Unrealistic in my search or not?

Hi, as some of you may know, in my search for my first MX5, my budget is maxing out at £7000, I’m looking for a 2006-2009(possibly 2010) 2.0litre sport.

However, today I viewed at a new local dealer, (turns out old school but not in a good way), a 2010 2.0litre sport tech coupe with 23,000 on the clock, for which he is asking, in my humble opinion, a very rich £11,780.

The point of my tale, is that I noticed very obvious paint bubbling on the rear deck, already!

So am I being unrealistic in expecting to find a rust free MX5 in my budget range, that I can keep, un-garaged, for say four or five years without having to payout on expensive body repairs?

Or do I just have to be very choosey and take my time in my search.

Best regards,


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Hi Graham.
As you know prices are very strong at the moment, and I guess some will chance-their-arm on getting top money for far less than a top example of an MX-5!
It’s always best to find the best example you can especially if it’s a keeper…
Hoping something nice comes your way soon…

11 years old mild steel car in the wunnerfule weather in the UK with a bit of bubbling seems fair enough really.
Prices are very strong right now…too strong for some.
Sellers’ market really, more than you being unrealistic.
Some 5’s have sold recently either matching or well exceeding the purchase of a year or so back.
Lots of other threads & comments in this forum about it.
It’s not just about 5’s either. Transport Fleet Managers are having major headaches trying to source decent low miles used Class2’s and “Sprinters”.
Keep looking. Ain’t your fault at all. Market Forces.
Take your time. It’s fine for them to get your wedge…you are the one left to live with the result of your choice.


I’ve just had a big shock when I did a search for cars like mine on the mazda website.

I car that is the same age as mine, same colour, spec and mileage, is now £4000 more than I paid. This car is now 3 years old, not the 1 year when bought mine and there is no way I would pay the current price for a 3 year old car.

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I am not sure this rise in used car prices is down to more demand, maybe it is for MX-5’s as they are mostly summer cars, and for other niche models…
But there is plenty of used stock withheld on purpose by the industry. Are we being conditioned to get used to higher prices, so that we accept the higher prices of the soon-to-be compulsory electric cars, or are we just being forced to consider buying new (or not buying at all)?

I clocked one for £7k (Sport Tech) looked a very good, one owner from new, 69k on the clock. The advert read very well, pictures, some from a distance looked good, well under my budget but it was silver.
Hmm… I thought let’s have a closer look, the advert disappeared for around 24hrs, I thought sold. Not surprised me thinks, low and behold it appeared again revised description. All of a sudden it had gained a few marks and scuffs and damage to the front. Yep ok I thought, being honest that’s why it’s a low price, others in that range 2010 plate were at least £8-9k and s good deal more.
The seller also forgot (conveniently)to mention the bash the rear bumper had taken, it was obvious in one picture.

So we move on, cheap for a reason, always . Even the more expensive ones have their problems, it’s all about how much you are willing to put up with or pay out to have these snags corrected, if it bothers you.:+1:

There’s also one on (Autotrader) masquerading as a Sport Tech, again silver, it’s not, it’s a Sport but they want Sport Tech money.:-1:

IF you buy a car now, I strongly suspect you will catch a cold in some 6-12 months time.
As production perhaps picks up, supply and demand changes etc etc.
Who knows really :man_shrugging:
I bought my 2013 Sport Tech in 2016 and by the look of it near as damn it the same price now.
Bubbling on the rear deck seems to be a problem for “some” colours perhaps. Been mentioned on here a few times before.

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If it’s a keeper, well long term it won’t seem so bad paying a higher price now.
Having said that I’m having trouble even going to look at over priced cars ATM, I just can’t give them my hard earned.
Private sale is the way to go, difficult I know, fewer cars to go at but maybe just that bit lower priced, oh and no bull s***

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I wouldn’t get hung up on garaging a MX5. They rust from the inside out, not outside in. In some cases, garaging outside (but regularly used) is better than poor ventilated, occasionally used, inside.

