You are thinking about getting a new used car, new to you, but have you done your due diligence? Have you checked all of the online history reports for that particular VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)? Have you checked to make sure that the VIN you see in the door, is the same that is displayed on the dash? Come on, I bet you never thought to check, did you?

If you have ever bought a car that has been (at one time) underwater, you have no idea what you are taking on. The price might be right, initially and the car/truck probably runs when you are buying it, but it's the money-filled drama that will happen just a few short weeks after you take it home, but how can you avoid all of this drama? Here's how:

What are signs that your used car could have flood damage?

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Getty Images

The biggest sign is the smell. What does the car smell like? Is it clean, almost too clean, but still smells like your grandmothers basement? Walk away. No, run. Do the electronics work? Did they give you some weird story about the radio? Open the trunk, look around the edges, is the carpeting new or new-ish? Look for rust and dirt sediment. Unless you are being a Hum-Vee or a Dune Buggy, these are all signs that you need to walk away. 

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READ MORE: 5 Things to make your gas mileage soar! 

How can you avoid buying a flood damage car in New York State?

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Getty Images

While there is never a 100% way to know or a guarantee that you won't buy a flood-damaged car/truck, do your research. Search the VIN online to see if it comes up with any red flags, buy your vehicle from a respected locally-owned dealership or service, get something in writing for repairs or refund within a certain amount of time. Also, if you are being pressured at any time to make the purchase, doesn't matter what kind of deal it is, walk away. That alone, flood-damaged or not, should be a huge red flag.

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See the Top 25 Safest Car Brands in the US

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Colorado's safest cars are ranked using data from National Highway Safety Administration Data from 2011 to 2020.

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