Since the regulation changes and tariff reductions in the 90’s there has been a huge influx of second hand Japanese cars into New Zealand.
The economy has benefited from these changes, even though there were initially many people against the idea seeing that it would lead to job losses from closed manufacturing plants. It just wasn’t viable to keep those vehicle factories running.
There were affordability gains too, for relatively little money car ownership was in the grasp of nearly everyone.
There were a few unscrupulous car dealers and importers who knowingly sold cars with wound back odometers and even crashed and patched up vehicles with bent chassis. However, the condition of these imported Rust Paint vehicles was generally good. Many are still on the road and being well looked after.
One of the unfortunate draw backs of owning an imported Japanese vehicle is the potential for serious rust damage, because most countries in northern latitudes de-ice their roads in winter with salt and other additives applied to the roads that have a corrosive effect on the body-work of the vehicles travelling on them.
On first inspection the rust may seem minimal. But remember that at some point the car was probably travelling along a road covered in a salty slush. It finds its way into all the places under the car that water wouldn’t be a concern, the salt and anti- freezing compounds on the other hand will rust away at the nooks and crannies it settles and dries in, most unseen.
It might take some time to detect the severity of rust damage, if caught in time it can be stopped. Mostly some welding is required to fix the damaged area. There are rubber based coatings that can be sprayed on the underside of the car as well. An experienced automotive technician can advise you on the best plan of action after inspecting for rust damaged be it structural or cosmetic.