Study Finds San Francisco is Most Expensive City to Buy Used Cars, Cleveland Least Expensive

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Instamotor analyzes private party listings to determine best and worst cities for used cars.

Purchasing or selling a used car comes with a unique set of challenges. Every car is different, so determining a price often comes down a set of common criteria like make and model, condition and what is fair for a seller’s region.

To address the latter, local car marketplace app Instamotor analyzed private party used car listings to calculate which cities had highest and lowest average prices.

While factors like cost of living and car dependency can play a large role in how much used cars will sell for, the data revealed some outlier cities as well.

The top five most expensive cities to buy a used car are:

1) San Francisco - $9,488 average used car price
2) Oklahoma City - $9,028 average used car price
3) Phoenix - $8,844 average used car price
4) San Diego - $8,304 average used car price
5) Salt Lake City - $8,243 average used car price

The five least expensive cities for used cars are:

1) Cleveland - $5,265 average used car price
2) Milwaukee - $5,444 average used car price
3) Youngstown - $5,508 average used car price
4) Columbus - $5,550 average used car price
5) Philadelphia - $5,558 average used car price

“What a buyer is willing to pay in San Francisco for the same car in Cleveland can be the difference of hundreds of dollars,” says Val Gui, Instamotor’s Founder and COO. “It’s important for sellers to accurately calculate a fair, but also attractive, used car price.”

Find the full study here:

The study is based on a minimum of 3,000 car listings by owners on Craigslist per metro area between November 15 - December 5, 2016 to calculate the average used car prices. Two different Craigslist counties were used for each metro area to diversify total dataset of 315,225 listed prices.


About Instamotor

Instamotor makes it easier and safer to buy and sell a used car without any middleman, saving our users hundreds and thousands more on fees and commission. Each car listed on Instamotor is verified by analyzing thousands of data points which is analyzed both automatically by our algorithms and reviewed by our Fraud & Safety team. This ensures that vehicles listed for sale are represented accurately by their owners.

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Caroline Gilbert
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