It’s assumed that buying a car is a bad investment—the cliche that driving a new car off the dealer’s lot makes it plummet in value is not without merit. Most cars do see depreciation once they’ve changed hands, and only the very rare or vintage are seen as long term assets. The outlier? Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) sports cars.
One section of the car market has seen values rise and rise in recent years, and that’s JDM imports.
For many buyers, the thrill of JDM ownership is in being able to drive the exact make and model Nissan Skyline that they raced with in Gran Turismo, having grown up watching Paul Walker drag race Vin Diesel in the Fast And Furious movies.
For others, it is the reliability and simplicity of these 80s and 90s era vehicles that makes them so appealing.
The driving experience, aided by a stripped-down, turbo-charged engine and manual transmission, is another lure for fans of JDM imports looking to buy their own dream car.
So Why Should You Invest in JDM Sports Cars?
The two main elements that have affected the value of JDM cars in recent years are popularity and rarity.
Because of the 25 year rule that governs automobile imports into the US, many cars are eagerly anticipated for years before they finally become eligible. This rule also means the number of good condition, low mileage examples of the most popular cars is limited, making their value rise steadily.
As a case study, let’s look at the Toyota Supra. At the top end, these renowned examples of JDM sports cars can easily sell for six figures. The customized, bright orange 1993 Supra Turbo MK-IV featured in 2001’s The Fast And The Furious sold at auction for $199,800, a world record for a Supra.
Earlier this year, a 1994 Supra sold for $173,600, an immaculate condition model with just 11,000 miles on the clock. This shows the potential of Japanese Domestic Market cars to accumulate value as they age. Good condition Supras with low mileage and few if any alterations can comfortably sell for $50,000 plus.
Less flashy cars are also increasing in value. According to Bloomberg, “For Japanese vehicles in the Hagerty price guide, the value of a car in ‘fine’ condition with minimal wear has increased an average of 18.1 percent in the past three years and 38.8 percent in the past five years.”
By comparison, the general market rose by 13.1 percent and 23.6 percent over the same period. This goes to show that any good-condition, low mileage JDM car—such as the ones we specialize in—can be a sound investment.
It’s not just slick twin turbo sports cars that are increasing in value either.
Japanese companies gained a reputation in the 80s and 90s for building reliable, sturdy 4x4s and pickup trucks that today can fetch good prices.
Some classic examples include the Suzuki Jimny and Toyota Hilux, rugged and uncompromising four wheel drive machines. When looked after, they can be put to work for decades, and with low mileage can also be a solid investment.
Check out our extensive inventory of low mileage, federally legal JDM cars—new cars being added daily!