and General Manager of leading fraud prevention auto inspection company, CARCO. “Before buying a vehicle, you should physically inspect it and run a ‘CheckThatVIN’ report, which relies on the most comprehensive and up-to-date online database of vehicles and was created by federal law.”

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, flooded vehicle resale scams are a danger to your safety: “Buying a flood vehicle is not illegal, but misrepresenting a flood-damaged vehicle as one that is not could be a crime exposing the seller to potential criminal charges. More importantly, unknowingly buying a flood-damaged vehicle may put you and your family in physical and financial danger.”

Here are two ways to avoid buying a used flood vehicle:

  1. Have the vehicle inspected or inspect the vehicle yourself.
  • Look for water marks behind the rugs in the cabin and trunk.
  • Look for rust in the engine compartment.
  • Check for musty odors in the cabin and trunk.
  • Check the wheel wells for signs of submersion.
  • Check that electrical wires are flexible and not brittle or cracking.

2.    Run a NMVTIS CheckThatVIN report.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was designed to protect prospective buyers and sellers of used cars and trucks from concealed vehicle histories. Created by federal law, this system is the only publicly available system in the country that requires all insurance carriers, auto recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and states to report vehicle title history information. Reports typically include title “Brand” information that may uncover a previously-unknown “Salvage” or “Flood” vehicle. This information may not normally be found in a standard vehicle history report. CheckThatVIN is available at: https://www.checkthatvin.com/ctv/#/home

In support of its customers, CARCO is offering zero fees on its vehicle title history reports until March 31st, 2023 at https://checkthatvin.com/ctvcares.


CARCO is the leading provider of holistic fraud detection and deterrence services for the personal auto line and high-risk non-standard auto markets since 1977. With mobile technology from 2012 and Artificial Intelligence since 2019, converged with centralized fraud risk profiling data and subject matter experts, CARCO has provided over $2.4 billion in fraudulent claim avoidance over the past 5 years, protecting carriers and insureds through a suite of fraud avoidance strategies and tools used by the insurance industry, law enforcement, state departments of financial services, and legislative bodies.

For additional information, please visit www.carcogroup.com.