Why flood-damaged cars are more dangerous than you think

More than a quarter million flood-damaged cars are now on U.S. roads, according to a new analysis, and with thousands more expected in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, used car shoppers should be vigilant.

The waterlogged vehicles can end up for sale hundreds of miles from where they were damaged, where unsuspecting buyers may not be on the lookout for them.

Table: 10 Cities With the Most Flood-Damaged Cars

City Number of flood-damaged cars
Houston 25,928
New York 15,816
Philadelphia 12,166
Dallas/Fort Worth 10,265
Chicago 10,037
Miami/Fort Lauderdale 8,896
Minneapolis/St. Paul 7,229
Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News 7,147
Detroit 6,995
Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville) 4,942
Source: Carfax

The cars often look fine to the untrained eye, but can have serious — and dangerous — hidden problems lurking inside, said Chris Basso, a spokesman Carfax, which provides vehicle history reports.

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