A few days ago in a question and answer automobile section of the Wall Street Journal, a reader asked if it was okay to buy a SAAB. If you don’t already know, the Swedish automobile manufacturer filed for bankruptcy about a year ago. No one has yet to step up to the plate to buy them and start manufacturing cars and parts again.
I think it is terrible advice that Jonathan Swift gave to recommend that was okay to buy a SAAB. I usually like his car reviews and Q and A columns, but this time I think his advice is erroneous. On one hand I imagine you can get a great deal on them, since some might want to sell them in case parts become hard-to-find. However looking around the internet I found some people who are not able to find parts they need. After market parts manufacturers will continue to make many of the regular serviceable parts for a while, such as alternators and brake parts, but if no one buys and revives the brand it is a gamble, in the long term.
Many people today are struggling through the recession with debt and depleted savings, so purchasing a car that has higher incidents and costs of repairs compared to the average would be better off buying another brand, one they are certain they will be able to find parts for. There are many cars that fit the description of higher incidents and costs of repairs, especially for used ones, and I blogged about it earlier this year– these are the used cars that I would avoid. Cars cost a lot of the average person’s budget, when you consider loan or lease costs, purchase price, gas, oil changes, tires, insurance and regular maintenance. Why compound their expense by getting a really nice envious car, when it might make you go broke.
I know a lot of modest income people buy these really nice cars like Land Rovers and Mercedes, but sometimes the repairs puts them, or keeps them in poverty. Buyer beware.