Buying used cars: beware of flood damaged vehicle scams

Car Insurance in Edmonton

At HDF Insurance, we’re committed to providing great vehicle insurance to our customers in Edmonton. More than this, however, we like to do everything we can to help you protect your investments. This includes warning our clients about potential scams, such as the selling of flood-damaged vehicles.

In the wake of the horrible hurricanes that have hit the United States recently, there have been a large number of flood-damaged cars entering the Canadian market. It’s illegal to sell flood-damaged cars without disclosing their condition to the buyer, but unscrupulous or unlicensed sellers will sometimes break this law to make a quick dollar. In fact, it’s become common for people to buy flood-damaged vehicles in the US from insurance companies, ship them to places such as Edmonton, and sell them illegally for a tidy profit. But it’s not just cars from the United States that you should watch out for – there are damaged cars from our own floods in Alberta that are being sold illegally.

To protect yourself from these tricks, be sure to follow these easy tips:

Ask the seller about any damage to the car

Be sure to ask directly and explicitly. If you are sold a flood-damaged car but haven’t asked, your case will be harder to make to your Edmonton car insurance broker when the car inevitably stops working or the government finds out you are in possession of a car unworthy of the road.

Check for damage yourself

  • Use your nose. If there are any musty smells, it may be from water damage.
  • Check for rust or mud in strange places. If the car has at one point been filled with water, there are probably signs of this in places you wouldn’t expect, such as the trunk or glove box.
  • Rusty brackets under the seat might mean it’s been submerged in water at one point.
  • Discoloured upholstery can indicate water stains.

Test every feature

Flood damage can be difficult to detect, since metal corrosion can take time to fully develop. When buying a used car, be sure to test all of its functions thoroughly. If one part of it shows signs of water damage or corrosion, you can bet it’s not the only one.

Research the car

There are a lot of resources online now where you can research the history of used cars (Carfax, Autocheck, etc.). Looking up the car you’re interested in and trying to trace its sale history can let you know if there’s anything fishy about its origins.

Get the car inspected by a professional

Perhaps the best way to be sure the car you’re buying is in good condition is to get it inspected by a professional. Having a professional give a car a clean bill of health can even help when it comes time to get a policy from insurance companies in Edmonton.

Whether you’re looking for cheap car insurance or full coverage packages for all your assets, contact us at HDF Insurance in Edmonton to find out how we can find you the car insurance that’s right for you.