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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Caz

17 years of experience
57 reviews
Caz
17 years of experience
Honda Insight - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Acworth, Georgia
Patient, thorough, professional and takes his time to explain things. This is the second time I have used Caz's services, and he consistently delivers. Look forward to working with him again.
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
My husband and I are looking for a reliable used car for our teenage drivers. We had two that we were considering and wanted to have them inspected prior to purchasing. Caz did a thorough inspection of both vehicles and recommended we walk away from both. We really appreciated his transparency and knowledge. We will definitely use Caz again.

Chris

22 years of experience
2001 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Porsche Macan - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Chris you as so knowledgeable and really out my mid at ease with the private seller purchase. Highly recommend to anyone shopping for a car :)
Lexus ES300h - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Temecula, California
Amazing guy.... called and gave me what felt to be his honest and straightforward opinion on my vehicle.... def will book him again in the future for work

Casey

19 years of experience
27 reviews
Casey
19 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Katy, Texas
Casey is awesome. Helped me fully understand the health of the used vehicle I was buying for my mother in law. Great service and very knowledgeable for sure. Casey found only one issue we needed to deal with and was able to book the repair just a few days later.

Colby

14 years of experience
21 reviews
Colby
14 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Longmont, Colorado
Colby called to notify me he was in route to the inspection--to ease my mind and to ask if there was anything in particular/extra I wanted him to check out. He was going to do a pre-purchase inspection of a 2002 Ford Ranger. He assured me that I hired the right guy since he'd worked for Ford for 13 years. An hour or so later, he called me while he was driving home to discuss his inspection. I could ask him everything I wanted as we dialogued. That was so helpful! And way more personable and real than just reading the report he emailed. The report was thorough and included a test drive. He had recommendations for some work to be immediately done; rotors & brake pads. Then, included the cost for him to do that work should I choose. The price was fair and not crazy expensive. I'm still deliberating on whether to have that done or to wait for my mechanic to do it once I have the truck. Thank you again Colby.

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