How to avoid buying a flood-damaged car

April, 2022

Consumer Protection has issued a warning to used car buyers in Western Australia – beware of flood-damaged vehicles.

Thousands of vehicles have been water-damaged in recent storms and flooding in QLD and NSW. There is a real concern that these vehicles could make their way over to WA and into the hands of unsuspecting used car buyers.

Where are flood-damaged vehicles sold?

Auction houses will generally sell flood-damaged vehicles on behalf of the insurance companies. However, car auctioneers and motor vehicle dealers in WA are not legally required to tell buyers if a vehicle is water-damaged unless the buyer specifically asks. There are also no laws around private sellers having to disclose any water damage.

What are the risks of buying a flood-damaged vehicle?

Flood-damaged cars might look the part, but there is a real risk of the electrical systems and airbag computers being damaged and malfunctioning, mold growing in the fabrics and linings, and eventually corrosion of the car’s chassis. If it is saltwater then corrosion is inevitable, and if it is freshwater there is a high chance that mud and dirt can clog up the car.
Insurance companies may not cover the car which leaves you in a risky position driving without any comprehensive insurance.

How to avoid a flood-damaged vehicle

Water damage can go undetected if you do not know what to look for. It is recommended that you get an independent mechanical inspection if you are purchasing a second-hand car.
Most flood-damaged vehicles would have been written off by the insurer so will be listed on the PPSR as a statutory write-off or a repairable write-off.
Your best protection is to buy from a reputable, licensed dealer such as Carz4u. Carz4u only sells quality used vehicles and does not sell flood-damaged cars.

Choose Carz4u – Perth’s used vehicle superstore!

Carz4U has hand-selected a large range of quality used 4WDs, 4x4s, utilities, SUVs, cars, and vans that are ready for immediate delivery. Buy with confidence at Carz4u and view our range today.