Op-Ed: There’s A Major Problem When Affordable Hatch Backs Are Selling For Insane Prices

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.

Ford Focus RS

Honda Civic Type R

  • Salih Ahzem

    I’d say, first world problems…

    • brn

      Yea, but I’m first world, so it’s a problem!!

      • SteersUright

        Lol, exactly!

  • Vanquish

    the point of these cars is to be affordable performance cars anyone paying 80k for a type r with al the choices that are out there at that price point is an idiot

  • Tumbi Mtika

    The 1M predicted this.

    It wasn’t even a matter of time.

  • europeon

    That moment when realize how economy works and you need to quickly write 500 words about it. Mind blowing, right?
    Oh boy…

  • Dennis James

    If there wouldn’t be demand, there wouldn’t be supply…I personally think these hot hatches are a waste of money anyway. Sometimes for less money you can get a premium brand RWD car of similar power and get a lot more for your money. And for like $5000 worth of suspension, brakes and maybe some cooling upgrades you can rival any hot hatch on the track while keeping the overall quality, premium interior and the civilized road manners.

  • javier

    why would you pay money for the rs given it has a defective motor , have some self control and wait for the civic. I would be totally embarrassed to pay more than ask

    • LWOAP

      It was more like an issue with the head gasket which was for the Mustang and not the Focus RS. Not sure how Ford fucked that up but I do know they fixed it. Also, the Civic is ugly af and I wouldn’t be caught dead in that thing. But I will order the motor though and put it into something far more appealing.

      • javier

        Some cars got new motors, some have warped heads and some just got gaskets. That’s a leap of faith. The civic is pretty silly but the toned down”touring” version will be really nice if it materializes.

      • TheHake

        Like a go-cart.

        • Tumbi Mtika

          Or an MR2.

  • Very good observation, the price of hot hatch has gone insane really, maybe they should bring back lesser power model or what they used to call “Warm Hatch” back, so far the good warm hatch is Fiesta ST and Swift Sport.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    I have always loved the Civic Type R. However the last one is very far from what it used to be. So is for many other hatchback models. They are getting in a region where you buy better cars for almost the same price or even second hand sportscars. This includes some Porsche models and Lotus, to mention a few.

  • SteersUright

    If flippers can pull this off than the automaker simply isn’t making enough of these cars. When anyone can head to a dealer and pick up the car they want at MSRP then there is no upside for flippers. This is the manufacturers fault, plain and simple. Had Porsche produced all the 911R’s it could sell nobody would buy them from some shady 3rd party seller on eBay or otherwise. Same holds true for the others. And anyone willing to pay so much more for them should be entitled to.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Might wanna fix that headline, Patel.

  • TheHake

    If you pay $82k for a car as ugly as the Type R, there’s something wrong with you.

    • Bash

      clearly something is wrong with lots of people.

      • TheHake

        I mean… you can buy a SERIOUS car for that money!

        • Bash

          I totally agree.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      I’m getting an Evora for that much. Or that Jannarelly car.

  • Kagan

    It doesn’t work in europe though.

  • Vassilis

    As long as there are people paying that money for those cars, the problem will continue to exist. Maybe car companies can do something but firstly, prospective buyers must say “fuck that”.

  • Harry Nimmergut

    When the Cadillac Escalade is Cadillac’s best-selling model (starts at $75K)…you could go that route in an article as well. The economy has gone to people’s heads and the Day of Reckoning is coming.

    • Richard Alexander

      15 trillion of global quantitative easing surely could not have some unforseen effects 😉

  • Richard Alexander

    We are in the late stages of the largest economic bubble the world has ever seen.

  • Trackhacker

    The Civic is so ugly though. It looks like a CUV haha. Anyways….the issues with our society is everyone wants to be the first. Just wait like 2-3 years and the Type R will be MSRP. Also the plus side is all the issues should be fixed by than.

  • 2sfhim

    Thankfully the Mégane and Clio RS and 308 and 208 GTi keep normal prices while being better than the Civic or the Golf.

  • Harry_Wild

    Manufacturers should keep a ceiling on how much the dealers can market up their hot cars! I think that 30% should be the ceiling!

  • RFH

    35,000 ls insane!!!! Please

  • RFH

    Any price above 20,000 is insane. Please stop!!

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