Curbside Caveat Emptor: Want A 2-Year-Old Used Ford Fiesta For 17% More Than The Original Sticker? My Dealer Has You Covered And Has Already Discounted It 10%!

Yes, it’s Caveat Emptor time here at CC!  We’ve all heard that there is a new car shortage and perhaps a used car shortage as well, so transaction prices are up, discounts are down, and there is no selection on the lots.  Ed Snitkoff texted me on Tuesday to ask how many F-150s my local dealer has (way less than usual due to the chip shortage), while on their site I looked at the used car selection and thought the used Fiesta pricing seemed a little rich.

While perhaps not a highlight of Stefan Lamm’s (the designer) portfolio, it’s not a particularly bad looking car.  In the US of course the Fiesta has been cancelled after 2019 due to lack of sales or lack of Ford being able to make a profit on it anyway, and also that nobody apparently wants either small cars, or sedans, and especially not the combination.  Or just Ford’s combination, I don’t know, but that’s their call of course.

This particular one dates from that last model year of 2019, has 17-odd thousand miles, and is the base “S” model.  As a bonus for enthusiasts it also has a manual transmission (!), which is lot poison for pretty much every car here in the states, and it’s the rare enthusiast looking for a base Fiesta sedan, so maybe that’s not the target market after all in a world where the Fiesta ST exists.  At least it now has a Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty, which it didn’t have back on Tuesday when I first saw this listing – at that time the price was also $19,790 but I neglected to take a screenshot then…However I did find the listing history on CarGurus and screenshotted it below.

Clearly there have been no serious tire-kickers since.  Maybe someone won’t let this get away now that the price has been discounted 10% from Tuesday’s which the dealership will likely be sure to point out to any buyer in order to nip any negotiating attempt in the bud.

The dealer even provided a handy link to this car’s actual sticker right in their listing, which shows that full freight even including the nebulous but required Destination charge was only $15,235 when brand new.  This car has the 1.6liter inline-4 producing 120hp and 112lb-ft of torque which is decent for this size of car, and exactly zero options, only standard features.  This is the car you might see on The Price Is Right!

Of course to the buyer in 2019, that sticker price was before any of the copious discounts and rebates on offer, I can’t imagine it would have been too hard to get the price pretty close to $10,000 even just so the dealer could get a greater allotment of Raptors or F-350s or whatever they actually want to sell and buyers wanted to buy when it was new.  Fiestas were not big sellers out here and I have every confidence that nobody ever paid full sticker on a 2019 Fiesta S sedan.  With a manual.  I’m amazed it was actually built, this is the car we would feature in two decades and treat to a full CC post.

But here we are and this used car has a current asking price of $17,893.  What a world when a Fiesta is apparently an appreciating asset!  Finally something for the little guy collector/investor whose pocket change is a little shy of the necessary winning bid for a Ferrari GTO or Bugatti Royale at Sotheby’s Pebble Beach Auction.  I guess when the F-150s aren’t rolling onto the showroom floor for the time being, a dealer has to make do with something to make a profit.

But if you do rush on down here to snap this up (and someone just might, a special someone is born every minute from what I hear), at least ask them to take care of their own manufacturer’s recall.  The Autocheck updated the mileage with today’s date on it, if the recall was fixed it should have been on there as well, they’ve had the car all week.

Me, I think I’ll be sitting the current market situation out.  If the worst were to happen with any of our cars I think I’ll be trawling the local Craigslist and buying something dirt cheap to tide me over until next year.  Shopping for a car doesn’t seem like much of a fiesta these days, caveat emptor indeed.

5/3/2021 Update:  It appears that the dealer dropped the price to $15,037 on May 1, finally putting it just below the original sticker price that the dealer was themselves making available.  Apparently buyers aren’t quite as stupid or desperate as they thought or hoped.