Some Car Auction Prices Driven Up By Post-Earthquake Demand

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The Japanese media are reporting (and we are seeing) the prices of some car types being pushed up in the auctions in the wake of the earthquake in Japan.

It is now just over one month since the earthquake happened. Although life in the affected areas is still a long way from getting back to normal, people are starting to recover from the initial shock and beginning to try to get their lives back together. Part of that process involves getting new vehicles to replace those lost in the disaster.

Now, obviously, most of these people are not going to be heading out to the new car dealers to get a brand new car. Their finances have been stretched and they may well see any replacement vehicle they purchase at the moment as a “stop gap” until things settle down.

As a result, these people are tending to purchase used cars, and particularly used cars like this:

  • Small cars (such as Toyota Vitz or Suzuki Swift)
  • Kei cars (such as Suzuki WagonR)
  • Cars with a good amount of time before the Shaken (roadworthiness certificate) expires
  • Higher mileage cars

We have seen price rises above previous market prices in cars that meet these conditions, which is worth noting as a number of car importers target a very similar vehicle profile. However, one simple way of keeping your costs down is to avoid cars that still have Shaken as these will be of little interest to the local Japanese market.

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