The twelve writers and editors of Jalopnik own 49 cars. That works out to an average of 4.08 cars per writer. Considering used car prices have shot through the roof, you might think we’re collectively sitting on a small fortune, until you consider that rust buckets make up a disproportionately large number of these and many of our rides are valued too low or are too old to qualify for an offer at a site like Carvana. Welp.
Still, this all got us thinking: How much are our cars worth? Is it enough to sell? It all started when Erin found a higher-than-expected value for her Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI. Moments later, Jason and Mercedes quickly discovered Carvana’s floor of $200. Here are some of the offers Carvana was proposing for our wheels:
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI | Owned by Erin Marquis
Carvana Price: $17,305
Sell It? Yes
Oh, girl. We had some good times together. I’ll admit, the sentimental value I have invested in my car is making this a hard decision: It’s the first new car bought in my family since my dad brought home a Ford Aerostar straight from the dealer, it’s a car I owned when I got married, found out I was cancer-free and carted me around on many adventures. But as the old saying goes: You can’t take it with you. Carvana is offering a little less than what I paid for this car brand new four years ago and, while I am a sucker for it’s driving dynamics, versatility, and throaty diesel growl, I am no fool. Plus with both myself and husband working from home, we just don’t need two cars. Jolene will go to the car vending machine to some other happy individual.
2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI | Owned by Mercedes Streeter
Carvana Price: $623
Sell It? Nah
When I saw that Carvana offered Erin $17,305 for her Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI, I just had to see what it would offer me for my own Jetta Sportwagen TDI. I paid only $3,000 for it, so it would be easy to break even or profit, right? Well, mileage seems to make a huge impact on quotes because it seems Carvana doesn’t want a wagon that’s flirting with a half million miles.
1997 BMW 318ti | Owned by José Rodríguez, Jr.
Carvana Price: $200
Sell It? Oh, hell no!
I’ve spent more than $200 on relays and fuses alone this year, but I’ll still never sell my car. I’m having it reupholstered in Mexico on the cheap (front seats and headliner) in preparation for lots of summer drives. I’m going to drive my ’ti into the ground, then pick up the pieces and rebuild it with some sacrilegious upgrades that BMW enthusiasts would hate because they eschew the purity of a full restoration. The truth is the perfect M3 Compact already exists. The world doesn’t need another one. I’m happy enough building the compact that’s perfect for me and me alone. So, thanks but no thanks, Carvana!
2008 Honda Fit Sport | Owned by Erik Shilling
Carvana Price: $3,192
Sell It? Hell no
Carvana says that my car is “a little outside our sweet spot,” which I take to mean it is too small or old for them to bother with, because I’m pretty sure it’s worth more than $3,192. That’s right: “I know what I got.”
2017 Ford Fiesta ST | Owned by Adam Ismail
Carvana Price: $14,708
Sell It? Thought about it!
I’ve long told myself I’d never ever get rid of my Fiesta ST unless I could replace it with a manual hatchback similar or better, and I’m sticking to that. Granted, seeing my hot hatch’s value on Carvana made that a little more difficult, especially knowing I could maybe tack another two or three grand onto that if I sold privately. The problem is, of course, that the pricey used car market works both ways: your car is overvalued, but then so is the one you want to buy. I was recently entertaining a super-low mileage Veloster N a friend just returned following a year-long manufacturer lease, but it costs almost the same as a new one does, plus it’d lock me into three more years of payments for a car only marginally more fun. I’m nearly done paying off old Tails so…yeah, I think I’ll stick with the FiST.
2018 Hyundai Sonata | Owned by Lawrence Hodge
Carvana Price: $9,000
Sell It? No, but thinking about trading
I’m surprised they offered this much for it with the miles. The downside of Korean cars is depreciation. My car was about $24k new a few years ago.