Advice regarding flood-affected vehicles from RAC

Article date: 12 October 2005

Last night's floods will have left thousands of vehiclesaffected by water and turning on the ignition could cause furtherextensive and costly damage, warns motoring organisation RAC.

"Modern vehicles are full of electrical and electronic systemswhich are adversely affected by water," said RAC patrol of the yearJason Burrell.

"Water damage can lead to expensive repair costs and futureunexpected failure. We would advise motorists to get their vehicleprofessionally checked as soon as possible."

If your vehicle has been standing in floodwater, depending on thelevel of the water, the following precautions should be taken:

  • If the level of flooding has entered the foot wells (wetcarpets) and the vehicle is fitted with an airbag, do not turn theignition on. It is important to have the vehicle professionallyexamined
  • If the vehicle is not fitted with airbags, there may still bea risk of electrical short circuit that can cause further damageto your vehicle. Again, do not turn the ignition on and have thevehicle professionally examined
  • For vehicles where flooding has not entered the foot wells(dry carpets) the braking system of your vehicle may have beenaffected
  • If your vehicle has been stood in the flooded area for anyprolonged period contact your local dealer for further advice
  • If your vehicle has only been in a flood for a short periodand no water has entered the vehicle, drive with extreme cautionand take the vehicle to be checked at the earliestopportunity
  • If your vehicle cuts out after driving through deep water, donot attempt to restart it as engine damage may occur, instead callfor assistance and have the vehicle professionally examined.

To join RAC contact 0800 550 550 or visit

For more motoring advice visit the car care section of


For more information please contact:
RAC Rescue PR Manager
Tel: 01922 727434
Mob: 07860 414007

Tessa Richardson
RAC Media Relations Executive
Tel: 020 8917 2742
Mob: 07860 633 656

Notes to editors:

About Norwich Union Insurance

  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14 per cent
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    - One in five households
    - One in seven motor vehicles
    - Around 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Aviva, Norwich Union's parent company, recently announced itsacquisition of the RAC. The acquisition brings together the RAC'spowerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leadingposition in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance.

Back to top