Where Do The Cars That No One Buys Go?

4 min



You are sitting idly in the backseat of a crossover, passing by a car dealership and coming across rows after rows of shiny brand new cars on their lots, at the time you would have probably wondered what happens to the cars that never get sold. Where are they taken to when it comes to the time to make space for the new arrivals? Where do the cars that no one buys go? 

 Do they get sent back to manufacture or auction them off? Or worse, sell them for scrap? Since obviously, dealerships won’t give away the cars for free. Things are a bit more complicated than that. You will soon find out how the yearly dealer process of clearing out old models may benefit you. 


Here is a sneak peek of what happens to the car or where they go if they aren’t sold by the end of the year. Once new cars leave the factory or where they are manufactured, they belong to the dealer. Dealers generally have no choice but to keep them until after they are being sold. However, occasionally, they can be put into service at the dealership as an employee vehicle or service loaner, uniquely if this qualifies them for a clearance rebate from the automaker. 

 Here is a quick refresher of how dealerships work: Car dealerships are franchises, which means they buy new cars from the manufacturer and make a profit by selling them at higher prices. Therefore, once the dealership buys those cars and they arrive, the cars belong to the dealership until they are sold to the customers, and they can’t send the unsold ones back to the manufacturer at the end of the year. And in order to get their money back, dealers have to find a way to sell their cars.

  • Prime technique: Other than selling them online through advertisements or by showing them off on their lots, dealers get left with limited options when their cars don’t sell.
  • Finding convenience: They can, however, ship it to a dealer in a different location or to the market where a specific model might be in demand.
  • Display for auction: The cars can also be put up for auction, but that would forfeit some of the sales to the auction house, which means that the dealership would not end up with any money in hand or even lose a lot since the car would already be discounted.
  • As loaner cars: Another option to consider is that the cars can be elected as loaner cars when clients bring theirs in for service.
  • Little patience can save you a fortune: If any of the above doesn’t work, then the final option is to price the cars to sell before the arrival of new ones. Something vital to keep in mind while buying a car is that, in the fall, around September and October, dealerships and carmakers would want to get rid of the inventory, so the dealers would reduce the prices to ensure that the older ones are not competing with new models. If you are looking for a new car, it is a great way to score a deal on the current model.

Guidelines For Scoring a Great Deal

Here are some ways through which you can get a better deal on your next car purchase:

  • Go with your homework done:  If you are planning on going all oblivious and empty-handed, then you are a victim, not a customer. Know about things first, as well as keep your financial conditions under consideration before going to the dealer.  
  • When to go: The best time to drop by for a car purchase or to schedule an appointment is a weekday. If you want to go for test drives or ask a lot of questions, but can make it only on weekends, then schedule an appointment. Also, go according to the dealership’s hour, that is don’t show up right before the closing up of the dealership, the salespeople will not be able to give you the whole of the attention as much they will if they are not trying to get home, since, they’ll be in a better mind frame.
  • Get it written: Your salesman might promise you several things to get you to sign contracts. If what the salesman offered is essential to you, then get it in writing. Otherwise, you may get stuck in a scenario where salesmen may claim not to remember having any verbal commitment later on.
  • Read the fine print in detail: Read each and everything before signing any contract. Otherwise, you might risk having some ‘extras’ added that you don’t remember agreeing to, like credit insurance, extended warranties, and other profit generators. 
  • Get an overview before purchasing: If you leave the dealership with a brand new car, do not just drive it off without having someone review how everything works. Make sure you are aware of things like the gas tank location, how the windshield wipers work, and how to deploy the emergency brakes. 

Concluding it all:

This content aims to find out where the brand new unsold cars go since the new cars going out of production year cannot be sent back to the manufacturer and must be sold before the dealer replaces them with new models. Ways in which a dealership tries to get them sold are stated above. However, to sell them, the dealer will offer deep discounts and some incentives to the customers. Sometimes at a nominal loss, which is insured to some extent, or can write off their taxes to another extent.


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