I know there is currently a focus on NC rust, but looking at MOT stats for 2006 cars, they are still much much better than other similarly aged cars.


And the Achilles Heal is still that combination of a MZR engine and negligant owners. Its an engine thats not very tolerant of a dip in the oil level. And its still the case that rust repairs are much much cheaper than a new engine. Rust is easier to spot than a duff engine.

On the coupes, is the “deck” that’s referred to even steel? I thought perhaps aluminium. Blebs in painted aluminium parts is down to poor paint, probably there since the car came off the boat. Alumnium doesn’t rust through. SOrt of thing you could insist on a dealer attending to before sale, and not really worrying about it.

More important is to check the underside, and a problematic car can be seen at a glance. I would not expect a rust free15 year old car.

Don’t assume you don’t have to worry about the engine if the miles are low. The engines are capable of high mileages if looked after correctly.

I got my 2018 ND2 2litre just over a year ago, with around 7k on the clock and I remember thinking back then, am I buying in at the top end of the market after the then recent hike in new ones?.. Just over a year on… I see mine having a value of around £2k more now…
Feels nice but in truth it’s just relative in a strong 2nd hand car market…

Crazy market and agree. I checked Auto Trader and clearly a few chancing the price too. But if people are paying it then who can blame them really.
This one same year nearly the same mileage (mine is copper red mica) £400 more than I paid in 2016!

Hi Guys,

Thank you for the great replies, never expected so many, much enjoyed.

To sum up, perhaps I’m best taking my time, buying the best I can and not getting hung up on the rust?

Also, buying later MX5’s is not necessarily going to get me a better car bodily?

Best regards,



Exactly the spec/colour/year I would be interested in. I would even travel to the other end of the country to secure it. Sadly the price is too high, about £1.5 - £2k too high.:dizzy_face::-1:

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It’s not just used cars that are rocketing in value, houses are as well, and there’s plenty of pricing shenanigans going on in the property market.
We are (still, 18m and counting) looking to move to a more rural location in the South West, somewhere within about 25 miles of Salisbury, and prices have lifted by around 20% in this time, plus on numerous occasions I have seen houses advertised, then apparently sold as the ad disappears, only to reappear a few weeks later at a much higher price, (initially 500k, new ad at £550k for example)
I guess agents suggest a price, the house goes on the market, interest is high and instant, so owners think it was underpriced, take it off, and readvertise it at the higher price.
I don’t blame owners for doing this, but do find it frustrating. Plus we’re slowly getting priced out of the area we want to move to unless we either take out a mortgage (we’re mortgage free) or add to the value of our current house from savings, neither of which we want to do.

Everything seems to be going up. I’m semi retired building trade & used to be able to give prices off the top of my head. Now I am finding I have to check material prices first to avoid underpricing myself. A length of timber that was £1.99 is now £4.49 a length.

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The bubbling is not rust, as the deck is made of a composite material.
I’m lucky and don’t have it but it is, allegedly, pretty common.


Thought the boot lid is aluminium and it corrodes around the number plate lights and latch?

As I understand it, the soft top has an aluminium boot lid but the prht powered lid model has a steel boot lid that rusts around the number plate lights (like mine) but the rear deck that lifts as the roof goes up and down is some kind of plastic composite.
I think the actual roof is probably made of the same stuff.


I gather the boot and bonnet are aluminium, the part (forgive a newbie’s ignorance) I was talking about is the panel that lifts to enable the metal hood to fold away.

Aluminium or steel, I was surprised to see the bubbling paint.

I guess I thought by and large rust had disappeared!

The last time I experienced rust was on a 6 month old Fiat 128 in the early 1970’s.

Within the last two decades I have owned, a 10 year old Merc C class Estste, a 8 year old R56 Mini Cooper hatch, neither had any sign of the dreaded tin worm.

Best regards, Graham.