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Honda Civics and the Pandemic

In early 2020 I was car shopping. In fact I'm nearly always car shopping. My plans change regularly ‐ one moment I think a 2 seat roadster is the right choice, the next I'm looking at trucks. Endless hours searching for different options, checking for new listings or reduced prices.

To support my car shopping addiction, I built a python script to pull ads from the two popular listing sites in Canada: kijiji.ca and autotrader.ca.

On March 23rd 2020, I was looking at Honda Civics. I pulled over 1800 ads with basic information such as year, price, and mileage. I eventually bought a totally different vehicle (not surprising), but the dataset provides a glimpse into the used Honda Civic market at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 2 years later on December 9th 2021, I decided to re-run the script. The car market had been a regular news topic over the pandemic (more here or here), and I wanted to analyze it.

I found that prices went up… a lot.

For about the same car ‐ in terms of age ‐ you are now paying thousands more. The percentage increase is around 30% across all model ages.

civic depreciation

This is quite the anomaly. Cars are supposed to lose value as they age, not gain. For example this analysis shows that for 2017 Civics (model year age 3 in 2020, 4 in 2021) prices actually increased from $17.7k to $21.5k despite getting another year older.

I for one hope this trend reverses. My attainable dream-cars have now become less attainable.

The web scrape for Autotrader.ca and Kijiji.ca was performed on 2020-03-23 and 2021-12-09. Note that these prices are asking prices and may not represent the true value of the vehicles for sale.

Price (CAD) by Mileage (KM)
March 23, 2020 December 9, 2021
0k to 20k 21,500 29,689
20k to 40k 19,388 25,990
40k to 60k 17,795 23,500
60k to 80k 16,995 21,900
80k to 100k 15,988 19,495
100k to 120k 12,995 16,995
120k to 140k 9,300 149,95
140k to 160k 8,400 12,738
160k to 180k 7,300 11,969
180k to 200k 6,500 9,200
Price (CAD) by Model Year
March 23, 2020 December 9, 2021
2010 5,300
2011 7,000 6,000
2012 7,600 8,995
2013 9,880 11,988
2014 10,947 12,800
2015 13,437 14,490
2016 16,522 17,444
2017 17,695 21,500
2018 18,995 22,745
2019 22,581 24,199
2020 28,995
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