What to do with a flooded vehicle

Flooded Car Dubai

Although sporadic, when it rains in the UAE, it rains! This article might be relevant most days of the year, but right now, it certainly is. You’ve seen all the videos and pictures of vehicles stricken by water, but if it happens to you? Do you know what to do?

If the answer is no to that question, then we’re to help.

What should you do if your car breaks down?

First and foremost, before you do anything, DO NOT START THE CAR. Whatever you do, do not try and start the vehicle. Trying to restart the car will cause more water to go inside the engine and cause damage which can be rather expensive.

To get the vehicle out of harm’s way, call a roadside recovery or speak to your insurance company if you have paid for emergency recovery services.

How to avoid damaging your car when rain strikes.

  1. Don’t drive if you don’t have to – This is an obvious one unless it’s a real emergency or your really craving for that shawarma on the other side of Dubai. Just stay indoors, you won’t even get wet.
  2. Don’t speed on waterlogged roads – Another obvious one. Driving through a lot of water fast will result in a lot of water going into various components, including the air filter. This, of course will lead to a breakdown.
  3. Check the water level – While you don’t have x-ray vision to see through the water, you can tell how high it is by looking at your surroundings. If the water level is up to the pavement/curb, then don’t risk it.
  4. Don’t follow to close – Following another vehicle through water is not a good idea. Don’t do it.

How much does it cost to repair?

The rain can affect your vehicle in a number of ways;

  1. Internal computer damage – Just because its raining outside, doesn’t mean your car’s internals are safe. If water gets in, a replacement internal computer costs AED 500+.
  2. Engine damage – This is the most expensive of all and prices vary depending on the vehicle and severity of the damage.
  3. Interior damage – If the water creeps inside your car, it can leave a nasty smell inside even if you have leather upholstery. A full interior clean costs around AED 500.
  4. External damage – Although rare in the UAE, when massive amounts of rain arrives, hail follows suit. Hail does far more damage as they are pellets of ice. Depending on how much damage is done, how much paint needs to be applied and the size of the vehicle. This can cost AED 500 and more!

Does insurance cover the costs?

Almost every first-party insurance plan covers damage by “natural perils” or “natural calamities” which includes hail, flood and storm. You’ll have to read the fine print though, as these will only be covered by comprehensive plans.

If you have third party insurance, the costs will not be covered, leaving you with the costs.

While it may seem like an additional expense, it may be worth looking into due to certain occurring weather annually.

Got any helpful tips to share with us and the rest of the UAE? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: The National


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the info.
    Is it possible to register the flooded car after sold in auction buy a person or the Insurance company.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for your valuable information provided, but I have a very important question related to flooded car.
    Suppose the insurance paid me for my flooded car and then sold in an auction, can some one buy flooded car and repair then register it again?

    • Christopher Milbourne
      Author September 21, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Hi Adil, we’ve heard stories of people selling fixed flooded cars. We would not recommend as these repairs are usually done cheaply and can cause more damage in the long run.


Comment on this article

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *