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Buying a Saturn is Not a Good Idea

October 22, 2009

Saturn Many of you already know GM will be discontinuing the Saturn brand. They stopped production a couple of weeks ago after Penske Automotive Group backed away from purchasing the car company.

There are now about 12,000 Saturns left for sale in the US and GM is hoping to get rid of them all by January 2010.

They will likely need to offer some sweet incentives to sell the remaining inventory. Thus, some car shoppers are wondering if it makes sense to buy a Saturn and take advantage of these incentives.

The residual values of cars that are discontinued usually fall considerably, meaning that when you're ready to trade-in the car down the road, you will get a lot less for it.

If GM offers an additional $1,500 - $2,000 incentive, you'll basically come out even. If you intend to keep the car forever, then it makes more sense to consider buying.

In addition to a drop in residual values, Saturns will become harder to maintain and repair. Although GM will honor all Saturn warranty claims, you will need to take the car to other GM dealers which don't necessarily specialize in Saturn vehicles. This can lead to shoddy work and limitations on parts being available in a timely manner. Maintenance can also be an issue if the closest GM dealer is in another town.

We recommend not buying a Saturn if your goal is to save money. The only reason you should buy one right now is if you truly love Saturn cars AND you're willing to keep the car for a long time (at least 7 years).

See the lowest prices on a vehicle in your area (plus see the actual incentives you qualify for)
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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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