The efforts of new automotive industry are mainly directed towards the substitution of aluminum for steel in the body structure because the aluminum structures are lighter than traditional steel ones and meet the requirements, in terms of both vehicle design and manufacture. However, this substitution is not so automatic, but it is important to study the material properties and the structure design, focusing the attention on the methods of joining. Welding, typical technique to joint steel parts, is particularly difficult when applied on aluminum ones and then, in many cases, the adhesive bonding is preferred. To optimise the joint performances it is necessary to pre-treat the metal surface, not only to remove contaminants, but also to provide the intimate contact needed for the adhesive to successfully bond with the adherent surface. The mere cleaning of aluminum surfaces is not suitable for their bonding due to the oxide layer that naturally occurs on exposure to air so we need to apply a more effective treatment (mechanical or chemical etching) to increase the adhesion capability of the substrates. In this work different adhesive joint configurations (single lap) between aluminum substrates are studied. Two different resins are employed to evaluate the influence of the adhesive on the joint performances. Moreover the aluminum sheets are treated with a chemical etching with two different procedures.