Kelley Blue Book of Used Cars: How to Find, Compare, and Negotiate the Best Deals
Kelley Blue Book of Used Cars: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers
If you are in the market for a used car, you may have heard of Kelley Blue Book as a reliable source of information on car values. But what exactly is Kelley Blue Book and how can it help you buy or sell a used car? In this article, we will explain what Kelley Blue Book is, how it works, how to use it to find the value of a used car, and how to use it to buy or sell a used car. We will also share some tips and best practices to make your car buying or selling experience easier and more successful.
kelley blue book of used cars
What is Kelley Blue Book and how does it work?
Kelley Blue Book is a company that provides vehicle valuation and pricing information for new and used cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and other vehicles. It is one of the most trusted and widely used sources of car values in the United States. Kelley Blue Book has been in business since 1926 and has a mission to help consumers make informed decisions when buying or selling vehicles.
The history and mission of Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book was founded by Les Kelley, a car dealer who started publishing a list of car prices based on his own market research. He called it the "Blue Book" because he printed it on blue paper. The list became popular among other car dealers and soon became the standard for car pricing in the industry. In 1962, Les Kelley sold his company to his nephew, Bob Kelley, who expanded the business to include consumer editions of the Blue Book. In 1995, Kelley Blue Book launched its website, kbb.com, which became one of the first online sources of car values. Today, Kelley Blue Book is owned by Cox Automotive, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, and continues to provide vehicle valuation and pricing information for consumers and professionals.
The types and sources of data used by Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book uses various types and sources of data to calculate the values of vehicles. Some of these data include:
Actual transactions from dealerships, auctions, rental companies, fleet sales, and private parties
Market conditions such as supply and demand, seasonality, trends, and regional differences
Vehicle specifications such as make, model, year, mileage, condition, features, and options
Expert opinions from industry analysts, editors, and researchers
Consumer feedback from surveys, reviews, ratings, and comments
Kelley Blue Book analyzes millions of data points every week to update its values and ensure they reflect the current market reality.
The benefits and limitations of Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book has many benefits for consumers who want to buy or sell a used car. Some of these benefits include:
It provides objective and unbiased information on car values based on actual data and market research
It offers a range of values for different types of transactions, such as trade-in, private party, dealer retail, and certified pre-owned
It allows consumers to customize their car value estimates based on their location, vehicle condition, mileage, and features
It provides helpful tools and resources for car buyers and sellers, such as reviews, ratings, comparisons, calculators, and advice
It is free and easy to use online or on mobile devices
However, Kelley Blue Book also has some limitations that consumers should be aware of. Some of these limitations include:
It does not guarantee that the values it provides are the exact prices that consumers will pay or receive for their vehicles
It does not account for every possible factor that may affect the value of a vehicle, such as personal preferences, negotiation skills, or emotional attachment
It does not cover every type of vehicle or every market segment, such as classic cars, exotic cars, or specialty vehicles
It may not reflect the most recent changes in the market due to data lag or volatility
It may vary from other sources of car values, such as Edmunds, NADA Guides, or Carfax
Therefore, consumers should use Kelley Blue Book as a guide and a starting point, but not as the final word on car values. They should also compare it with other sources of information and do their own research and due diligence before buying or selling a vehicle.
How to use Kelley Blue Book to find the value of a used car?
If you want to find out how much a used car is worth, you can use Kelley Blue Book to get an estimate based on the car's details and your location. Here are the steps to follow on the Kelley Blue Book website:
The steps to follow on the Kelley Blue Book website
Go to kbb.com and click on "Price Your Next Car" or "My Car's Value"
Select the year, make, model, and style of the car you want to value
Select the condition of the car from "Excellent" to "Fair" based on the criteria provided by Kelley Blue Book
Enter the mileage of the car in miles or kilometers
Select the features and options that the car has or does not have
Enter your ZIP code or postal code to get a localized value estimate
Click on "Get My Car's Value" or "See Trade-In Value"
Review the range of values provided by Kelley Blue Book for different types of transactions
The factors that affect the value of a used car
The value of a used car depends on many factors, some of which are more obvious than others. Some of the most common factors that affect the value of a used car are:
The age of the car: The older the car, the lower its value, as it depreciates over time and loses its warranty coverage.
The mileage of the car: The higher the mileage, the lower its value, as it indicates more wear and tear and higher maintenance costs.
The condition of the car: The better the condition, the higher its value, as it shows that the car has been well maintained and has no major defects or damages.
The features and options of the car: The more features and options, the higher its value, as they add convenience, comfort, safety, performance, or style to the car.
The location of the car: The value of a car may vary depending on where it is sold or bought, as different regions may have different supply and demand levels, taxes and fees, weather conditions, or consumer preferences.
The market trends of the car: The value of a car may change depending on how popular or desirable it is in the market at a given time. For example, some cars may have higher demand during certain seasons (such as SUVs in winter) or due to external factors (such as gas prices or environmental concerns).
The different types of values provided by Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book provides different types of values for different types of transactions involving used cars. These values are:
Trade-in value: This is the amount that a dealer would offer you for your car if you trade it in for another car. This is usually the lowest value among all types.
usually higher than the trade-in value but lower than the dealer retail value.
