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Natural Disasters and Car Damage

When most people think of car damage, they assume the damage was caused by a collision. However, weather is a common source of vehicular damage. Natural disasters and intense weather conditions can cause significant damage to a vehicle, and it’s common to come across damaged cars for sale, or cars that have been recently repaired. Being upfront about damage that’s occurred in the vehicle’s past will help a seller establish trust with their buyers and set themselves up for a quicker, easier sale.

How common is weather-related car damage?

Car owners should be mindful of the weather and how it can impact their vehicle. Driving in rain or snow isn’t the only hazard – hail storms, floods, blizzards, earthquakes and tornadoes can all cause extensive car damage – especially hail storms, which cause billions of dollars in damage alone. Some types of damage are easier to detect than others, even at a first glance. Flood damage, for example, will usually leave behind lingering moisture, rust, scents or spots of mud. If a vehicle’s interior looks newer than it should for the age of the car, it can be a sign that it was replaced due to flood damage.

Why you need to know about weather damage

When you see a damaged car for sale, look for an explanation of how the damage occurred. As a buyer, ask for official documentation of the explanation provided and get a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report (VHR). If the seller does not have this documentation or will not provide it, buy your own VHR and be sure to take the vehicle to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection and ask them to verify if what you’ve been told is correct. We recommend getting a CARFAX Canada report and a pre-purchase inspection with any used car purchase to get unbiased, third-party peace of mind that you’re making a good purchase.

Even if a vehicle has been repaired to a point where there is no damage visible, it doesn’t mean there are no mechanical problems. While most elements of weather damage can be fixed, some types put a car at risk for more severe problems in the future.

What to do if a car is damaged

Some buyers may have no problem purchasing a car with damage. However, owners will increase their chances of selling a damaged car if they repair it beforehand. Whether or not the damages are fixed, owners should keep detailed records of how the damage occurred, and any repair estimates they may have received. Keeping track of weather damage to a vehicle is important, as it provides buyers with a more accurate understanding of what they’re getting. Being upfront about damage vehicle damage involves listing exactly what happened, the repairs that were performed and whether there have been reoccurring issues. Damage to a car can mean a lot of things, and it’s a seller’s responsibility to disclose them, and a buyer’s responsibility to get all the details available.

A CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report is a reliable and accurate way to show a vehicle’s history to prospective buyers. Not only can this help speed-up the sales process, but it can mean avoiding legal issues after the deal is closed.