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How to buy a quality car by auction

There are a few simple rules you should follow to buy a good car at auction:

1) Before making a bet on a particular lot, it is necessary to translate the comments of the Japanese expert indicated in the auction sheet, special attention should be paid to the "minuses" and not just the fact that they are literally indicated on the defective scheme of the auctioneer. Even if the car was awarded such ratings as 4-4.5 points and indicated low mileage, in the comments can always be hidden some information about serious defects or malfunctions, for example, heavily worn steering wheel, corrosion on the bottom, on the body and in the engine compartment , and also streams of oil from the engine. In practice, there were even cars with an estimate of 4 points, in the "minuses" of the auction list which indicated such a disadvantage as "light unusual sound when the engine is running."

2) You should always pay attention to the fact that the condition of the car body really corresponds to the assessment that the inspector gave him. This can be easily understood by the defective scheme of the auction sheet, on which all defects are marked with the letters A, U, Y, W, P, etc. Japanese inspectors can overestimate the estimate for low mileage (less than 50-60 thousand km.), Fresh year of release the high cost of the car.
Compare, estimate 4 for one lot with low mileage:

And estimate 4 at the lot with a mileage of almost 100 thousand km
And estimate 4 at the lot with a mileage of almost 100 thousand km.

Machines with estimates of 3-3.5 (and even 4) points may even be restored after a slight blow to the back of the body:

Even cars with an ideal body condition and low mileage may have problems. Therefore, it is very important to translate the auction list before purchase.

Therefore, it is very important to translate the auction list before purchase

3) The best auctioneer - net auctioneer! The less letters on the body on defective circuit (even with indices 1), the better the real condition of the car.

A1 in most cases it is just lacquer scratch , which will leave with the polish, but maybe such which will require repainting. Multiple A1 on the diagram, even in a body with an overall rating of 4.5 points may be noticeable to the naked eye.

Index 2 is already the probability that the element marked by it will be very different from the rest and may need to be repainted or aligned.

Index 3 means the likelihood of repainting in 80-90% of cases.

Index 4 is quite rare, but sometimes such a defect can lead to the need to replace the body element, for example, in the case of a U4 dent with a diameter of 40 centimeters on the door.

Real examples of auction defects can be found in this article .
4) When bidding, do not forget about the possibility to check according to statistics whether the lots appeared earlier in the auction. Japanese auction experts are often quite subjective in assessing the state of the car. Therefore, conducting his inspection, they may not notice any defects. Second-hand dealers use this: at a low price, they buy cars with 3-3.5-R grades at strict auctions and re-expose them at auctions, where experts are more loyal to auto pricing, exposing them to inflated grades. As a result, cars are sold more expensive. Therefore, you should always pre-study the statistics of sales of the lot that is interesting to you. It is enough to enter the year of manufacture and mileage of the car in the auction statistics and analyze the results obtained.
There are 2 types of statistics on our website, together they cover 90-95% of all cars sold at auctions.

Statistics one - http://www.carwin.ru/japanstats

Statistics two - http://auction.carwin.ru/stats
Here is a typical example:

A month later, the same car at another auction:

Compare 2 auction sheets of the same machine:

What else you should pay attention:   1
What else you should pay attention:
1. The condition of the rubber. At many auctions, Japanese inspectors indicate the rest of the tread in mm (on the defecting scheme, this is indicated by numbers on or near each wheel), take this into account when calculating the maximum bid per lot. It always makes sense to slightly increase the rate, if the tread balance is 7-8 mm (almost new rubber) or vice versa, to decrease, if the balance is 0-2 mm (must be changed for normal operation). This is especially true for cars with a high cost of rubber (size of 16 inches).

2. The remoteness of the auction from the port cities. This affects the speed of delivery of the car from the auction to the port of shipment, and, accordingly, the total time of delivery to the port of arrival of the car. The average delivery time for a car to Vladivostok when buying from an auction at an average distance is 3-3.5 weeks. When buying from a remote auction - 1-1.5 weeks longer. The list of remote auctions can be found here - http://www.carwin.ru/faq .

3. It is not necessary to buy a car with a lot of body defects in the hope of buying a much cheaper average statistical price - a discount for buying almost never compensates for the cost of further repairs and painting. Also think about further selling - it is much easier to sell a car without a trace of body repair and with an honest auction list with an estimate of 4-4.5 points than with a painted body and an estimate of 3-3.5 points. Now almost everyone checks the car according to statistics before buying.

4. A heavily dirty (or even burn-in) salon, there are serious un-made body defects, a different tire tread residue, a heavily worn steering wheel - all of these are comments whose presence in the auction list indicates that the car should not be considered for purchase. In terms of separateness, these shortcomings seem to be trifles that are not difficult to fix, but having them all in one auction window means that they did not take care of this car and did not properly monitor it during operation in Japan. There is also a high probability that the engine will have oil, which was last changed 30 thousand km ago, the variator pulls and the fluid in it urgently needs to be replaced, hodovka is very tired from driving even on Japanese roads ...

5. Buying a car, since the release of which more than 7 years have passed and a small (up to 50 thousand km.) Mileage - almost a lottery. We met many times with cars that clearly stood in Japan for a long time and their technical condition turned out to be completely different from what was expected when buying a car with a low mileage. Typical defects - rubber in cracks, burnt paint, old and already lost their properties of fluid in aggregates and gearboxes (this is the worst), console defects (cracks, bubbles from the sun), the smell in the cabin (especially if the previous owner smoked), poor condition leather interior (stubborn dirt, cracks, folds and sagging upholstery).

6. The optimal parameters for buying a car through the year (from 3 to 5 years from the date of issue) - auction estimate 4-4.5, mileage from 55 to 80 thousand km.

If the mileage is less than 50 thousand km., Then the cost at the auction is usually much higher than when buying the same car with a mileage of 55-80 thousand km, but there is no real difference for the consumer (what they want to receive, overpaying for small mileage) , there are cars with mileage of 75 thousand km. and in a state like from the factory, as well as with a mileage of 35 thousand. Km. and never the same oil and the need for body repair all around.

Buy with mileage more than 80 thousand. Km. - also almost does not make sense, the cost of cars at the auction drops slightly, greatly save will not work, but there is a need for TO100, replacing the timing belt and other expenses. Well, buying a car initially with a high mileage will also affect its further sale.

7. We are often asked at which auctions it is best to buy, which are the most rigorous and high-quality, where the condition of cars is the most realistic. Auction and Honda auctions are considered to be the most rigorous. They are held on Mondays - they really describe such details that they will not even pay attention to at other auctions (for example, small wrinkles on the seat, hardly noticeable visually). But these auctions are not very large, but because the choice of exhibiting machines is small.

You should also highlight the auction houses TAA (Toyota Auto Auction) and NAA (Nissan Auto Auction), the cars describe quite qualitatively, for example, they put A1 / U1 on the defect spot instead of the typical “void-and-dent” phrase on the diagram . But at these auctions may overstate the auction estimate for a small mileage.

Other auctions (USS, HAA, JU, etc.) evaluate cars equally equally.
We will try to make the most complete guide to the Japanese auctions! If you have any questions or additions, then you can write in the comments to the article or email This email address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view. , we will reply.


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