How to sell a flood-damaged car

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How to sell a flood damaged car
Flood damaged car
Sell Salvaged Vehicle
Doug Whiffin
Doug Whiffin
National Automotive Buyer and Second-In-Command Manager
February 1, 2022
minute read

Your guide to selling flood-damaged cars in Australia

Cars and water can be as a destructive combination. Though road vehicles are made to withstand regular rains and carwashes, they aren’t designed to survive floods. You’ll likely find that your flood-damaged vehicle cannot be repaired.

If car repairs are out of the question, you may still be able to sell your flood-ruined car to the salvage car industry. 

In this guide, we’ll teach you the basics about selling flooded cars so that you can get the best price for your salvage car.

Can you sell a flood-damaged car in Australia?

It is possible to sell a flood-damaged car — it is not at all illegal. However, the price you can get for your ruined car depends on how badly damaged the vehicle is.

There are varying levels of flood damage that may occur to a car. For minimal levels of flood damage, wherein the car was not fully submerged in water, the process is very similar to selling a hail-damaged car. This means the flood damage may reduce the price of a vehicle, but all hope is not lost — used car buyers will still pay a great price to salvage your car and its recyclable components.

The value of your car depends on:

  • The car’s condition
  • The extent of the flood damage; whether or not it was fully submerged
  • Vehicle make and model
  • The value of its parts; the status of its parts
  • The age of the vehicle
  • The type of vehicle, including trucks, motorbikes and machinery

1800 Salvage will buy flood-affected cars for highly competitive prices, depending on the nature of their damage. We’ll even pay instant cash and provide free towing. You can learn more about our valuation process here.

Statutory write-offs in Victoria for submerged cars

In Australia, a vehicle that has become fully submerged in a body of water will be classified as a statutory write-off.

VicRoads defines this as: “A statutory write-off is a vehicle that's been damaged so severely that it should not be repaired. These vehicles can't be re-registered anywhere in Australia, but certain parts may be used to repair other vehicles.”

This classification is due to the fact that flood-damaged vehicles are nearly impossible to put back on the road. Flooding is hardest on a vehicle’s internal mechanisms and components, especially its engine. Due to electrical shortages and rust, the mechanics and electrics will likely no longer be usable. The interior may become musty or mouldy. Salt water causes even more damage due to its corrosiveness.

However, on the positive side, your submerged car does not become entirely worthless.

Can you sell a written-off flooded car?

It is possible to sell a written-off submerged car. Don’t feel the pressure to mislead unsuspecting buyers about the severity of your car’s flood damage. You will be required to provide the vehicle identification number (VIN), which potential buyers can use to look up your car on the Personal Property Securities Register to check its write-off status.

Car salvage buyers such as 1800 Salvage offer valuable purchase prices for these kinds of vehicles. Submerged vehicles can still be worth a great salvage price as certain parts are still reusable. This includes the majority of the plastics, external body parts, light casings and more, which can be restored and used to repair other vehicles.

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Get in touch for friendly advice

Whether you want to buy or sell salvage vehicles, we are here to help. Get in touch and we will get back to you soon with the information you need.

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