Hot hatchbacks have always been affordable machines for enthusiasts to enjoy. Can’t afford a sports car? No worries, automakers have your back with compact hatchbacks that are almost as fun to drive and much more affordable. Or, that was the case until the latest trend of high-powered, track-oriented hatchbacks caught fire.
The Ford Focus and Fiesta ST, along with the Volkswagen Golf GTI are proof that fun doesn’t need to be expensive. Enthusiasts wanting more power, more performance, and more aggressive styling now have more options than ever thanks to the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R.
Unfortunately, enthusiasts willing to open up their wallets have found that their pockets aren’t nearly deep enough thanks to owners trying to make a quick buck.
The trend of flipping vehicles is mostly seen in limited-edition supercars and sports cars, like the Ford GT or Porsche 911 R. Ford attempted to get ahead of the issue by requiring buyers to sign a contract stating that they would hang onto the car for at least two years. John Cena couldn’t follow the rules and he got sued.
After prices hit insane figures for the 911 R, Porsche decided to do something about customers that flipped its vehicles. The plan, as the automaker laid out, centered around ensuring that flippers can’t get their hands on limited-edition models by stopping their names from getting on the necessary list.
While one expects limited-edition cars like the GT and 911 R to be flipped for even more money, it shouldn’t be happening with affordable models like the Focus RS and Civic Type R. Both hatchbacks start at around the $35,000 segment, but early buyers have used Craigslist, eBay, and Auto Trader to sell vehicles for a lot more than their starting prices.
The situation is a lot worse for the Civic Type R as it’s the newer, more-limited vehicle. We’ve seen prices for hatchback get up to $82,000, which is ridiculous. Now that the Focus RS has been on the market for a while, things are starting to cool down a bit. But that doesn’t mean people still aren’t marking prices for the hatchback up, as this one on eBay is priced at $50,540 when it should be priced around $43,000.
To keep people from flipping cars for ridiculous prices, all automakers need to have some sort of plan in place to stop or punish people from doing so. While I think Ford’s plan of making people sign a contract is a little invasive, it’s something every automaker should follow to stop flippers from getting their hands on the vehicle.
Hot hatchbacks are built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts and they should be sold to enthusiasts, not to people that are looking for ways to make money. Automakers shouldn’t be looking out for the elite who have money to buy one or two 911s, they should be watching out for the average enthusiast who’s just scraping by to have a Civic Type R or Focus RS in their driveway. And that includes keeping prices for affordable hatchbacks at a reasonable amount.