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Beware: water damaged cars are flooding onto the market

Consumers are being warned that flood-damaged cars with dangerous faults are expected to find their way on to the used car market following the extreme weather conditions. Concerns have been raised by some of the motoring organisations that while insurers write-off cars that have been immersed in flood water, some owners whose vehicles have dried out and appear undamaged may simply sell them on without making a claim.

It is estimated that insurers are facing claims of up to £14 million for cars written off by the bad weather, and warn that cars which may appear undamaged after being immersed in water could be hiding potentially fatal faults. Some of the problems which water damage could cause include:

> Catalytic convertor and exhaust system life can be seriously reduced
> Wheel bearings can seize
> Brakes can be detrimentally affected
> Alternator and starter motors could fail
> Electrical and electronic damage – which could result in airbags going off unexpectedly, or failing to work when required

Buyers should beware when buying from private vendors as they have no comeback – and some of the problems may not emerge for some while after the car has been purchased. Some signs to look for if you have any suspicion the car may have incurred flood-damage include:

> Damp carpets and upholstery
> Strong smell of air fresheners (being used to cover up the smell of damp)
> Large amount of condensation on the windows
> Airbag light not working properly
> A whitish deposit under the oil filter cap

It is believed that around 2,800 cars have been affected by the recent floods which equates to a total bill of around £14million – so, if you are considering purchasing a used car, be aware!

Car insurance is vital – and is not an optional extra. If you have a vehicle, it must be insured and now is a good time to check that your motor insurance provides you with all the cover you and any additional drivers require. Give Westhill Insurance Services a call and ask for a quote for your insurance. As an independent insurance company we will shop around to find the best possible deal to suit you and your lifestyle. We won't sell you insurance you don't need, but we will make sure you have what you do need. With all the extreme weather we seem to be having, vehicle breakdown cover is useful too – we have a very special package we can offer you which will make sure you are well looked after should your car grind to halt when it isn't meant to! It's good to know you are covered – no matter what the weather may throw at us!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 11th December, 2012