Cars about to be discontinued or have already finished production are, obviously, a lot cheaper than ones still rolling off the production lines. One of the reasons for this price drop is there is no guarantee how long parts will continue to still be available for these now defunct models. So, are they worth buying?
Newly Obsolete Cars
Cars that have been recently discontinued should continue to have parts made for them for several years to come. Car manufacturers have a duty to their customers to continue to offer parts to their cars for the reasonable expected life of the car; indeed, it is quite a profitable sideline for them. There is, however, no set time limit, and part production times will vary from car to car and manufacturer to manufacturer. Before buying an obsolete, second-hand car, it is worth contacting the car’s manufacturer to get an idea of how long the parts should be in production for. If you buy a car that is still under manufacturer’s warranty, parts should still be available at least for the rest of the warranty period. Where the manufacturer itself is no longer in operation, parts may be more difficult to come by.
Substitute Parts May Still Be Available
Car parts supplied by the car’s manufacturer are known as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts; however, just as you can get unbranded soft drinks, you can get unbranded car parts, which are known as aftermarket parts. These may be available long after the OEM parts have ceased being produced. Whilst the demand is there, aftermarket parts will continue to be made. If a part you need is no longer made by anyone, specialist companies should also be able to make whatever you need.
If a car has been involved in an accident or has got beyond its useful life and ended up on the scrapheap, this doesn’t mean it is completely worthless. Some of its components may be in near perfect condition and available for reuse. As recycling is now encouraged, there is a growing market in used car parts, many of which are OEM. You can buy them directly from salvage yards and also on eBay.
Classic cars are worth more if they are repaired or restored with OEM parts. There are specialist, vintage, OEM parts sellers, but if you cannot get the right part, an aftermarket one won’t dent the value too much.
Before buying an obsolete vehicle, ask a reputable mechanic how easy it is to procure parts. This should give you an idea of whether it is worth pursuing the sale.