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Should I buy a 2014 Toyota LandCruiser if there is visible rust?

Asked by Pilar

I am considering buying a 2014 Toyota LandCruiser 70 workmate here in Western Australia. I noticed there is rust in multiple places such as underneath the car, around the engine and in the wheels. Should I walk away of this or should I consider it still? I thought buying from the Toyota dealership gives piece of mind but it’s not that clear for me as if I have to re-sell the car might be very difficult by then. The car drove very well, I just noticed the rust. The rust was also visible on certain areas outside like around the windows.

Answered by CarsGuide

23 Dec 2021 David Morley

Any time there’s rust on a Toyota LandCruiser from Western Australia, the alarm bells start ringing. And that’s because these vehicles are frequently used by the mining industry and lead very hard – and often very short – working lives. Salt water and acidic conditions in many mines means vehicles can have a very short life expectancy. Toyota works hard to rust-proof its vehicles, but mine work will still often overcome those efforts.

The problem, as you’ve already identified, is that the person you eventually try to sell the vehicle to will be hearing the same alarm bells, and the vehicle may be difficult to on-sell even if the rust is merely superficial. That said, rust around the windows and underneath the car suggests that at the very least, the vehicle needs a close inspection by a specialist, and taking a punt on it doesn’t seem like a great idea to us. Perhaps an independent inspection by the RACWA would be a wise investment. I’d be finding out who the vehicle was previously registered to as a double-check.

Buying from a Toyota dealer should perhaps infer some kind of protection, but bear in mind that in WA, unlike a passenger car less than 10 years old, a commercial vehicle (such as a LandCruiser ute) does not come with any statutory warranty. Ex-mine vehicles are often sold relatively cheaply. Your current experience is why.

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