Copart has a separate page exclusively for cars damaged in Chennai-floods

Second-hand cars after Chennai floods sold for a song but theres a catchImage: A drowned car during Chennai rains/ PTI
news Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 08:05

Second hard luxury cars are being sold online at unbelievable prices, but don't rush to buy one just yet. There's a catch.

Many of these cars have been damaged in the Chennai floods in December 2015, with some them likely to have been under water for at least a week.

Salem-based T Mathavraj, who is a textile showroom dealer is waiting to drive his Audi A6, a 2014 model, which he bought for Rs16 lakh.

2014 BMW 3 series for Rs.13 lakh, Copart.in

“I hope I made the right choice. When I saw the car in the auction in Thiruvekadu in Chennai, I just got in and began driving. I didn’t have to spend anything on repair. It looked brand new and shiny. But it is yet to be delivered to me,” he said.

Christopher Pinson, vice-president of sales and marketing at copart.in says that the website has been receiving hundreds of cars for resale every week. The website has a separate page exclsively for Chennai-floods damaged car.

“We have got many sellers from Chennai and we have buyers coming from across India. Some of the cars were partly damaged in the Chennai floods. We have sold at least a dozen of luxury cars from Chennai after the floods,” he said

2014 Volkswagen Vento for Rs 3000, Copart.in

Bakiyaraj from Coimbatore was one of those people who were lured by the cheap pricings listed on a second-hand cars website.

“I saw a Mercedes Benz 2015 model for Rs.18 lakh. My budget was Rs. 8.5 lakh and I thought I might get lucky with a flood-damaged car on which I could spend a little more to get it running,” Bakiyaraj said.

“Later I saw an Innova for Rs. 9.5 lakh and it was beyond my budget to buy a flood damaged car when I could get a new one for Rs.13 lakh. My total budget for a car was Rs. 10 lakh, that is, Rs.8.5 lakh on the car and the rest for repair. So I dropped the idea because I felt it was a big risk,” he added.

2015 Honda City for Rs.10,000, Copart.in

Most of these cars are beyond repair, says Chennai–based second-hand cars dealer Chandrashekar.

“The insurance companies have given ‘damaged beyond repair’ certificate to many of these cars. They only go to scrap shop after extra-fittings are sold, if they are of any good. A damaged engine can be replaced and the car might work again, but if the sensors are damaged then there is no other way out,” said Chandrashekar.

“Most times this is what happens. The car scrap dealers make a lot of money by reselling the undamaged parts of the car. Even the body and metal would fetch them a good price,” he said.

These cars are also bought by people who want to use a car for a short while.

"The cars which are being resold will be sold with insurance. But mostly the intention of buyers of such cars would be to use it for a year or two. Sometimes they would just buy it to learn to drive for a year and then give it to scrap shop,” he added. 

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