Obsolete ‘zombie’ cars continue to haunt UK roads

So-called ‘zombie’ cars – discontinued makes and models – are still a common sight on the UK’s roads, according to a recent study.

In fact, interest in these ‘dead’ cars is very much alive and well, with a large proportion of the UK’s used car market being made up of these discontinued cars.

Jaguar’s XJ – manufactured between 2009 and 2019 – remains extremely popular, with advert views on AutoTrader’s platform increasing in September 2020 by 5.7 per cent compared with the same month in the previous year. Values, meanwhile, have dropped by 23.8 per cent on average.

And despite the announcement of a new generation of RS3, views of adverts for the outgoing model have risen by 21.1 per cent in September year-on-year, while average prices dropped by 10.8 per cent.

The pair were followed by the Suzuki Jimny – which has seen advert views increase by 15.9 per cent and values climb by 64.5 per cent – and the Maserati GranTurismo, with ad views up by 14.3 per cent during the month.

Suzuki Jimny
Suzuki’s Jimny remains in demand despite being discontinued

Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s editorial director, said: “Drivers need to do their homework if buying an obsolete car otherwise they may find a few horrors. Finding spare parts for your zombie could prove tricky or expensive, and it could be hard to tell if the car price is fair as there aren’t as many similar vehicles to compare it with.

“However, you can still pick up a treat and find a used car that fits all your requirements if you’re able to put time in for research. As well as finding a discontinued car at a highly discounted price, you may also find dealerships offer financing deals at lower interest rates. Additionally, if the zombie car is super rare with a bit of a fanbase, you could even make a profit on it when you come to sell later on.”

AutoTrader also discovered the cars which are still in production, despite many believing that they had been killed off already. These included models such as the Lotus Evora, Mitsubishi Shogun Sport and Volkswagen Sharan.

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