How to avoid buying a flood-damaged car
Source : How to avoid buying a flood-damaged car
Storms as well as floods such as those of which have battered the UK from the last few months can have a big impact on car owners
You can easily spot one of the 250 flooded write-offs at Michael Douglas Auto Salvage in Carlisle.
Not only because the item has the word ‘floody’ scrawled on the windscreen nevertheless also because the item’s covered which has a film of brown silt.
Move closer as well as you can see the heavy condensation on the windows, dirty water from the headlights as well as a tide mark from the engine bay. Open the driver’s door – being careful to stand back to allow the stench of sewage as well as flood water to escape – as well as water sloshes from the door pockets, while silt covers the floor, the seats as well as much of the fascia. The steering wheel will be a circle of green mould.
the item as well as the some other flooded cars commenced arriving at the breaker’s yard in December, soon after storm Desmond as well as then storms Eva as well as Frank did their worst – as well as they’re still coming.
“People have had more urgent problems to deal with, such as clearing their flooded homes,” says owner Michael Douglas. “Many people are only currently thinking about what to do with their flooded cars.”
The Association of British Insurers says of which as a result of December’s storms, its members have received 5600 claims for flood-damaged vehicles. the item expects the total value of these claims to be about £26 million, a figure of which applies to comprehensively insured cars of which are covered for flood damage.
Most will be written off as well as their owners paid a settlement cheque by the insurer to cover its replacement. The most seriously damaged ones will be declared category A or B write-offs, as well as will then be scrapped or crushed.
The less seriously damaged will be flagged as category C or D. These can be returned to the road after repair, although a category C car must be inspected first.
Cars with third-party cover are not insured for flood damage. As a result, depending on its condition, the owner of a flooded car has little choice nevertheless to sell the item as scrap to a vehicle breaker such as Michael Douglas, for around £0.
However, experts are concerned of which desperate owners who cannot afford to scrap their car (or even owners of comprehensively insured cars who cannot afford to lose their no-claims Insentif) may be tempted to dry the item out as well as sell the item on to an unsuspecting buyer. Admittedly, the nature of modern vehicles, with their complex electrical systems, means of which only the least flood-damaged cars could pass undetected, nevertheless the item’s a risk nonetheless.
Earlier of which month Neil Hodson, deputy managing director of vehicle information company Cap HPI, warned car buyers to be on the lookout for rising numbers of flood-damaged cars entering the car market from the coming months.
“There’s a danger of which some car owners may try to sell on their flood-damaged vehicle, once its Indoor has dried out as well as the item has been cleaned,” he said. “Omitting its history will leave the completely new owner from the dark about its real condition.”
James Carswell, of Scotia Vehicle Inspections in Glasgow, has inspected hundreds of flood-damaged cars in recent weeks as well as fears of which many third-party-insured cars will be sold on in a dangerous as well as contaminated state.
“I expect hundreds of flooded third-party vehicles will come onto the market,” he says. “I went to Otley in Yorkshire to inspect a flood-damaged Ford Transit mini-bus recently. the item should have been scrapped, nevertheless the owner said he couldn’t afford to as well as of which instead he’d fix the item up as well as sell the item on.”
December’s floods are not the first to have struck UK towns as well as cities. Michael Ward, a used car inspector based in Bradford, recalls examining a Suzuki Vitara for a customer when the auto was advertised for sale shortly after the city was flooded in 2007. the auto had no write-off history, nevertheless Ward suspected of which the item had been the victim of flooding.
“The metal frames under the seats as well as dashboard were badly corroded,” he says. “I advised my customer not to buy the item.”
Ward agrees with Carswell of which previously flooded, third-party-insured cars are those most likely to be sold on, nevertheless he says they won’t necessarily be the older cars usually associated with of which level of cover.
“Many fleet cars are only third-party insured as well as I expect some of the least damaged will be offered for sale without their history being disclosed, rather than being scrapped,” he says.
Carswell says the item’s not only mainstream nevertheless also classic cars of which are destined to be repaired as well as sold on. “I have inspected over two dozen classics in recent weeks, all of them flooded mid-refurbishment,” he says. “Their owners had each accepted an average £15,000 insurance settlement, which some planned to spend on repairing the auto before selling the item.”
Back at the breaker’s yard, Douglas reflects on the human tragedy behind each of his 250 flooded cars. “For people who lost their homes from the floods, losing their car was the last straw,” he says. “Without a car, how do they get their kids to school? How do they get to work?”
One can only wish of which in their desperation to be back on the road, they don’t buy someone else’s dried-out ‘floody’.
Tips on how to avoid buying a flood-damaged car
Check the windows – open as well as close
Sniff the seats as well as headlining
Check the carpets are dry as well as the windows free of condensation
Look for premature rust
Check under the bonnet for discoloration as well as a tide mark
Check of which all the dashboard lights work
Check if the windows steam up after you turn on the heater
Check the light clusters for trapped water as well as condensation
Take the item for a drive, checking for smooth running as well as no wheel bearing noises
If in doubt, have the item professionally inspected
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