Noses of cars lined up on a dealership lot

Is it smart to buy orphaned cars?

Should you buy a vehicle that is no longer made?

Car models and even brands tend to come and go, and this can make buying them used a little scary for some. Should you buy a vehicle that is no longer made? These cars are often more affordable, but is it a smart buy? We dive into this issue and try to help you find the solution that you’re looking for.

What are the issues with buying orphaned cars?

When a car company stops making a car, we typically call this an orphaned car. There are hundreds if not thousands of examples of both models and entire brands being phased out. Most people are afraid to buy them because they are afraid that repairs could be costly with available parts disappearing from the market. Let’s explore why that is actually rarely an issue.

generic starter motorFinding parts for models that no longer exist

If it’s just a model that no longer exists and not an entire brand, then you likely have nothing to worry about. A model like the Dodge Dakota, Buick Verano, or Toyota Venza still has plenty of support from its parent brand. Not only will they continue to make parts to keep current owners happy and brand loyal, but many of the parts used in these vehicles are likely still used by sister cars that are still in production.

It’s a fallacy to think that these “orphaned” vehicles aren’t just as buyable as other models. A Toyota Camry from a few years ago, for example, is essentially an entirely different model from the current Camry models. It may fill the same slot in the Toyota lineup, but it is not the same car. Even so, Toyota will support both of them equally for many years to come.

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aftermarket ball jointsFinding parts for brands that no longer exist

This prospect can be a little more difficult, but for many recently deceased brands, there’s nothing to worry about because the parent company is still alive and well.

Plymouth, Scion, Pontiac, and Mercury, just to name a few, all still have support through active companies. Plymouth has FCA (Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram), Scion has Toyota, Pontiac has GM, and Mercury has Ford.


Popular technology from Chevy


What about aftermarket parts?

Aftermarket parts are also still an option for any of the situations listed above, and they can even be of assistance when the entire brand has gone under. One such brand is SAAB, which has been kept alive entirely by aftermarket providers.

In short, do your research. If the orphaned car you want to buy still has backing from a brand, you’re likely in good hands. Otherwise, ensure that there is an active aftermarket scene that can keep your car on the road.


Benefits of buying from a used car dealership