Carmakers with the best deals for Harvey victims

It is estimated between 300,000 to 500,000 vehicles were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters. If you are one of thousands of people needing a new vehicle in the next few weeks, you should know that some carmakers are offering special deals to flood victims.

Some carmakers want to see a letter from your insurance company confirming that your vehicle was damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Harvey; others are making the deals available to anyone in Texas.

Ford Motor Company's offer seems to be the most generous. The "Texas is Family" bundle gets you the same below-invoice price Ford offers its employees and their families on Ford and Lincoln vehicles with low credit APR or lease rates and no payments until next year. In addition, all first responders in hurricane-effected areas can get another $1,000 off a new vehicle.

Existing customers affected by Hurricane Harvey can apply to have their payments deferred for up to two months by contacting Ford Credit or Lincoln Automotive Financial Services online, at www.FordCredit.com or www.LincolnAFS.com, by or phone at 800-723-4016 or by using the FordPass smartphone app.

General Motors is offering $1,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle in the most heavily impacted areas of Texas and Louisiana through Oct. 2.

GM Financial is assisting impacted customers with payment arrangements and waiving related fees. Eligible customers who are replacing a vehicle may qualify for a 90-day deferred first payment.

Hyundai, Genesis and Kia are offering a $750 discount on all 2017 and 2018 models. Lease and finance customers residing in the impacted areas may be eligible to take advantage of several payment relief options which include payment extensions, redirecting billing statements and arranging phone or online payments free of charge.

Customers who would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact Hyundai Motor Finance, Genesis Finance, and Kia Motors Finance for further assistance.

Fiat Chrysler has a $500 Disaster Relief Discount on most new 2017 or 2018 model year vehicles. Only residents from select counties in Texas and Louisiana are eligible. This offer expires on Jan. 2. 

If you have not already reached out to your lender about your car note, you should do that as soon as possible if you need extra time to make payments. If you financed through one of the car manufacturers, almost all of them are waiving late fees and working out special payment arrangements for customers who experienced flooding.