Author Topic: How to find out value of unusual car?  (Read 1891 times)

Villanelle

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How to find out value of unusual car?
« on: August 19, 2016, 05:58:38 AM »
So we are living in Japan, and word on the street is that even after paying for shipping from here to the US, there is good money to be made importing and selling a used right hand drive Mini.  Cars more than 25 years old appear to be fairly easy to import, as the restrictions on right hand drive, emissions, etc. don't really apply.  I'm still researching that, but let's assume for the moment it really is that simple.  I still need to run the numbers, but I'm having trouble finding values for ~30 year old right hand drive Minis.  I don't know exactly what year/version/condition (but assume fairly good) I'd get as it will just depend on what's available, but if I knew what was worth more, I could narrow the search as long as it wasn't anything overly specific.  But I want an approximate value so I know if it's worth getting serious about this.  I've found a few websites, but values seem to be all over the place, and I need something fairly reliable or else this is too much of a gamble. 

ChairmanKaga

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Re: How to find out value of unusual car?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2016, 09:17:26 AM »
You could dig into BringATrailer.com and see what other, similar RHD Minis sell for. However, given shipping costs from Japan, I'd consider bringing one over from the UK or Europe to be an easier proposition unless there's something especially valuable about the versions sold in Asia. As far as I know though there were more limited editions sold in the car's home market over the decades that car wa sin production.

It's still not easy, though. Many hurdles to clear even for a car that's more than 25 years old http://www.importavehicle.com/2/Vehicle-Importation and the USDOT just LOVES to crush improperly imported vehicles. That said, what might be more lucrative if you're looking at this as some sort of a business venture, is to explore becoming a registered importer. There's a HUGE market right now for Japanese domestic market (JDM) cars that have just cleared the 25-year import ban. You of course have the Skyline GTR leading the pack (and values have gone from $ equivalent of less that $10k for a clean '89-'90 example to often around $30k), but other cars like Toyota Crowns and especially the hot Kei cars, like the Suzuki Cappuccino, Hona Beat, and Mazda/Autozam AZ-1 are about to be in HIGH demand. You can turn $3k into $10k without much effort.

But as for the Mini - yeah, examing BringATrailer.com, or just find a classic Mini enthusiast site or forum and start asking.

Villanelle

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Re: How to find out value of unusual car?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 03:49:12 AM »
You could dig into BringATrailer.com and see what other, similar RHD Minis sell for. However, given shipping costs from Japan, I'd consider bringing one over from the UK or Europe to be an easier proposition unless there's something especially valuable about the versions sold in Asia. As far as I know though there were more limited editions sold in the car's home market over the decades that car wa sin production.

It's still not easy, though. Many hurdles to clear even for a car that's more than 25 years old http://www.importavehicle.com/2/Vehicle-Importation and the USDOT just LOVES to crush improperly imported vehicles. That said, what might be more lucrative if you're looking at this as some sort of a business venture, is to explore becoming a registered importer. There's a HUGE market right now for Japanese domestic market (JDM) cars that have just cleared the 25-year import ban. You of course have the Skyline GTR leading the pack (and values have gone from $ equivalent of less that $10k for a clean '89-'90 example to often around $30k), but other cars like Toyota Crowns and especially the hot Kei cars, like the Suzuki Cappuccino, Hona Beat, and Mazda/Autozam AZ-1 are about to be in HIGH demand. You can turn $3k into $10k without much effort.

But as for the Mini - yeah, examing BringATrailer.com, or just find a classic Mini enthusiast site or forum and start asking.

Well I'm in Japan, so that's why I'd do it from here, not England.  And I don't think I could legally do it as a business venture do to immigration status here.  I could buy and drive a Mini and then take it with me when it is time to move back to the States.  It wouldn't have to be a Mini, however.  I was looking at those simply because someone mentioned this to me regarding a Mini, and I think I'd be overwhelmed research a ton of different cars. Skylines tend to be slightly more expensive, relatively, but might still be worth looking in to. It is truly amazing how cheap used cars are here!

Spork

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Re: How to find out value of unusual car?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 02:08:07 PM »
In my (very limited) experience: Finding the real value of older, lower production cars is really difficult.  I have used combinations of ebay sold prices, autotrader asking prices, Hemmings Motor News asking prices and nadaguides old car prices... but the down side is the price for a particular car is just all over the place.

I've been toying with selling my TR6 for several years now*.   I was researching prices a month or so ago and prices ranged from $4k to $20k for what appeared to be cars in very similar mediocre condition.


*My wife will tell you I've been toying with selling it since we met.  We've been married 22 years.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: How to find out value of unusual car?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 06:54:13 AM »
I've been patiently waiting for years for the 1992 Civic to be legal. I was truly planning on purchasing one next year but we had a second kid so I think I may hold out for a db8 type r.

Honda. :)