The Best Used Cars to Buy if You Live Close to the Ocean

If you live close to the ocean, your vehicle is going to be far more vulnerable to rust than if you lived further inland. And the fact is, when it comes to resisting rust, not all vehicles are created equal. Ideally, you should invest in annual rust protection, but it’s also important to start out with a vehicle that you know was protected at the factory level. This is just as important when you’re buying a used vehicle as it is when you’re buying new.

We have investigated several different vehicles, and for purposes of this article, we’re going to stick with manufacturers and refer to a few models. Generally speaking, manufacturers will provide the same level of rust protection to all their vehicles. Our top manufacturers for rust-resistant cars are Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, BMW, Mini, and Honda.

  • Audi: The A3, A4 and S4 all receive excellent rust protection at the manufacturing stage, and can be counted on to remain rust-free for a long time, even if you live near the ocean and are frequently exposed to salty air.

  • Volkswagen: The Beetle, Golf, GTI, Passat, Rabbit and Jetta all receive excellent factory rust protection, but may rust in some areas sooner than the Audi.

  • Volvo: The CX70 and S60, the V50, V70 and S40 all receive excellent rust protection at the factory, and will remain rust-free for quite some time.

  • BMW: The rust protection at the factory level is good, but you may find that rust will appear in certain areas of the vehicle sooner than others.

  • Mini: The Cooper and Countryman both get good factory rust protection.

  • Honda: The Acura CSX and TL, the CRV, Fit, Accord, Civic and Odyssey all get good protection. The Acura CSX, the Civic and the CR-V, however, will tend to develop rust in certain areas sooner than the other models.

The used cars we evaluated stood up very well to rust, but ultimately, pretty much any vehicle that is constantly exposed to ocean air is going to develop rust to one degree or another. Regular rust-proofing beyond what is provided at the point of manufacturing can extend the life of your vehicle. We recommend annual rust protection for any car, regardless of age, make or model.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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