Dealer retail value: This is the amount that you would expect to pay if you buy your car from a dealer. This is usually the highest value among all types.
Certified pre-owned value: This is the amount that you would expect to pay if you buy your car from a certified pre-owned program offered by some manufacturers or dealers. This is usually higher than the dealer retail value but lower than the new car price.
Kelley Blue Book also provides other types of values for specific purposes, such as:
Invoice price: This is the amount that the dealer pays to the manufacturer for a new car. This is usually lower than the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) but higher than the dealer cost.
Fair purchase price: This is the amount that consumers are actually paying for a new car based on recent sales data. This is usually lower than the MSRP but higher than the invoice price.
5-Year Cost to Own: This is the amount that you would expect to spend on a car over five years, including depreciation, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, taxes, and fees. This helps you compare the total cost of ownership of different cars.
How to use Kelley Blue Book to buy or sell a used car?
If you want to buy or sell a used car, you can use Kelley Blue Book to get an idea of how much you should pay or receive for it. You can also use Kelley Blue Book to find and compare listings of used cars for sale near you. Here are some tips and tools for buyers and sellers on the Kelley Blue Book website:
The tips and tools for buyers on the Kelley Blue Book website
If you are looking for a used car to buy, you can use Kelley Blue Book to:
Find out what type of car suits your needs and budget by using the Car Finder tool
Research and compare different models of cars by using the Car Comparison tool
Read reviews and ratings from experts and consumers by using the Car Reviews and Ratings section
Check the history and condition of a specific car by using the VIN Check tool or getting a Vehicle History Report from Carfax
Find and contact local dealers or private sellers who have the car you want by using the Cars for Sale section
Negotiate a fair price with the seller by using the Price Advisor tool or getting an Instant Cash Offer from Kelley Blue Book
Get financing and insurance options for your car by using the Finance and Insurance section
The tips and tools for sellers on the Kelley Blue Book website
If you have a used car to sell, you can use Kelley Blue Book to:
Find out how much your car is worth by using the My Car's Value section
Prepare your car for sale by cleaning it, fixing any issues, and gathering all the documents
Create an attractive and honest listing for your car by using the Sell Your Car section
Advertise your car online or offline by using various platforms and channels
Screen and communicate with potential buyers by using phone, email, or text messages
Show and test drive your car safely and securely by meeting in a public place and verifying the buyer's identity and funds
Complete the sale legally and smoothly by signing a bill of sale, transferring the title, canceling your registration and insurance, and collecting your payment
The best practices and common mistakes to avoid when buying or selling a used car
Buying or selling a used car can be a complex and stressful process. To make it easier and more successful, here are some best practices and common mistakes to avoid:
Do your homework: Research the market, compare different options, check the history and condition of the car, and know your rights and responsibilities as a buyer or seller.
Be realistic: Set a reasonable budget, expect some negotiation, and be prepared to walk away if you are not satisfied with the deal.
Be honest: Provide accurate and complete information about your car, disclose any problems or defects, and don't lie or exaggerate about its features or value.
Be safe: Protect your personal and financial information, avoid scams and frauds, and meet in a public and well-lit place with a friend or family member.
Be professional: Communicate clearly and politely, respond promptly and courteously, and honor your commitments and agreements.
Kelley Blue Book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to buy or sell a used car. It provides reliable and up-to-date information on car values, as well as helpful tools and resources for car buyers and sellers. However, Kelley Blue Book is not the only source of information or the final authority on car values. Consumers should use it as a guide and a starting point, but also compare it with other sources and do their own research and due diligence before buying or selling a vehicle. By following the tips and best practices in this article, consumers can use Kelley Blue Book to make informed and confident decisions when buying or selling a used car.
Q: How often does Kelley Blue Book update its values?
A: Kelley Blue Book updates its values weekly based on the latest data and market research. However, some values may not reflect the most recent changes in the market due to data lag or volatility.
Q: How accurate is Kelley Blue Book?
A: Kelley Blue Book is accurate in the sense that it provides objective and unbiased information on car values based on actual data and market research. However, it is not precise in the sense that it does not guarantee that the values it provides are the exact prices that consumers will pay or receive for their vehicles. The actual prices may vary depending on many factors, such as personal preferences, negotiation skills, or emotional attachment.
Q: How does Kelley Blue Book make money?
A: Kelley Blue Book makes money by selling advertising space on its website and mobile app, as well as by providing data and insights to automotive manufacturers, dealers, lenders, insurers, and other industry partners.
Q: What is the difference between Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds?
A: Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are both companies that provide vehicle valuation and pricing information for new and used cars. They have similar methods and sources of data, but they may have different results due to different algorithms and assumptions. Consumers should compare both sources of information and use their own judgment when buying or selling a vehicle.
Q: What is the difference between Kelley Blue Book and NADA Guides?
A: Kelley Blue Book and NADA Guides are both companies that provide vehicle valuation and pricing information for new and used cars. However, they have different origins and audiences. Kelley Blue Book started as a publication for car dealers and later expanded to consumers. NADA Guides started as a publication for banks and insurance companies and later expanded to consumers. Consumers should compare both sources of information and use their own judgment when buying or selling a vehicle. 71b2f0854b