Bargain-hunting used car buyers must be careful not to shell out on a flood-damaged vehicle, British Car Auctions (BCA) have warned.
Floods have ravaged the UK over recent weeks, with potentially thousands of cars suffering as a result.
Tim Naylor, Editor of BCA’s Used Car Market Report, insists prospective buyers must check potential purchases carefully for any signs of water damage.
He also added that such vehicles could pose a threat to lives, with braking systems and engines in particular susceptible to being compromised.
“If you are thinking of buying privately rather than from a reputable dealer, be sensible and make sure you check over the car fully,” said Mr Naylor.
“Many [cars] will have been written off because of the cost of repairing electrical components, interior fittings and catalytic convertors.
“Rather than claim against insurance, some unscrupulous sellers may try to pass off their cars in a private sale, so buyers should be aware of the tell-tale signs.
“If you are thinking of buying privately rather than from a reputable dealer, be sensible and make sure you check over the car fully”
Tim Naylor, BCA
“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, so check out-of-the-way areas under the dash, seats, door sills and engine bay.
“Look for fine silt deposits in spots like the spare wheel storage area, door handle recesses or footwells.
“Are the carpets damp, irregular and ill-fitting or even been replaced? “Are the windows constantly steaming up?
“These could be clues the car has sat in deep water.”