You could be at greater risk of committing several common driving offences if you buy a second-hand car without realising it was damaged in the recent flooding.

According to the AA, the estimated insurance cost of the recent floods in vehicle damage alone is likely to be around £14 million.

But many owners may choose to simply sell their cars on once they have dried out – without mentioning that they’ve been submerged in water.

For the new owners, who may not immediately be able to tell that the car was in floodwater, that could make certain driving offences more likely.

The AA warns that water damage can affect how well the brakes work, and can shorten the lifespan of catalytic converters, potentially leading to greater emission levels from the car’s exhaust.

Worryingly, electrical damage can also mean that air bags either do not work at all, or inflate at a random point in time.

Moisture trapped in the brake light housings could also affect their operation – all of which can combine to make driving offences much more likely for well-meaning drivers, who should be particularly vigilant if buying a second-hand car in the coming months.