Buying a Car: Should You Consider a Discontinued Model?
Say you're buying a car. You're searching for the right model; you're doing all the homework; you're reading reviews and checking AutoTrader.com to see what's available. You have your list narrowed to a few models. And then you discover the car you want is about to be canceled by its manufacturer. Do you take it off your list? Do you stop considering it? We have a few thoughts.
One of the biggest questions shoppers have when they hear their car will be canceled relates to parts. More specifically, will parts continue to be available after the car is gone?
In general, the answer is yes. If an automaker stops building a car, it will continue building parts for years after the car goes out of production. Other companies will build parts, too. Plus, many modern cars share parts with other cars -- so even if the one you're looking at has been canceled, it's likely that the automaker will still build parts for other vehicles that share its engine, transmission or even smaller pieces, such as window switches.
There are some cases, however, in which finding parts may be an issue. If it wasn't just your car but the entire brand that's been canceled, parts supply may be more questionable. Examples include Saab, which left the U.S. market several years ago, and Suzuki, which dropped out last year.
If you're considering a car that's been canceled, chances are it's being pulled from an automaker's lineup due to poor sales. To many shoppers, that won't matter; as long as you like the vehicle, who cares if other drivers bought it?
But for some shoppers, there may be shame in driving a car that's been canceled, and that could be enough to turn you away from buying it. You may not want an old body style, for instance, or a car that's been rejected by the public. We certainly won't judge you if this is the case, since many models are discontinued for being old and outdated -- and we wouldn't recommend buying a vehicle with those flaws.
Some shoppers focus solely on vehicles going out of production because they believe they'll be a good deal. Is that true?
Almost always, the answer is yes. If a car is canceled or heading for cancellation, dealers won't want to keep it around long -- either because something else is on the way or other dealers nearby will drop prices to move inventory, leading to a cycle of lower prices and shrinking profits. As a result, you can usually get a great deal on a car that will be canceled.
But there's a drawback: A car that's slated for cancellation usually has worse resale value than a typical model. This is largely due to the "cool factor" explained above. So if you buy a canceled car and keep it only a few years, any initial savings will likely be lost when selling it.
The choice of buying a car slated for cancellation is yours. There are positives, such as getting a good deal and that parts will be available, and negatives, such as lower resale value and the diminished "cool factor" of having a discontinued car. If you don't mind the drawbacks, we suggest considering it the next time you're buying a car -- though we also suggest negotiating a hefty discount if you do.