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Which Pickup Trucks Rust the Least?

When you’re paying thousands, or sometimes even tens of thousands, of dollars for a truck, you want to make sure it isn’t going to turn into a rust bucket in a few years. 

So, which trucks hold up and which aren’t worth your money? 

Trucks that rust the least include the 2015 Ford F-150, the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, and 2013-2018 Rams. Typically, newer trucks and ones made from aluminum are the most resistant to rust. However, every truck will eventually rust. 

In this article, I will list the most and least rust-resistant pickup trucks. 

Then, I’ll discuss which climates cause pickups to rust the most and the least, as well as how to keep your truck from rusting and why pickups rust so easily. 

Which Pickup Trucks Are the Most Rust-Resistant?

A dusty, black Ford F-150 parked on a dirt road.

In general, newer pickup trucks are the most rust-resistant because anti-corrosion technology has steadily improved over the years. 

Also, if you’re worried about rust, you are best off choosing a truck with an aluminum body since aluminum doesn’t rust as quickly as other materials. 

Overall, here are the most rust-resistant pickup trucks on the market: 

  • 2015 Ford F-150 
  • 2012 Chevrolet Colorado 
  • 2017 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2013-2018 Rams 
  • 2016-2018 Fiat Toro 
  • 2012 Mazda BT-50 
  • 2014 Isuzu D-Max 
  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 
  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class 
  • 2017 Volkswagen Amarok Aventura

Note: when reading this list, remember that just because these trucks are the most rust-resistant doesn’t mean they will never rust. 

So, if you own one of these trucks, you should still take precautions to ensure it does not rust. 

Which Pickup Trucks Rust the Most?

Since pickup trucks tend to rust faster than other vehicles, there are plenty of trucks that have racked up rust complaints over the years. 

Pickup trucks with major rust complaints: 

  • 2000-2005 Nissan Frontier
  • 1998-2014 GMC Sierra 
  • 1998-1999 Chevrolet Silverado 
  • 2005-2010 Toyota Tacoma 
  • 2007-2008 Toyota Tundra 
  • 1973-1997 Chevrolet C/K 
  • 1997-1999 Ford F-250 
  • 2006 Ram 1500 
  • 2005-2008 Nissan Navara D40 
  • 2005 Ford F-150 

Do Fords or Chevrolets Rust More?

Close-up photo of a rusty, orange Chevrolet 3600.

Overall, Fords and Chevrolets rust about the same, as both brands use similar materials and anti-rust methods. 

Yet, of course, you should stay away from the models listed above, which are most prone to rust. 

In What Climates Do Pickup Trucks Rust the Most?

Certain climates are known to cause metals to rust faster than others. 

So, if you live in the following climates, you should take extra precautions to keep your truck from rusting. 

Coastal Regions

If you live near the ocean, your truck is at a high risk of corroding. 

You see, salt and water are two of the biggest contributors to rust, as they get down into the pores of metal and degrade it. 

And, of course, if you live in a coastal region, the air will contain a lot of water and salt from the sea, which will quickly wear down your car’s metal components. 

Snowy Regions

Typically, when it snows, a state’s Department of Transportation will send out vehicles to lay down road salt

This salt lowers the freezing point of water and provides more friction for vehicle tires, decreasing the risk of slipping. 

However, as I said above, salt is notorious for corroding metal. 

Thus, when the salt enters the pores of your truck’s metal, it will cause rust.

The Rust Belt

The car rust belt, not to be confused with the factory rust belt, is a portion of the Northeastern US where cars are most at risk of rust. 

Basically, these states are both coastal and snowy, meaning that the climate quickly rusts vehicles. 

The states that are part of the vehicle rust belt are: 

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Rhode Island 
  • Connecticut 
  • New York 

New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia are also states where rust tends to be a big problem, although not as severely as in those listed above. 

In What Climates Do Pickup Trucks Rust the Least?

A blue pickup truck parked on a desert road behind a mountain, with a brown dog approaching.

Trucks tend to rust the least in dry places where there is little snow. 

The states where trucks and other vehicles are the least likely to rust are: 

  • California 
  • Nevada 
  • Arizona 
  • New Mexico 
  • Texas 
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas

However, coastal areas in these states may see more rust problems than inland regions. 

And, also, states that have a low-to-medium risk of rust include: 

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi 
  • Alabama 
  • Georgia 
  • Tennessee 
  • North Carolina 

How to Keep a Truck From Rusting?

In the following sections, I will describe some of the best ways to keep your truck from rusting.

Store it in an Enclosed Area

One of the best methods you can use to keep your truck from rusting is to store it in an enclosed area whenever possible. 

Ideally, this place should also be temperature regulated. 

However, if you don’t have a place like this where you can park your truck, even parking under an awning will help keep it away from corroding elements. 

Wash it Regularly

Since salt can easily cause rust, you should always wash it off your vehicle before it gets a chance to do damage. 

If you live in a coastal region, this means scrubbing your truck down rather frequently. 

Or, for those who reside in snowy climates, you should give your truck some extra attention in the winter to eliminate road salt.

Touch Up the Paint

Your truck’s paint isn’t just for aesthetics; it also protects the metal underneath from rust. 

Thus, if you get a scratch or worn spot in your paint, you should fit it as soon as possible. 

Otherwise, rust will start to form on the unpainted metal. 

Clean the Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping refers to the pieces of rubber on your truck’s doors and windows. 

These strips keep rainwater and other unwanted material out of your vehicle. 

However, they can also trap water and other muck, which can cause the metal around them to corrode. 

So, every so often, clean out any debris under or on your weatherstripping and then wipe it dry. 

Use Undercoating

Undercoating is an anti-rust product, usually in the form of a spray, which you can apply to your truck’s undercarriage. 

When applied, undercoating creates a film that protects the metal underneath your truck from coming in direct contact with rust-causing water and salt. 

And since the undercarriage is usually the part of the truck that rusts first, undercoating can significantly reduce the amount of rust that forms on your vehicle. 

Why Do Pickup Trucks Rust More Than Other Vehicles?

A rusted vintage Ford pickup truck with an old surfboard tied to the truck bed.

Contrary to popular belief, pickup trucks do not rust easier than other vehicles. 

Rather, pickup trucks tend to rust more than other cars because their owners usually drive them in conditions that lead to rust. 

For instance, when there’s snow on the roads, people are more likely to drive their four-wheel drive pickup trucks than their tiny sedans. 

Plus, since many people use their trucks primarily for work, they typically aren’t as interested in keeping them perfectly clean, which leads to premature rust.

Bottom Line

Though some pickup models and years are more prone to rust, how fast a particular truck corrodes typically has more to do with climate and maintenance. 

Thus, if you want to keep your truck looking like new, you should keep it clean and away from the elements. 

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