Your Old Honda Could Be a Collectible Now

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Still have Grandma’s Honda Accord sitting in the garage? You could be in luck. Cars like this—cars that were common Craigslist items a few years ago—are increasing in value like never before, thanks to the changing tastes of auto collectors brought on by the pandemic.
Last year, a well-preserved 1981 Honda Accord sold for $21,000, 10X the initial asking price, on Bring a Trailer. And the trend isn’t over. A 2000 Civic in similar condition went for over $23,000 at the end of July on the same website.
The need for comfort and familiarity during the pandemic played a factor in the upswing of demand for these vehicles, but nostalgia didn’t work alone. The average price for used cars rose significantly in recent months, due to supply chain issues hindering the rebound of the auto industry.
A Honda logo seen on the front grille of a car
Honda has always made cars that hold their value.

Common cars with shocking price tags

Hondas are not the only type of vehicles attracting buyers. Pickup trucks, Jeeps, and family sedans of all makes and models are being sold for stunning prices.
Not every used car owner can put a down payment on a house after selling. On August 2, a mint-condition 1993 Nissan Sentra with a 122,000-mile history made its owner $6,900. That’s still thousands more than what the car was worth a few years ago, but it didn’t drop any jaws.
Nailing down why one car sells for over $21,000 and another barely reaches past $5,000 is not easy. For some models, like a ‘95 Toyota Land Cruiser that someone bought for $34,000 on July 29, it seems to be about the car’s impeccable condition.
For others, it’s the low number on the odometer, like a 2004 Volkswagen R32 with only 1,800 miles banked that Hagerty says sold for $65,000.

Why are used cars so expensive right now?

Even aside from these novelties, the used car market saw a dramatic price boost in the past six months. More current models sold for nearly the same amount as brand new ones, spurring a selling frenzy and contributing to a sudden spike in the national inflation rate.
Demand for cars increased once COVID-19 protocols began to ease, but microchip shortages and other supply chain issues kept automakers from meeting consumer needs.
These industry-wide issues may have helped propel the already increased interest in these formerly overlooked models, but after reading the comments below Bring a Trailer’s auctions, it’s clear that the strongest pull toward these cars is a yearning for simpler times.

How to save money on a used car

Whether you want a collectible or something for your teenager to learn how to drive, finding a used car at a reasonable price is much harder this year than it was in the past.
Buying from a private seller could help reduce the price since people selling their own vehicles are less likely to respond quickly to changes in the industry. But be careful. Doing so comes with its risks as well.
Once you find the model that catches your eye, look it up using resources like J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book to make sure you’re not buying a lemon before you make the transaction.
You can also save a lot of money by shopping with Jerry for your car insurance. The savings keep coming even after Jerry finds you great insurance at the lowest price. Before every policy renewal period, you’ll be presented with new competitive quotes, which means you’ll always have the best coverage at the best price.

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