LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – One of the many risks of buying an used car is that you don’t know its history.
Hurricane Matthew left thousands of cars in Lumberton underwater so it may be difficult to tell if a car was affected until after it’s driven off the lot.
Department of Motor Vehicle Title Clerk Angela Young says be sure to know how to recognize the signs of water damage.
“4,500 cars were lost in the flood in Robeson County” mentioned Young.
Many of the vehicles that were damaged or totaled in the flood are kept at Copart in a 10 acre lot off North Carolina Highway 72.
Young says since the flood, operations at the DMV are non-stop.
“It’s been extremely busy with people getting new vehicles to replace their old ones,” said Young.
Copart representatives say the damaged or totaled cars are brought in from insurance companies, banks and car dealers.
According to Copart’s website the cars are sold to the general public through online auctions.
“I mean if it looks fine they just go for it and buy it. They don’t really ask the questions in here,” said Young.
But while the car may look decent on the outside…
“You never know what you’re going to buy,” she said.
The car could be rusting from the inside, putting you and your passengers in danger, and forcing you to make costly repairs.
“That’s always been my thing personally I don’t like to buy used cars because you never know what has happened to them,” explained Young.
DMV officials say if you plan to buy a used car you should consider paying an independent mechanic to check it out.
You should also consider buying a vehicle history report from the Department of Motor Vehicles to help determine if the car had any damage other than flooding.