There are some simple rules to follow in order to buy a good car at an auction:
1) Before placing a bid on a particular lot, it is imperative to translate the Japanese expert's remarks indicated in the auction list, special attention should be paid to the "minuses" and not only those that are literally indicated on the auctioneer's defect diagram. Even if the car is graded such marks as 4-4.5 Grades and a low mileage is indicated, some information about serious defects or malfunctions can always be hidden in the comments, for example, a badly worn steering wheel, corrosion on the bottom, on the body and in the engine compartment and oil drips from the engine.
2) It is always necessary to pay attention to the fact that the condition of the car body really corresponds to the assessment given to it by the inspector. This can be easily understood by the defect scheme of the auction sheet, on which all defects are indicated by the letters A, U, Y, W, P, etc. Japanese inspectors may overestimate the auction grade for a small mileage (less than 50-60 thousand km.), Fresh year of release , the high cost of the car.
3) The less lettering on the body on the defect diagram (even with indices 1), the better the real condition of the car will be. A1 in most cases is just a scratch on the varnish, which will go away with the polish, but there may be one that will require repainting. Multiple A1s on the diagram, even for a body with an overall rating of 4.5 points, can be noticeable to the naked eye.
Index 2 is already the probability that the element marked with it will be very different from the rest and may need to be repainted or aligned. Index 3 means the probability of needing 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.
4) When placing bids, do not forget about the ability to check statistics, whether lots have appeared earlier in the auction. Japanese auction experts are often quite subjective in assessing the condition of a car. Therefore, while inspecting it, they may not notice any defects. This is what resellers use: they buy cars with 3-3.5-R grades at a low price at strict auctions and re-exhibit them at auctions, where experts are more loyal to the assessment of a car, setting them high marks.
As a result, cars are sold more expensively. Therefore, it is always worthwhile to first study the sales statistics of the lot you are interested in. You just need to enter the year of manufacture and mileage of the car in the auction statistics and analyze the results.
5) Condition of rubber. At many auctions, Japanese inspectors indicate the remaining tread in mm (on the defect diagram, this is indicated by numbers in each wheel or next to it), take this into account when calculating the maximum bid per lot. It always makes sense to slightly increase the rate if the remainder of the tread is 7-8 mm (almost new rubber), or vice versa, decrease it if the remainder is 0-2 mm (must be changed for normal operation). This is especially true for cars with a high cost of rubber (from 16 inches in size).
6) The remoteness of the auction from the port. This affects the speed of delivery of the car from the auction to the port of shipment, and, accordingly, the total delivery time to the port of arrival of the car.
7) Geographical location of auction. Auctions located in North and South of Japan have big percentage of rusted cars from snow and salt. Some auctions are based in areas popular for natural disasters, so one should also be careful for water flooded cars and etc.
8) You should not buy a car with many body defects in the hope of buying it much cheaper than the average statistical price - a discount on purchase almost never compensates for the cost of further repairs and painting. Also, think about further sale - it is much easier to sell a car without traces of body repair and with an honest auction list with a score of 4-4.5 points than with a painted body and a score of 3-3.5 points. Now almost everyone checks a car according to statistics before buying.
9) A heavily dirty (or even burned-in) interior, there are serious unfinished body defects, a different residual tread on the rubber, a badly worn steering wheel - all these are comments, the presence of which in the auction list suggests that the car should not be considered for purchase. Separately, these shortcomings seem to be trifles that are not difficult to fix, but the presence of all of them in one auction house suggests that this car was not looked after or properly monitored during operation in Japan.
There is also a high probability that the engine will contain oil, which was last changed 30 thousand km ago, the AT jerks and the fluid in it urgently needs to be replaced, the suspension is very tired from driving even on Japanese roads.
10) The optimal parameters for buying a car - 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 get by overpaying for a small mileage) , there are cars with a mileage of 75 thousand km. and in a condition both from the factory, as well as with a range of 35 thousand km. and never changed oil and the need for body repairs around.
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