In the wake of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Dorian, you can expect to see, in due course, cars that survived, though not in the condition they will appear to be for future buyers.

The Virginia Better Business Bureau points out that “scammers try to pawn off flooded vehicles as standard secondhand cars.”

The scheme plays out through legit channels, according to the BBB.

In many cases, insurance claims are settled. Then some of the cars are refurbished and sold. In other cases, an uninsured driver can refurbish the vehicle and then sell it.

“Occasionally a middleman intentionally hides a car’s history through a process known as ‘title washing,’ and then sells it to an unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected,” according to the the BBB.

The BBB has tips to help car buyers of the future avoid spending a lot on something that currently has flood water flowing through it:

Check the title’s date and “place of transfer,” which the BBB says will help buyers determine where the car came from and whether it has been stamped as salvage.

Inspect the dashboard, electronics and gauges. Also pay close attention when checking the other interior (knobs, etc.) and exterior (engine, lights, etc.) for any signs of water damage and to see if the equipment appears standard.

Look for drainage holes and discolored or mildewed upholstery. Pay attention to strong smells from cleaners.

Research the dealer, and take the car to a trusted mechanic to look it over.

The BBB recommends checking the vehicle’s background, and highlighted the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s database, which lists flood damage and other information on vehicles. The list covers only vehicles that had insurance.


Crews are scheduled to start a two-day project on the North Anna River bridge on State Route 30 in Caroline County this Monday, local Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tina Bundy said in a news release.

The work aims to improve 100 feet of concrete and asphalt for the eastbound lanes on the east end of the bridge, making for a smoother ride.

The eastbound side will be restricted to one lane in the work zone, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

The bridge is not far from the entrance to Meadow Event Park.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

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