Flood-hit cars invade used vehicles market


View of submerged homes and cars at Blur Jaggar Nagar in Mudichur in Chennai on November 17, 2015. Photo: S.R.Raghunathan

Now, it should pay to exercise extreme caution while buying used cars.

According to automobile experts, touts are likely to sell cars damaged in the recent floods.

There are thousands of cars in the city that have taken a battering due to the floods. There have been cases of cars being immersed in water for days on end. In such cases, the repairs to be carried out would be extensive.

There have been cases where the cost of repairing a car exceeded its value in the used car market.

“When one of my friends took his flood-ravaged car to have it repaired, an amount that was Rs. 3 lakh higher than what the car was worth was quoted,” said M. Jahir, an automobile spare parts dealer from Pudupet.

Due to this, many people are trying to dispose of their cars quickly in the used automobile market, he said.

“Old cars damaged in the floods are coming to Pudupet. For spare parts of abandoned high-end cars, customers come from other parts of the country, including Mumbai and Delhi,” added Mr. Jahir.

Vignesh Venkatakrishnan Ramakrishnan, CEO of Carmatch, a mobile app that helps buyers decide on cars, said buyers should be aware and check the dates when the cars were put up for sale at second-hand car dealerships.

R. Vignesh, co-owner of Gods of Motorcycle, an automotive start-up, said that extreme vigilance was required while buying used automobile spare parts, not just with used cars and motorcycles.

“Due to water stagnation, some of the parts could have developed rust. We have been receiving a lot of water-damaged motorcycles. Even if a car or a bike had been submerged for long, its parts could be replaced and the vehicle brought back to the roads. And it is these replaced parts that could end up in the second-hand spares shops, that one should be careful about,” Mr. Vignesh said.

Mr. Jahir said that it would always be better to take a mechanic along and check a second-hand car one would be buying. More so, now.