Kozhikode: The used-car market anywhere gets ample supply of damaged vehicles post floods. The case is no different in Kerala which reeled under floods nearly half a year ago. Images of submerged cars, which often amplify the intensity of floods, had made it to the media then. As expected, such cars have appeared in the second-hand market and surprisingly there is good demand too. The resellers in northern Kerala say that serious buyers, especially for luxury vehicles, are approaching them.
The second-hand car dealers have to thank the insurance companies for the steady supply of defective cars. They are putting the vehicles for auction without dumping the cars that are beyond repair, trade observers claimed.
“Cars from Swift Dzire to Hyundai Creta are in good demand. Automatic cars, which are otherwise very costly even in used car market, have also takers. Most of the cars are either 2017 or 2018 models and the kilometre covered is also very less. Apart from domestic use, taxi drivers who bank on the rented cars also seek used cars from us,” said a seller at Nadapuram, who has been buying cars in bulk from Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta for the last two months and reselling to customers in Kozhikode.
It seems an organised bid is being made to locate flood-damaged vehicles. Middlemen are reportedly going to worst-hit flood zones like Chengannur, North Paravur and Ernakulam to scout for them before selling them in northern districts. A seller from Kozhikode admitted that the cars are in good demand, especially they are given a whole year's insurance coverage also.
The seller, who we approached did not sound sceptical about the vehicles he bought, has kept one for his personal use.
“A 2018 model Swift Dzire car is available for Rs 4.5 lakh and an automatic edition of the 2016 edition for Rs 4 lakh. Only the lower portion of the car was submerged (in flood waters). And there is a Honda WRV 2018 full option vehicle for just Rs 8 lakh,” the seller said, promising that the car can be handed over in two weeks.
Vehicle experts say the internal damage of the vehicle will stay, thought it looks perfect from outside after clearing the slush and water accumulated during the flood. Those who buy the vehicles for resale are not bothered about the safety part, but they warn that those buying for own use have to be very careful while buying used cars soon after the flood.