Search Box Here
CAR COLUMN
GeneralCar MaintenanceRegular car maintenance is essential for avoiding future car trouble and keeping you safe on the road.Finding a Car MechanicBelow is a "starter" list of questions to consider when looking for a mechanic. Be sure to talk with your insurance company — they may have a preferred list.Get Better Gas MileageWhether you're driving 50 or 500 miles, getting the most for your mileage (and money!) is a top priority. 6 Winter Car Care TipsAnyone in the northern part of the country knows that winter can do a number on your car. Stay ahead of the snow with these six quick tips for keeping your car ready for winter.What Auto Technicians DoAuto mechanics, or "technicians", as some prefer to be known, do a LOT more than just fix cars. Buying a New Car? Read This FirstIf you're in the market for a new car, don't start having nightmares about multiple trips to dealerships and having to deal with in-your-face dealers just yet.Avoiding Vehicle Title-Washing Scams"Title washing" is a vehicle scheme that ran rampant after Hurricane Katrina and is still at large today. What does it mean? Scam artists re-register damaged cars in states with looser title laws. How to Avoid Buying a Stolen CarNot all stolen cars are stripped for parts. Many are resold to unknowing and unsuspecting buyers. If you knowingly buy a stolen car, you can be arrested. If you buy a stolen car unknowingly, you could lose the car and your money.
CAR AD SPACE

Avoiding Vehicle Title-Washing Scams

"Title washing" is a vehicle scheme that ran rampant after Hurricane Katrina and is still at large today. What does it mean? Scam artists re-register damaged cars in states with looser title laws.

Title washing conceals a vehicle's history of damage by moving the vehicle and title through several states: as each state issues a new title, this title may no longer reflect the fact that the vehicle has been salvaged — so the car's history is "washed" clean.

To counter this, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the FBI's Major Theft Unit have created the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Consumers can use NMVTIS to access important vehicle history information. NMVTIS provides states with the ability to verify the titling, theft, and damage history of a motor vehicle before a new title is issued.

NMVTIS and the Passenger Vehicle Loss Disclosure Act also requires insurance companies to reveal the reason for a vehicle's total loss, the date, the odometer reading on that date, and whether or not the airbag deployed.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has tips for avoiding the purchase of a flood-damaged vehicle:

  • Select a reputable car dealer.
  • Before you buy, inspect your vehicle for water stains, mildew, sand, or silt under the carpets, floor mats, and behind the dashboard.
  • Check for recently shampooed carpet.
  • Inspect the interior upholstery and door panels for fading.
  • Check for rust on screws in the console or areas where water normally doesn't reach.
  • Check door speakers, as they will often be damaged due to flooding.
  • Check inside the seatbelt retractors by pulling the seatbelt all the way out and inspecting for moisture, mildew, or grime.
  • Check for mud or grit in the spare tire compartment and other crevices.
  • Have a certified mechanic inspect the vehicle prior to purchasing it.
  • Run a vehicle history report before purchasing a vehicle — these track a car's history even if it has moved to another state.
  • If possible, get a title guarantee from the seller or dealer in writing.
Other Car Pages
General6 Winter Car Care Tips

Anyone in the northern part of the country knows that winter can do a number on your car. Stay ahead of the snow with these six quick tips for keeping your car ready for winter.

 Read More
Avoiding Vehicle Title-Washing Scams

"Title washing" is a vehicle scheme that ran rampant after Hurricane Katrina and is still at large today. What does it mean? Scam artists re-register damaged cars in states with looser title laws.

 Read More
Buying a New Car? Read This First

If you're in the market for a new car, don't start having nightmares about multiple trips to dealerships and having to deal with in-your-face dealers just yet.

 Read More
Car Maintenance

Regular car maintenance is essential for avoiding future car trouble and keeping you safe on the road.

 Read More
Finding a Car Mechanic

Below is a "starter" list of questions to consider when looking for a mechanic. Be sure to talk with your insurance company — they may have a preferred list.

 Read More
Get Better Gas Mileage

Whether you're driving 50 or 500 miles, getting the most for your mileage (and money!) is a top priority.

 Read More
How to Avoid Buying a Stolen Car

Not all stolen cars are stripped for parts. Many are resold to unknowing and unsuspecting buyers. If you knowingly buy a stolen car, you can be arrested. If you buy a stolen car unknowingly, you could lose the car and your money.

 Read More
What Auto Technicians Do

Auto mechanics, or "technicians", as some prefer to be known, do a LOT more than just fix cars.

 Read More