Monday, 10 April 2017 11:48

The Motor Trade Association of WA (MTA WA) has warned WA consumers to exercise caution when buying used vehicles over the coming months as WA will see a large number of flood damaged cars stream across the border from Queensland.

MTA WA CEO Stephen Moir said that flooding from cyclone Debbie had inundated large parts of Queensland and that literally thousands of cars had been damaged.

“It is an unfortunate reality when instances like this occur that these cars are moved around Australia and WA does see a large number of these damaged vehicles” Mr Moir said.

Mr Moir went on to say that the damage on these vehicles can be difficult for the untrained eye to spot and that issues from water damage can take some time to arise. Backyard Dealers are particularly active in selling these vehicles, and that they generally advertise in on-line forums and classifieds to remain undetected.

Mr Moir urged consumers to do their homework, “preferably, consumers should always deal with a licensed dealer as, along with warranties, the dealer will provide security of title and backup should something go wrong.”

“If a consumer decides to take the risk of buying privately then they should go to the Personal Property Securities Register website at to check the vehicle’s status as a first step. The register will show if the vehicle has been written off, has finance outstanding, has been stolen and provides registration details. Vehicles can also be inspected by specialists who can determine if the vehicle has been subject to water damage.”

Mr Moir said that it was unfortunate that WA laws allow for repairable write-offs to be brought into the state and repaired and resold to consumers.

“It would be preferable for WA to have similar rules to those in NSW where vehicles are either declared road worthy or statutory write-offs, preventing these types of vehicles from entering the market” Mr Moir said.

The MTA WA is currently developing a proposal for the new State Government to consider the possibility of introducing this type of legislation.

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