Beware of flood-damaged vehicles from Alberta

vehicles deemed a total loss from the flooding in Alberta will find their way to market

Consumers who are looking to buy a used automobile are being cautioned to be aware that vehicles deemed a total loss from the flooding in Alberta will find their way to market for unsuspecting buyers outside Alberta.

History has shown that unscrupulous people buy flood-damaged cars, clean them up and sell them at attractive, below-market prices. This is not illegal. What is illegal is hiding the truth of a vehicle’s history.

Buyers are warned to be on the lookout for tell-tale signs a vehicle for sale may have been flooded in Alberta, such as:

• Strong perfumes inside the car to mask odours.

• Persistent condensation on the windows.

• Water stains on the seats or carpets.

• Dampness in the seats or carpets.

• Dirt marks in unusual places, or under the carpets.

• The presence of mildew.

• Rust in odd places.

“Another clue is the date the vehicle was registered in the province the buyer lives in,” Rocco Neglia, Economical Insurance’s vice-president, claims. “For example, if a resident is looking to buy a car and notices that it was only recently registered in the province, you need to ask yourself ‘Where did this vehicle come from?’ and ‘What happened to the vehicle before it was registered here?”

A buyer of a flood-damaged vehicle will find that it will likely require significant and expensive electrical and mechanical repairs which may only become apparent six to 12 months after purchase.

The safest way to avoid purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle is to only buy from reputable dealers. Before purchasing, have the vehicle inspected by a third-party garage, and insist on being given a formal vehicle history report.


Information provided courtesy of Economical Insurance. Economical Insurance conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Family Insurance Solutions, Federation Insurance and Economical Financial.