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Flooded Vehicles in Dubai: Should you Consider?

Updated: Apr 21

Multiple flooded vehicles parked next to each other

With the recent advent of floods in the UAE, cars that were formerly flooded may be fixed up to be sold for a profit to unsuspecting buyers. This is absolutely something a consumer must try to avoid, as failure to do so may lead to dire consequences.

In this article:

How do Flooded Cars Appear in the Market?

Cars that were abandoned by their previous owners during a flood that the cars could not survive are often deemed as a total loss by insurance companies. They are then auctioned off at salvage auctions, where people looking to make a quick buck purchase these cars in the hopes that it turns out to be a simple fix.

Assuming the car is able to start, they will then do the bare minimum to make the car presentable to the general public. Of course, there is a possibility that somebody may actually put in the effort to restore a car to its factory condition, but that is the exception to the norm.

Why Should You Avoid Flooded Cars?

When a car is submerged underwater for extended periods of time, a huge number of components that are otherwise not meant to withstand exposure to water are now faced with the same much beyond their intended level. This leads to many problems with cars, such as corrosion, electronics getting shorted, mould forming in the seats and carpets leading to an odour, and much more.

At best, you will be faced with a smelly and stained interior. At worst, you could have water penetrating the intake and exhaust systems and finding their way into the combustion chamber. Since water is not combustible, the engine gets hydrolocked, effectively rendering it useless.

How to Spot a Flooded Vehicle in Dubai

The UAE does not title cars previously damaged in a flood with a flood title like other parts of the world. This means that you cannot rely on a database to determine if the car you're eyeing has been a victim or not.

Regardless, there are still some signs you can look out for to make out a flooded vehicle in Dubai:

  • Water Line: This is something that is very hard to remove from certain parts of the car, such as headlights or even the interior if it is severe enough. In most cases, this is a surefire way to tell apart a flood-damaged car.

  • Rusted Screws: Exposed metal, such as screws in the interior, are located in obscure places that would normally never face the risk of any corrosion unless they've been involved in a flood. Look under the dashboard or under the seat to find these.

  • Malfunctioning Electronics: Electronic systems are very complex in modern cars, and the corrosion caused by saltwater could cause malfunctions that wouldn't occur under normal circumstances. If there is no good explanation as to why they are being problematic, walk away.

  • Hard to Reach Crevices: Inspect these areas for signs of waterlogging, like a water line. Areas like this could be behind the engine or gaps in between panels under the trunk.

  • Rubber Drain Plugs: These are located on the bottom of doors and are removed to drain any water that may have accumulated inside the door. If it looks like it may have been removed recently, it may have been flooded.

  • Engine Oil: Water could seep into the engine and get mixed with the oil. Aside from corroding the internals, it makes the oil appear milky.

  • Air Intake: Water causes the air intake filter to appear soggy or look like cardboard.


Spotting a car that's been damaged by a flood isn't always straightforward. To safeguard your investment, it's crucial to steer clear of flood-damaged vehicles whenever possible. However, if you're unsure about a car's history, fear not – BeSoji is here to help. We specialize in comprehensive car inspections, ensuring you make a confident purchase every time. With our expert team boasting years of experience and thousands of cars inspected, we provide thorough evaluations at any location, offering you peace of mind and the assurance of getting the best value for your money. Don't take chances with a potential flood-damaged car – schedule a BeSoji inspection today and make an informed decision you can trust.

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