06 mk3 - is this level of rust acceptable?

Hi all, looking for some advice on a mk3 i plan to view at the weekend, i asked the owner to send over a few pics of the common rust spots (sills, rear arches, boot etc.) and he did. Looking at the pictures i can see a small amount of what looks like surface rust around the frames but in my untrained eyes it doesnt look like anything too bad for the age and price, i would get the car fully undersealed if it ended up buying it but i wanted some more opinions if the car is worth taking a look at further.


1.8 06 mk3
90k miles
up for £3250, leaving some in the budget for few bits like underseal

Whether acceptable or not is up to you, it’s normal for an 06.
Price Is a bit steep for a rusty 1.8, it’s likely to be using oil too.
It won’t need underseal, it’ll need an underbody restoration and quite possibly welding - wait until you or someone else sees the underside.
What does the MOT history say?
More reading here: http://www.duratecnc.co.uk/?p=52

If whoever buys the car and wants it to keep for a good few years then yes invest in an underbody full restoration. There’s surface rust and there’s rust that starts from the inside of sills if the drain holes are blocked from not regularly cleaning them. You’ll need those inspecting with a camera before parting with your cash.
Also, 90k, 06plate, £3250 not sure about but the colour Winning Blue, brilliant.

The rust is normal for a 06 mk3. However as it is bubbling on the rear arches near the sills it is very likely that the lower section of the wheel arch and sill is rotten and will need replacing, will require a bit more than just under sealing. If you are going to see the car you need to get under and have a prod around the sill/wheel arch area and the rear chassis rails.

I spy the rear chassis brace bar has rotted, definitely would crawling under that to have a look what else has.

Tyres are a bit budget also, won’t be very grippy, shows it’s been run on a tight budget.
But as others say, does the MOT history have any mention of rust. Also get under it with a torch and have a good look.

Thanks all for the advise so far, MOT history is fairly standard (the odd failure for headlight alignment and tyre tread) up until the last MOT where it had 2 major defects both for significant suspension mounting area sill and wheel arch rust, i quizzed the seller about this and this is when he bought it off the previous owner who had the welding work done before selling the car, the current owner apparently checked the work with a local mx5 guru who said it was all done properly. but i will be making sure to give it all a good once over when i go to view the car, additionally he did make a point of mentioning frequently cleaning the sill drain holes so i suppose that bodes well. Only thing that makes me a little concerned is while looking back through the pictures i missed one of the underside, id like to think i know some things mechanically but i couldn’t for the life of me tell what part of the car this was?

It’s the front subframe.

It’s been mentioned that you will need to inspect some areas with a camera but what was not clear is that this camera will need to be a “ bore-a-scope” type camera. In many places rust starts inside the box sections of the car and the first you know that there is rust; is when the paint starts bubbling. The sills/wheel arches are a good example of this!
On YouTube there are videos of MX5 rust on the MK3 posted by MX5 restorer (I think) showing some really bad cases or rust. Maybe worth viewing those.