Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley a year ago 62

Half A Million Vehicles Could Be Scrapped After Hurricane Harvey

With the awful, catastrophic flooding in Texas pinned to news channels all over the world, a related story has emerged alongside the disaster - that hundreds of thousands of cars could be reduced to scrap by the storm damage

Remind me later

Up to half a million cars, vans, trucks and motorcycles could be sent to scrapyards in Texas because of the state’s terrible floods.

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles have been submerged in the unprecedented flood water, which is filled not just with alligators, but sewage and other stuff you don’t want on your seats or in your electrics. The damage to cars’ systems will, inevitably, be terminal for most of them.

Some quarter of a million cars were scrapped after Hurricane Sandy hit New York five years ago, but CNBC News says that the number of cars per household is ‘much higher’ in Houston, even if its population is smaller.

That could mean a huge problem for the auto insurance industry, which will have to pay out billions for replacement vehicles. At the same time, says CNBC, there’s the likelihood that people will buy near-worthless flood-damaged cars from salvage yards, clean them up and sell them on for big profit with fraudulent paperwork gained via one of several ways of cheating the system. One analyst calls it ‘inevitable.’

If you live in the Houston area, we’re especially interested in what you make of the situation. Are you concerned about water-damaged cars with fraudulent titles? Or is it not even registering on the scale of importance right now, as homeowners battle to protect their families and possessions?