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I’m sure most of us car nerds have a dream car we’ve always wanted, or maybe just a handful of cars that have made us say “I’ve got to own one of those one day”. For me, (almost any) BMW M3 or a Porsche 911 997.2 GT3 were what I thought were realistic dream cars. Now I’m thinking I need to double my budget. It’s not desirability alone that changes the price of cars. Let me dive into things from a slightly broader perspective.

You’ll know there have been difficulties in the automotive industry over the last few years. Legislation changes, financial constraints and production times. Getting hold of new vehicles has been challenging due to various factors that can impact the supply chain and production of vehicles, especially the most desirable models.

Supply Challenges

semiconductor vishnu mohanan unsplash
Semiconductor - © Vishnu Mohanan

One of the main reasons for this was the global shortage of semiconductors, which are essential components used in electronic systems in modern vehicles, including safety features and entertainment systems. The pandemic was the leading cause of this shortage and disrupted supply chains and caused a surge in demand for these components, leading to a significant reduction of vehicles rolling off the production line.

Although it isn’t just electronic devices that have caused delays. I was informed by a GM dealership that a Chevrolet Colorado couldn’t be shipped until it had its hood sound deadener fitted, which they had already been waiting three months for. And this is after the initial wait for the vehicle to even start production.


It’s deflating that years ago, some previously attainable vehicles are no longer available to 99% of customers in the market. I’m currently working with a number of dealerships in Vancouver, one of which is a Honda store. The general manager told that only one Honda Civic Type R is available per year, for the next three years. I’m led to believe this is for every Honda dealership across Canada. That’s if the dealership is lucky enough to get an allocation at all.

As for the people who get the allocations, they are people who have bought from that store before, probably another Type R, and always return for servicing and to trade it in when they’ve had their fun. If you wanted one, consider ordering an Acura Integra Type S. For the time being, they are available to order.

The future of car sales.

2023 Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R - © Honda

Honda Civic Type R’s should be a common sight on the roads. From your average burnout apes to your run-of-the-mill Honda enthusiasts. Especially the latest generation, which I think is one of the best yet and would consider spending my own money on one. Although, I would personally prefer the Toyota Corolla GR, which is a similar story in terms of getting hold of one. I bet even if I could get one, it would be the core spec. OK, I’d still be pretty lucky, but I’m still not getting my pick of the litter.

2023 GR Corolla Morizo Edition Grey Metallic Matte
2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition - © Toyota

A good source tells me that Honda isn’t interested in selling in high quantities like they used to. Financially, I’m not sure how that works. If someone who knows could explain to me, I would gladly listen.

My thinking is that the size of their operation and the price bracket of their vehicles would benefit from selling more units. It’s also more income for aftersales; servicing and parts.

Usually, when I hear of vehicle manufacturers doing a limited production of vehicles, it’s because they want to create exclusivity and desirability for the product, which can help to increase demand and drive up prices. By limiting the supply of a particular model, manufacturers can create a sense of scarcity, which can make the vehicle more attractive to potential buyers who want to own something unique or rare. But the price for cars like the 2023 Honda Civic Type R and The Toyota Corolla GR isn’t extortionate. They already have the demand; they don’t need to create it.

It’s not like Honda or Toyota needs to produce a limited run of a vehicle to gather feedback and data on how well the product is received. They’ve been around plenty long enough and produce quality vehicles and know what their customers want.

Regardless of how much I don’t understand their strategy, my point here is more about emotion. As we near the end of internal combustion engines, unicorn cars mean a lot to me and many others in the automotive world. I want to get something fun and charismatic while I can.

I’m well aware there are a lot of other cars out there, but if you really desire something and it’s financially within reach and reason, I’d like to believe we could get what we want. A delay is normal, but one Civic Type R per year, per dealership is near unobtainable.

Price hike for pre-owned cars.

There are knock-on effects here. Pre-owned vehicles skyrocketed during the pandemic. Now, the price of previously affordable sports cars is rising and will soon be out of reach for your average enthusiast and into the hands of collectors. (Which should be required by law to drive them.) I’m talking about cars like the BMW E46 M3, Honda S2000, any premium version or model of your common manufacturer. Then your exotic and collectable cars are increasing in value even more.

If you want to make your eyes water, stay away from auction sites. Although it’s sometimes painful, Collecting Cars is a good place to browse mint condition cars up for auction online. From your Audi RS4s to your Jaguar E Types. Sure, you could probably get something cheaper elsewhere, but if you want a great-condition dream car ready to go, it’s probably your best bet.

Audi RS4 B7 Avant Estate Wagon Lowered Stance Red
Audi RS4 B7 Avant - © Martin Katler

Can't buy it? Build it.

A lot of this may sound very negative, but there are pros to the value of these cars going up. We can only hope that the poorer examples would be treated with a sprucing up and enjoyed for what they are.

Those that can’t afford the car they want might build something incredible. I’m a sucker for a well-executed Frankenstein. In some cases, you can build a very capable car from a base model with the right upgrades, money and know-how. I’m not suggesting a replica. Something more bespoke. Though if you’re not careful, you could end up spending as much money upgrading a car, when you could have bought the actual car you wanted. It’s down to your preference. Get the original, or build something that you can make your own. Or if you have dollar to spend, do both.

The title of this article isn’t 100% true of course. If you have a lot of money and someone is willing to let their car go, of course, you can buy it. Take it with a pinch of salt.

My main focus here is for your average buyer and auto manufacturers. Even if you have the money for the car you want, you can’t always get it new. This isn’t the same thing as wanting to buy a limited-edition Ferrari. You have to be a very loyal customer to be invited to own one of those. It’s a different kind of club. But if you are invited, do it. Cause you won’t be able to get that Type R you wanted.

More demand. Less supply.

It would be stupid of me to pretend like this issue is new. There have always been limits on allocations for special versions of ordinary cars and special cars alone. However, the numbers are substantially lower than I’ve previously been aware of. It’s also worth mentioning that here in Canada, allocations are generally less than in the USA. This issue might not be as severe where you live.

Car Lot Parking Aerial Photography Unsplash
© Ryan Searle

It looks like this is how things are going to be from now on. I could revisit this in a couple of years, however, I suspect not a lot will change and the prices of worthy pre-owned cars will continue to increase as petrol and diesel cars get phased out. People still want their weekend toys and they want good ones.

If you have something desirable or unique, don’t let it go. We both know you’ll regret it. (Unless you’ve had your fun and can make some bucks.)

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