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Car buyers warned to beware vehicles damaged in recent floods. Mycarcheck.com, the vehicle history checking website owned and run by insurance software and technology specialists CDL Group Holdings, has launched a campaign to warn consumers about the possible dangers of buying cars damaged in the recent floods.
Fear that a problem which has become widespread in the United States and Australia may now beginning to appear in the UK has prompted mycarcheck to highlight the danger of vehicles appearing on the open market after suffering serious weather-related damage.
Prior to the recent torrential rain and floods reports of storm damage to British cars were on target to hit a six year high. In the first three months of this year (2007) some insurance companies received around three times as many reports of storm damaged vehicles as they did for the whole of the previous12 months.
mycarcheck is concerned that this higher number of storm damaged cars will lead to a mirroring of the activity in the US as individuals attempt to pass off badly repaired or damaged vehicles as ok.
“After Hurricane Katrina flood damaged cars started appearing back on the US market at twice their usual rate,” said Roger Powell, General Manager of mycarcheck.com.
According to a report published by the American International Automobile Dealers Association the number of flood damaged vehicles in the US rose by 103 percent in 2002/06, due in no small part to Hurricane Katrina, compared to the previous five-year period between 1997 and 2001.
“While no one is suggesting that storm damage in the UK is on the same scale as in the US British motorists should be aware that the same practice of selling on damaged cars could become more common in this country,” added Mr Powell, spokesman for the vehicle history checking website.
“Such cars may look fine at first glance, but in many cases the safety and electronic systems can be compromised. People need to be aware that these cars will be hitting the market in the next few months and their best defence is to buy from a reputable dealer.
“If they do buy privately they should make sure they check out the history of the vehicle before handing over any cash,” he said.
Torrential rain in recent weeks caused millions of pounds worth of damage to property as communities across the country were deluged with flash floods which closed many roads and forced motorists to abandon their vehicles to the rising waters.
Many vehicles which are damaged by flood waters, falling trees and windswept debris are repairable even though insurance companies may have written them off as uneconomical to fix. However, problems arise when the repairs are not carried out properly or the seller wants to hide the fact the car has been damaged in order to negotiate a better price.
“Some sellers will admit the vehicles have been flooded or suffered storm damage, and the price will reflect that. However some vehicles will be cleaned and repaired to attempt to hide the problems and in some cases those problems could be potentially dangerous”.