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Cars float in water covering a downtown street in High River, Alberta on June 20, 2013.

People thinking of buying vehicles from Alberta should take extra care to make sure they're not flood-damaged, Saskatchewan Government Insurance says.

Following heavy rains last month, many neighbourhoods in Calgary, High River and other communities sustained heavy flooding.

However, when Saskatchewan people buy Alberta vehicles, flood damage might not show up in the vehicle's history.  

Hidden damage to the electrical system as well as structural damage can put drivers here at risk, SGI says.

Toxic contamination due to untreated waste and mold is also a concern, the government-owned insurer says.

SGI says people who are shopping for an Alberta car should consider buying from a licensed dealer, rather than a private seller.

As well, potential buyers are advised to take the following steps:

  • Research the vehicle's history using SGI's Cross-Canada VIN search or a third-party site such as CarProof.
  • Ask the seller about damage and ensure that their response is documented, in writing, prior to the sale.
  • Look for signs of water damage, such as moldy or damp odours, or any signs of rust or mud in the trunk, vents, or glove box, under the seats or dashboard, or on the carpet.
  • Check under the hood for signs of water or silt.
  • Test the heater, air conditioner, lights, turn signals, gauges, radio, cigarette lighter and windshield wipers, to ensure water has not impacted electrical systems.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by a certified technician prior to purchasing and specifically have them check for signs of flooding and water damage.