Shopping for a used vehicle? At Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey, we strongly caution Kentucky car buyers to do their homework regarding flood-damaged vehicles before making a purchase. Here's what you should know.

Rebuilt Titles Make It Difficult to Determine If the Car You're Buying Has Ever Had Flood Damage

In Kentucky, it's relatively easy to procure a “rebuilt title” for a flood-damaged car. This means a car deemed a total loss in another state can be rebuilt and sold in the Bluegrass State, often at a lower cost. It's a longtime problem that happens more frequently than most people realize. Hurricane-damaged vehicles flood the market after every major storm, putting unsuspecting car buyers at risk. In fact, according to CARFAX, an estimated 50 percent of flood-damaged cars make their way back into the used vehicle marketplace -- and many of them end up here in Kentucky, where they're rebuilt and sold. Considering how simple it is to obtain rebuilt titles, it's no surprise that Kentucky consistently ranks among states with the most flooded cars.

Buyer Beware

Buyers must use extra caution when purchasing used vehicles in the Bluegrass State. Here are some things to do and keep in mind if you're thinking of buying a car with a rebuilt title.

  • Do your research. Obtain a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic perform a thorough inspection to determine the extent of the damage to the car.
  • Know that you may need alternate financing. You may have trouble getting a traditional loan for a car with a salvage title.
  • Be aware that the police could take your car. If you're pulled over driving a salvaged vehicle in the same state that deemed it a total loss, your car could be confiscated.

For more information on rebuilt and salvaged vehicle titles, visit the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website.

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