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You may live far away from Eastern shores, and may not have been affected by Hurricane Matthew - but be on the lookout if you are shopping for a used car. A flood-damaged car could sit on a used car lot near you.

Remember Hurricane Sandy, and how it devastated the Jersey shores? Well, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, over 230,000 claims were filed for autos damaged by Hurricane Sandy, alone. This includes cars from private owners along with cars in business fleets.

Cars Showing Up at Auctions and On Car Lots

Many cars damaged in storms end up in auto auctions, which is often a first stop for bargain hunters. And unfortunately, while people focus on getting a "clean and clear title" - that has not stopped the availability of cars that were flood damaged.

Cars can be bought at auction in one state, then moved to another state, and resold without a true history of the car and the fact that it was in a flood.

Be Sure to Check with the NSVRP

That's where the National Motor Vehicle Titling Information System can help (NSVRP). The NSVRP has found that flood damaged vehicles are showing up at auctions.

ALWAYS check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) before you buy any used car. When you go to an auction preview, write down the VIN number (it's under the windshield on the driver's side).

It will only cost you $2.00 per search to get the history for each car you're considering.

Visit the NSVRP Web site for more information:

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