It’s Impossible to Depreciate a Used Honda Civic Type R

Honda’s Civic Type R is as hot a commodity as it is a hatchback. And why shouldn’t it be? The Type R name is something that has been forbidden fruit from the automotive garden of Honda for time immemorial. Sure, Americans have gotten the mildly spicy Civic Si, but never the super hot Type R. What’s more, we’ve even resorted to importing older Japanese Domestic Market models at a premium. The America-friendly Civic Type R is finally here, and now we’re learning that it’s almost impossible to depreciate them.

What’s with the Honda hype?

The Type R badge on the Honda Civic Type R
The Honda Civic Type-R badge | Frederic J. Brown via Getty Images

In order to understand how this is possible, it’s time to look at the hype behind the Honda. It starts with rave reviews. Back in 2018, the hot hatch was one MotorTrend’s car of the year finalists. Back then, it was praised for just about everything, though the styling was and is somewhat divisive. Styling aside, there’s nothing more Honda lovers like than a fresh, new Civic. Well, maybe VTEC.

Speaking of VTEC, the powertrain is largely the reason behind the hype; once you’re past the badge that is. Making 306 hp to the front wheels and mated to a six-speed gearbox, it’s said to be one of the best-driving front-wheel-drive cars ever. Unfortunately, dealers got wind of the hype. The dealers marked up the cars knowing customers would pay, having themselves heard the rave reviews. That is largely why the market for these cars is still so strong.

The market is going crazy for the Civic Type R

The red and black alcantara interior of the Honda Civic Type R
The CTR’s interior | Christopher Evans via Getty Images

So. Now you have a particular storm brewing, consisting of rabid consumer demand, high new and used car values, and a fantastic car at the center of it all. The result is money and lots of it. A new 2021 Honda Civic Type R should retail for around $37,000, per Honda. Rather disappointingly, you’ll be lucky to find a 2018 model for less than that. What’s more, some of those older cars are starting to end up with some real miles on them. A quick perusal of Cars.com shows many models with more than 50,000 miles on them.

The even hotter LE edition honestly isn’t even worth mentioning given its high prices due to the Type R hype. Some of the LE models have been listed for north of $60,000. Of course, all this is very good if you’re an owner. Chances are, unless you drove it to Iceland and back, you’ve made money on your brand new car. That never happens. Ever. That’s exactly how rabid the demand is for these cars.

Will it happen again?

A matte black Civic Type R
2017 Honda Civic Type R | Chesnot via Getty Images

The trend is sure to continue with the recent semiconductor shortage tanking the new car market. Unless Honda unveils a new Civic Type R very soon, it’s unlikely we’ll see the end of this for some time. Even then, it’s hard to imagine the same issue won’t crop up again with new Type R models. That is unless Honda is ready to meet demand and floods the market. More Civic Type R’s on the road is always a good thing, and we’d love to see the brand exceed the demand for the vehicle. For now, all you can do is try to find a clean Civic Si to get remotely close to the experience.

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