5 Factors Affecting a Used Car’s Value in Philadelphia

Although having a car is a necessity when you live in a big city like Philadelphia, the chances are you won’t need it all the time. The city’s eclectic neighborhoods are easily walkable, so you will most likely end up with a used car sitting in your garage. If that’s the case, you should consider getting rid of it and get some extra cash in your pocket.

However, the problem with getting paid for a car sale is that all vehicles depreciate over time. Even if the car is in good condition, there are a host of factors that affect the predicted and actual resale value of your vehicle. While some of these factors are inherent to the car itself, such as make and class, others are partially within your control, including miles driven and maintenance history.

So, if you are planning to sell your junk car for cash in Philadelphia successfully, here are five factors that can affect its resale value.


The brand of a vehicle is one of the most important factors affecting a used car’s value, no matter the condition or quality of the vehicle in question. There are certain British, German, and Japanese car brands that are losing their value fast, while brands like Lexus, Acura, Mercedes, and Audi fare the best in the luxury arena.

In fact, most of these brands can retain more than 60% of their value after the first three years of ownership, while other vehicles from those less luxurious brands can lose as much as 35% in the same time.

Vehicle class and body style

Factors like vehicle class and body style can also affect a car’s value. While there are many reasons for that, geography is a very critical one. For example, Philly is often considered the warmest city in the state which is why many people opt for convertibles and sports cars as they are very practical.

However, if you live in the colder parts of the city where there is more terrain and rougher roads, you will notice that rugged SUVs and four-wheel drive vehicles are more in demand.

Exterior condition

If you keep your car in good cosmetic condition by maintaining it and washing it regularly, then you shouldn’t worry too much about not getting a handful of cash for your used vehicle.

However, if you don’t do so, the chances are your car’s resale value will shrink fast. Potential buyers will view swirled or scratched paint with prejudice and will try to reduce the price you have previously set.

So, if you want to get a good value for your vehicle, be sure to fix any dents and dings so you can sell it fast and successfully.

Interior condition

Your vehicle’s interior condition can also affect its resale value. A clean and well-kept car will be more appealing to buyers than a car that smells or is rundown. If you smoke, own pets, or drive your vehicle with a lot of people, it is important that you get it cleaned thoroughly before you sell it.

If your car’s floor mats are worn out and stained, you can invest in a set of inexpensive rubber floor mats to replace the old ones. Also, don’t forget to clean out the consoles and glovebox and throw away any trash present.

Mechanical condition

In theory, mechanical wear and tear can have a significant financial impact on your car’s overall value. For example, if it costs $2,000 to replace the transmission in your vehicle, then that will reduce its resale price by an equal amount. The math isn’t always as simple because most buyers won’t bother to request a thorough mechanical inspection before they buy.

In any case, it is important to have your car’s service records as they can also affect its resale value. You need to be able to show these records to potential buyers, so they will know that the vehicle has been kept in good condition. Otherwise, vehicles that are not maintained well depreciate quicker than the ones that are kept in good condition.

Photo by Arteum.ro from Unsplash

Final thoughts

Just putting up a sticker price on your vehicle isn’t enough to sell it. In fact, there are many things you need to consider in advance in order to set a reasonable price for your car and sell it fast and successfully in Philadelphia.

From your car’s make, model, and mileage to its interior, exterior and mechanical condition, there are many factors that can affect a used car’s resale value. 

For more information, refer to our post and learn about the most important factors that can depreciate a vehicle of any kind.


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