One of the biggest concerns with buying a used car is making a purchase that can potentially later be revealed to be hugely damaged or otherwise problematic. That’s why many used car buyers balk at whether or not they should buy a car with rust damage. Is it worth buying a car that has rust
One of the biggest concerns with buying a used car is making a purchase that can potentially later be revealed to be hugely damaged or otherwise problematic. That’s why many used car buyers balk at whether or not they should buy a car with rust damage.
Is it worth buying a car that has rust damage? Maybe. It depends on a variety of factors.
First and foremost: Just how bad is the rust damage, and where is it? For example, the occasional spots of rust on the door of a car frame are unquestionably unsightly and should reduce the price you pay for the car, but that doesn’t mean a car is unusable. However, if you are dealing with major rust damage on the frame of the car, or on any parts, you may really want to think twice. Remember, rust can spread.
This leads to another important question: Has the rust on a car been treated, and is your used car dealer that you may be buying the car from willing to treat the rust? Given its propensity to spread – and particularly to spread in certain climates – this is absolutely something that must be answered. It may also be worth having a third party inspect the car before making a final purchase decision, as one small spot of rust in a highly visible place may be indicative of additional problems. If you are unable to get a third party to inspect the car before purchase, make sure you give a thorough look over, and find out what assurances a dealer can make to you to confirm that there will be no other rust. Furthermore, if there is additional rust that causes functional problems for the car, you should make sure that you would be able to return it and get your money back.
Keep in mind that a car with major rust damage would likely fail an inspection and not be able to be driven safely. If a car has significant rust damage, it does not speak well of a car dealership that is trying to move the vehicle.
As we’ve noted, rust is problematic, but not necessarily fatal when it comes to making a car purchase. However, given the major potential issues – both cosmetic and functional – the price simply must reflect the existence of rust. If the price is not adjusted downward for the presence of rust, you should walk away immediately. Rust is not only unsightly and problematic for cars, but it will damage your ability to resell or trade-in the car at a later date. As such, the price must reflect these issues.