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Someone warned me to never buy a second hand car from the coast because cars rust faster and you cannot always see which hidden parts are rusted. The expectation is that cars from the coast has a much shorter lifespan than cars from the inland.

However, a sales person told us that since 2002 most car manufacturers switched to electrostatic coat painting to protect the cars against rust. He also added that most modern car's parts are made from aluminium, plastic and other materials that do not rust.

For that reason he claims that it does not matter whether you buy a second hand car from the coast or from the inland as long as the car was never painted over by a panel beater and the car still has its original electrostatic paint coat.

Is it true that modern cars rust equally fast at the coast and inland?

  • It is true that most cars don't rust as much as they used to, but coast and inland still makes a difference. It is not like the entire car is made of aluminum, nnly certain components typically in luxury cars. Most economy cars are still made with steel. If I were you I would try to buy a inland car. – rana Oct 24 '16 at 18:32
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Though each car is different, yes, they may tend to rust faster in coastal areas. This is even true for newer models. Newer models may resist corrosion (rust) better than older ones, but they are still susceptible.

Anything that is prone to corrosion is going to be at a higher risk in coastal areas. Sea water gets aerosolized, which creates airborne salt content levels much higher than non-coastal areas. Rain and morning dew can leave salt water deposits on your vehicle. The higher salt content promotes corrosion.

Sources - Does Living Near The Ocean Affect Your Car?
Why Does a Car Rust Faster at the Seaside? - Vol.133

  • 4
    +1 But, the salt in the air is not from evaporation. Salt doesn't evaporate. (Well, around 2,575°F it might...) The salt is in the sea water that gets tossed around and aerosolized. You know the "sea mist"? That's aerosolized water and salt. The water may evaporate off those small droplets making the salt very light weight. It then blows in the air similar to dust. – Zach Mierzejewski Oct 24 '16 at 19:27

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