The Arizona Insurance Council has issued a new warning that flood-damaged cars, including some deemed totaled by insurance adjusters after superstorm Sandy, may end up on the market here.

"Arizonans may not be expecting to see such vehicles on car lots here in Arizona," said Nicole Farr, communications manager for the insurance council, in a news release. "Consumers need to be aware that these vehicles are on the market."

The Arizona Insurance Council is a nonprofit organization supported by member companies in the property-casualty insurance business.

An estimated 250,500 vehicles have been reported as damaged by Sandy, based on claims submitted to insurance companies, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) says. Many more damaged vehicles may have been uninsured or not reported to insurance companies and are not included in that figure.

The NICB advises consumers to:

• Select a reputable car dealer.

• Inspect the vehicle for water stains, mildew, sand or silt under the carpets, floor mats, headliner cloth and behind the dashboard.

• 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.

• Have a certified mechanic inspect the vehicle before buying it.