Home / Car News / Buyer Beware: How To Spot A Flood-Damaged Used Car


The United Kingdom has taken a severe battering from the weather over the past few weeks, with many areas such as Somerset, Worcestershire and the Thames Valley dealing with flooding of biblical proportions due to rivers overtopping and effectively turning many suburban areas into watery swampland being reclaimed by nature.

car in a flood

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Such catastrophic weather is also taking its toll on the insurance industry, which will now have to pay out for claims to flooded homes and commercial premises. Even the car insurance industry will have to bear the brunt of the weather, as a large number of claims for flooded cars are made by thousands of car owners up and down the United Kingdom.

Some people who are keen to keep the costs of their car insurance down would rather sell their flood-damaged cars than claim on their insurance policies, especially as insurance companies will most likely write flood-damaged cars off instead of paying for them to be repaired.

The problem is, some unscrupulous sellers will pass their cars off as being just another normal used car rather than publicising the fact that they are flood-damaged. If you are about to go used car shopping, then it is very likely that you will come across such dodgy motors.

This handy guide will show you some top tips on how you can spot such problem cars, so that you don’t get ripped off.

The “sniff” test

One of the most-easiest ways that you can tell whether a car has been flood-damaged or not is by simply smelling the interior!

Despite the best efforts of even the most determined of car sellers, you will still be able to smell a mouldy aroma from inside of the car due to the fact that part or all of the interior has been waterlogged for a period of time.

If the interior of the car you are viewing smells like a soggy old sock and yet it looks virtually spotless, then it is highly likely that the car has been flood-damaged.

Check for moisture

Even if a car has been dried out for a long period of time, there will still be parts of the car’s interior that will feel moist such as carpet or interior trim. If you spot such a thing, you can pretty much guarantee that the car you are looking at isn’t totally above board.


If you are looking at a car that is only say 3 or 5 years old and yet you can see that there are some rust spots in various places, such as springs, door handles or screws, this can be a good indicator that you are looking at a flood-damaged car.

Other ways to avoid buying flood-damaged cars

If you are on the hunt for a used Nissan Qashqai, for example, an obvious answer would be to buy a car from a reputable car dealership such as tilsungroup.com. But if you are in any doubt about a car, you should consider getting a comprehensive vehicle check from firms such as The AA.

This will give you peace of mind knowing that the car you are about to buy is above board and hasn’t been through flood water.


About the author: Ahmad Wali


Ahmad Wali is associated with automotive industry from past 4 years. Also the member of the Cars Edition Magazine and critique for latest car reviews. Apart from Automotive industry he is an Entrepreneur running blog network including UK eBest Cars. Say Hello on twitter


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