• John Mills

Consumers buying vehicles urged to be on alert following floods

In the aftermath of recent severe flooding, Queensland consumers are being reminded about their rights as they may encounter issues when buying vehicles that often follow natural disasters.


A/Commissioner for Fair Trading Anthony Crack said consumers purchasing vehicles following flood events need to be very wary of cars and caravans that may have been affected by flood waters.


“Consumers buying a vehicle or caravan should exercise due diligence by having a pre-purchase inspection undertaken by a qualified mechanic to gauge the extent of any water damage before they make the purchase”.


While flood damaged vehicles may seem to be a bargain initially, there are some issues which may mean it will end up costing you more down the track.

Factors consumers should take into consideration include:

  • Insurers may refuse to offer any insurance coverage or may charge much higher premiums for a flood affected vehicle or caravan.

  • Future repairs – even with a prepurchase inspection some issues may arise that you are not expecting which could cost more to repair then you had budgeted for

  • Future value – the value of the vehicle when you are ready to on sell it may be affected.

“When you buy a second-hand vehicle, make sure you look out for signs of water damage and question the seller as to where the vehicle has been. If you have any concerns, ask them specifically if the car has been affected by the floods” he said.


“Buying from a licensed motor dealer will give you more protection because they have specific rules they must follow to sell water-damaged vehicles and caravans, including telling you if it is a statutory write-off or a repairable write-off, or has previously been a repairable write-off.”

Source: Office of Fair Trading Qld Media Release - 24/03/2022