Buying Hail & Flood damaged Vehicles

Buying hail and flood damaged vehicles

Brisbane has its fair share of wild weather. From blistering heat through to tropical storms, Brisbane residents have battled through it all.

The devastating damage that is caused from flooding and hail to property/homes is often repaired after the skies have cleared.

Some damage however has long-term effects especially to motor vehicles and when these events occur flood and hail damaged cars literally will flood the second hand vehicle market.

When buying any vehicle in Brisbane and surrounding areas it is always advised to keep this in mind. Flooding and/or hail may have affected the vehicle and there is a way to check this.

A full Car History Report will show you if the vehicle has a Written off Vehicle Status or any insurance claims for flood damage.

There is always a possibility that the vehicle has had damage from the weather without it being on the register especially if it wasn’t insured at the time of the accident and the owner has organised the repairs themselves.

Flood damaged cars will have tell tale signs that the vehicle has been submerged. A Pre-Purchase Inspection in most cases will be able to indicate this to the potential buyer that there has been flood damage to the vehicle.

Here are some of those key indicators:

  •        The car has a musty smell to it
  •        Dirt inside of the headlights
  •        Waterline markings on interior         and engine block
  •        Water in the tyre well

If these indicators are showing while you are inspecting the vehicle it is best to have an expert inspect the vehicle as floodwater can have serious electrical and mechanical issues over time.

Vehicles located in the Brisbane area can also be subject to hail damage. Many of these vehicles will make their way through the auction houses and there are many bargains to be picked up for buyers who don’t mind the panel damage.

When buying these vehicles it is vital to research the complete process before buying the vehicle especially if this is going to be your only mode of transport.

Many savvy buyers have been caught out when the hailstorms swept over Brisbane when the Written Off Vehicle Inspection (WOVI) station lead-time blew out.

To be able to apply for a WOVI a Queensland Safety Certificate Inspection needs to be carried out on the vehicle before booking the appointment.

A Queensland Safety Certificate is valid for 2 months or 2000kms whichever one comes first. If the WOVI appointments take more than 8 weeks to secure an appointment, which can happened then you will need to undergo another inspection before the WOVI.

The Safety Certificate must be valid at the time of the WOVI.

A WOVI is different to a Safety Certificate Inspection as it is an inspection that validates the vehicle’s identification as opposed to the Safety Certificate checking the vehicle is roadworthy.

When purchasing vehicles under finance, it is imperative to check that the vehicle does not have a written off status. This can affect whether the finance company will approve the loan being that the vehicle has a Written Off Status. It is always advised to run the Car History Report before committing to a purchase.

To know exactly what you are buying especially when it comes to private sales the most effective thing to do is engage a fully qualified mechanic to do a Pre-Purchase Inspection on the vehicle.

There are many vehicles on the road that have been written off and are perfectly roadworthy. On the other hand, some repairs can be passable but not to the standard that you would be expecting for your hard earned cash.

The quality of the repairs that have been carried out can be advised from the examiner to give you peace of mind that the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

 Most buyers who are purchasing vehicles that have damage to them tend to be accepting of this as long as they are aware of what they are buying and pay a fair price for it.

The hole that every buyer is trying to avoid is paying premium price for a vehicle that is not up to that standard.

Having a Pre-Purchase Inspection carried out on the vehicle avoids this but gives you more information about the vehicle you are buying and allows you to have facts to negotiate with the buyer if necessary.

Handy Tips:

  • If the vehicle is registered, the seller MUST provide a valid Safety Certificate before advertising the   vehicle for sale.
  • If the vehicle is not registered, the seller is able to sell the vehicle without a Safety Certificate
  • A Safety Certificate is a check that the vehicle meets the minimum Safety Standards set by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. This does not mean that the vehicle is mechanically sound.
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