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Superstorm Sandy could have big affect on used car prices in Colo.

DENVER — Colorado is hundreds of miles away from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. But Coloradans could still feel the pain from the storm.

The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association says we can expect used car prices to jump 3 to 5 percent over the next two months to a year.

Edmund.com says expect to pay $700 to $1,000 more per car.

That’s because Sandy destroyed between 100,000 to 250,000 cars in New York and New Jersey.

And auto dealers there will replace that lost inventory with cars from Colorado and elsewhere.

“It may have an impact on prices there of 10, 12 to 15 percent in the short term. That will have a ripple effect across the country on used car prices. Because if the car is worth more on the East Coast because of a shortage there, cars here can be worth more because they can be transported there,” says Tim Jackson, President of CADA.

“Knowing that, I’m glad I’m getting it taken care of a lot earlier absolutely,” says used car buyer Blake Cassata.

He’s glad he just closed the deal on a used shiny, silver Subaru.

But Sandy may soak car buyers another way.

“Consumers buying a used car need be mindful where it came from,” says Jackson.

He says we may soon see flood-damaged cars drive into Colorado–and bring with them the serious problems water damage can cause.

“The windows didn’t work, the electricity went bad, and the heat didn’t work. And we had that little bit of fear,” says Greg Litten, about buying a used car, after a friend’s bad experience with a car damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

That’s why he steered his elderly parents toward a new car.

“For $1,000 more, live it up, man. Absolutely right,” he says about the price difference between a new and used Subaru.

Jackson says people should run a car’s VIN number through Car Fax, Auto Check or Vin Check to see if a car has been damaged.

He also suggests a mechanic inspect the car.

check the interior, trunk and undercarriage yourself for signs of water damage and flood debris. He says there might be stains on the carpet and on plastics.

Don’t forget to look under the dash and hood for mud or grit. Finally, pay attention to odors of mold and mildew.