Automotive

Old Honda Civic valuation (v. low mileage)

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  • Sep 26th, 2017 11:29 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jun 3, 2007
526 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto

Old Honda Civic valuation (v. low mileage)

Hey all,
Need a bit of assistance valuing an old Honda Civic I've inherited from my late mother. It's a '96 4dr sedan. I'm not sure as to the model - the registration says "UXX" (which doesn't mean much), but it seems to be an LX without power windows or central locking (it does have power/adjustable steering). However, the interesting thing about it is that it only has ~ 52k kms on it, and is in excellent shape (no rust, dings, etc) as my mother barely drove it. The only "issue" with it is that it's been sitting in a garage for the past 6 years - so the battery is likely dead, and the tires are flat (and it's dusty!). My mother was a non-smoker and kept the car very clean.

I'm having trouble valuing it due to the low mileage. Every time someone comes over and sees it sitting in my garage I get a "call me if you want to sell it"!

VMRCanada says it's worth $3125 in "excellent" shape, but given the mileage, what would be a fair value for a private sale?
14 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 15, 2011
5835 posts
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aGincourt
List it for $10k, some ricer will buy it (serious)
Sr. Member
Dec 10, 2007
683 posts
499 upvotes
Arviat
A 90's Honda in Ontario with no rust is kind of special, the only thing is some companies won't insure a vehicle that's >20 years old.
If I argue with a fool, I am the fool.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17603 posts
8254 upvotes
It's not going to help but there is truly no way to value cars that are so unique to the market. A 1996 Civic is not a desirable or collectible car - instead you are stuck trying to find someone that will be willing to pay a premium for the vehicle even though they can get something much newer for the same money. Insurance companies will also not pay a premium if there is an accident, so it could be a losing investment. This person is extremely tough to find.

To me the best thing to do is determine what you think is a fair price - that is how much of a premium you are looking for. Then advertise it with the price stated as being firm. You will have much more luck selling it if it's in running condition, it is challenging to ask for a premium when the car is not even running and may have any number of issues that cannot be determined unless it is running. You are looking for a very specific buyer and will most likely have to sit on the car for awhile if you want that premium price.

My guess would be that if market value is $3125 (which seems high to me for a 20 year old Civic without even power windows) then you are going to advertise for $4000-$4500 and settle between $3125 - $4000. The premium you get will be much smaller than you think because it's just a regular car. Instead your advantage will be the speed at which it sells.
(again my prices are based on the $3125 valuation - which I did not verify is correct based on kijiji ads)
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 3, 2007
526 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the input. Thing is, I'm not exactly looking for buyers, as there have been at least 4 serious "offers" which I've kind of begged off on due to frankly not knowing what a fair value is (hence my post). The frustrating part is that no such car seems to exist re: Kijiji/Autotrader etc, so I have no comparisons.

I haven't got any doubts the car is in good working condition. I turned it over and drove it for a good 20 minutes a few years ago. Unfortunately, the battery is probably flat from sitting so long. I even had someone look under the hood and state that it was clean (he's quite well known around here, for those of you who've had their garage door openers installed!).

The sad part is that my daily driver (02 Elantra GT w/ 90k) is a lower value! I'd keep the Honda, but no ABS for winter (well that and it's quite a bit smaller for my 2 kids and junk)...
Deal Addict
Oct 5, 2009
1170 posts
437 upvotes
Dartmouth
There are older Civics on Kijiji.
There is a 96 2 door hatch on there with 153 k advertised fir 2300.
Super low km don’t really make that much difference on a 20 year old car unless it’s a collectable. This isn’t. In fact some may see it as a negative. It may seem suspicious or driven so little parts may have rotted etc.
It basic transportation. It should be priced as such. I sold my 2007 Senta a year and a half ago for 3000. So someone looking for basic transportation has a lot to choose from at that price without worrying about finding parts for a 20 year old Civic.
Put it on for $3000. If no one bites start lowing the price.
Sr. Member
May 11, 2009
651 posts
228 upvotes
Fair value is $2000. I sold my 1996 Civic in 2010 for $800 just to give you some perspective. It'd be worthless if it didn't have such low mileage.
Member
Apr 27, 2009
269 posts
97 upvotes
West Vancouver
If you cannot show that the car runs you are probably not going to get an offer much more than than for a parts car.

If the tires are original they are no longer consider safe to drive on, the brakes could need rebuilding. If preservative was not added to the gas tank then the fuel system may need a flush. ...etc

To get the car road worthy could be expensive.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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GTA
Yzord wrote: Thanks for the input. Thing is, I'm not exactly looking for buyers, as there have been at least 4 serious "offers" which I've kind of begged off on due to frankly not knowing what a fair value is (hence my post). The frustrating part is that no such car seems to exist re: Kijiji/Autotrader etc, so I have no comparisons.

I haven't got any doubts the car is in good working condition. I turned it over and drove it for a good 20 minutes a few years ago. Unfortunately, the battery is probably flat from sitting so long. I even had someone look under the hood and state that it was clean (he's quite well known around here, for those of you who've had their garage door openers installed!).

The sad part is that my daily driver (02 Elantra GT w/ 90k) is a lower value! I'd keep the Honda, but no ABS for winter (well that and it's quite a bit smaller for my 2 kids and junk)...
Please do not put your kids in this car. It's a relative death trap compared to even your 02 elentra. If you want top dollar for it you'll have to show it running, so give it a boost and see if it runs.
Your best bet may be to post in the Honda forums to find someone in love with them and looking for one in great shape.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Sr. Member
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May 10, 2006
571 posts
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YYC
OP, if you think the offers that you are receiving are too low then your best bet is to keep it for yourself to use. People will see a 20 year old Civic as a 20 year old Civic regardless of mileage and condition...
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2888 posts
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Markham
engineered wrote: Please do not put your kids in this car. It's a relative death trap compared to even your 02 elentra. If you want top dollar for it you'll have to show it running, so give it a boost and see if it runs.
Your best bet may be to post in the Honda forums to find someone in love with them and looking for one in great shape.
Normally I agree with newer is safer, although in this particular case...the 2002 Elantra did very badly in its crash testing. The Elantra did literally none of its tests even decently until I believe 2004, the irony is that the predecessor Elantra scored better which was shocking too. The Civic actually does score acceptable in the moderate offset, got no ratings otherwise so we assume poor for everything else. In this one off case...the older car is actually the safer car crash wise which doesn't happen often.
Newbie
Dec 27, 2016
27 posts
9 upvotes
My approach would be to start high then reduce the price until you start to get offers. No idea what a good "high" price would be though. $6k, considering it's technically not running right now?
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jun 3, 2007
526 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks all, for the input again. I'm not a car guy by any stretch, so this conversation gave me a lot to think about. Cheers all!
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
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Wow, my 02 Civic with a little over 260k km is still showing a $1,525 wholesale value, likely for the value of its parts.

Retail of $3,125.
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Feb 24, 2004
388 posts
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No power windows
No power locks
Does the car even have a/c?

From the top of my head, who ever buys this needs:

1, new battery - $100
2, tires - $600
3, fluid flush (oil, brakes, transmission) - $200
4, Timing belt/water pump, cam, seal replacement - $500
5, new spark plugs - $20-80
6, Air filters/ cabin filters - $40
7, plus the price of the car providing everything else (suspension and such) meets safety requirements.

Is it a good purchase? Personally, I would avoid and sink money into something newer. As someone already pointed out
TrevorK wrote: A 1996 Civic is not a desirable or collectible car

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