Car buyers warned over flood-damaged vehicles

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Car buyers are being warned the new year market could be swamped with flood-damaged vehicles following the extreme weather of recent weeks

 AA Insurance is estimating that insurers could be facing claims for up to £40million for cars written-off by recent weather but warns that cars which have been immersed in water may seem undamaged but can store up potentially fatal faults.

 Michael Lloyd, director of AA Insurance, says he is concerned that, while insurers go to stringent efforts to dispose of flood-damaged cars and ensure that they don’t reach the open market, many others could be sold on.

 He said some owners whose vehicles, once dried out may appear undamaged, could simply sell their cars on without making an insurance claim and thus avoid losing their no-claim bonus.

 He said: “Buyers should beware buying from private vendors as they may have no come-back when problems later emerge. Buying from a reputable outlet will help reduce the risk that vehicles sold have a watery history.”

 If in any doubt, the AA says its Car Data Check can find out whether the vehicle has been registered as a write-off and have an independent professional inspection on the car.

 Buyers should also ensure they get a valid receipt and a trader should supply a formal printed document and offer a warranty.

 If buying privately, document all details of the car and its vendor

 On newer vehicles, check the manufacturer’s warranty.

Where the vehicle is known to have been flood damaged, the manufacturer may have voided the warranty.