LONDON, England - Flooding in the UK has paved the way for sellers to make a quick buck off water-damaged cars. It's a heartless yet quick attempt at trying to salvage your hard-earned money.
UK floods bring used-car scams
VIDEO: Flooded roads
Imagine your car standing outside in deep floodwater. How do you begin to salvage what you have spent? Fix it up as best you can and then sell it to an unsuspecting buyer?
Tim Naylor, editor of BCA’s annual used-car market report, said: “Potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of cars will have been damaged in the floods and many will have been written-off because of the cost of repairing electrical components, interior fittings and catalytic convertors."
However, instead of claiming from insurance, some unscrupulous owners try to pass off their cars in a private sale, so buyers should be aware of the telltale signs.
"Even the most scrupulous clean may not totally eradicate water damage so be a ‘flood detective’ when appraising a potential purchase."
Screws, bolts and fixings may well rust - immediate telltales.
While the financial consequences could be considerable, there is a potential danger to life and limb while driving a flood-damaged vehicle. Braking may be compromised; an electrical fault on sophisticated engines could leave you stranded or worse - cause a crash.
Naylor said: “As always, if you are thinking of buying privately rather than from a reputable dealer, be sensible and make sure you check thoroughly. Even better, ask a competent mechanic to examine your potential purchase before making a decision.”