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How Rust Impacts Car Value

How Does Rust Affect Car Value?

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Rust is a common occurrence that affects most metals, including those used in your car's frame and panels. But how exactly does rust affect the value of your car? Even if it's only a small amount of rust, you may be curious about the implications. For many drivers, their car is an investment as much as anything else, so the presence of rust can send alarm bells ringing for many.

So, for everything you need to know on how rust affects your car’s value, the cost of removal, and whether it’s worth restoring a rusted car, keep reading on to hear from our team of experts. 

  • What is rust?
  • How does rust affect my car’s value?
  • How much does it cost to repair rust on a car?
  • Alternative options to repairing rust on your car

What is rust?

If you’ve left any metal object out in the elements for an extended amount of time, you’ll have noticed the telltale signs of rust, namely that reddish-brown flaky coating. This is a result of a simple chemical reaction between iron, oxygen, and water known as Oxidation. 

Science lesson out of the way, all you need to know as a car owner is that you don’t want rust affecting your car as it may affect the long-term performance of your car as well as its resale value later down the line. 

How does rust affect my car’s value?

The extent to which rust impacts your car’s resale value depends on various factors, including how much there is, where the rust is located, and how much it has damaged your car. Minor rusting is unlikely to decrease resale value too much, whereas more widespread rust may cause your car’s value to plummet - no one wants to buy a rust bucket. 

If you know your car has rust but want to have an accurate picture of the scale, consider getting a professional appraisal before selling or trading-in so you can get an accurate picture of what you can expect from it at the point of sale. 

How much does it cost to repair rust on a car?

The cost of removing rust from your car can range anywhere between £40 and £2,000, depending on the severity and location of the rust. You can split rust damage into three categories of severity:

1. Minor Rust Repair

This category refers to small rust spots that are less than 5 centimetres in diameter and have not perforated the metal. Minor rust repairs usually cost between £40 and £80. Some minor rust spots can even be addressed using a rust treatment kit at home.

2. Moderate Rust Repair

If the rust spot is larger but has not caused any holes in the metal, it would be considered a moderate repair. On average, moderate rust removal will cost between £160 and £240. In addition to a rust treatment kit, a filling compound may be necessary to achieve a seamless finish. It is generally recommended to seek professional assistance for this level of work.

3. Major Rust Repair

Major rust repairs often exceed £1,600. Dealing with extensive rust damage requires cutting away sections of rusted-through metal and welding in matching panels. Subsequently, the repaired area needs to be refinished to blend with the surrounding surfaces. Given the complexity of this work, it is crucial to consult a professional as attempting it independently is not advisable.

It is worth noting that these estimates can vary based on the specific location of the rust. In some instances, even minor rust damage in critical areas may need the replacement of expensive parts, resulting in repair costs that can reach into the thousands of pounds.

Alternative options to rust repair on your car 

Concerned that rust is going to decrease the value you can extract from your car? Do the cost of repairs seem untenable? Why not sell your car the quick and easy way with Sell 2 Swansway? 

Sell 2 Swansway offers a seamless and convenient way to sell your car that will put the money straight in your account, no fees or hassle. In fact you can get your car valued right now without even leaving your couch! With our quick and simple car valuation tool, you can get a fair quote for your car guaranteed for 7 days. 

No rush, no pressure, and we’ll even collect the car straight from your drive. Embrace the most convenient way to sell your car with Sell 2 Swansway today, get started now. 

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Holly Harris

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