What is Kelley Blue Book and How Can I Use It?

car trade-in value

A little information about the history. Kelley Blue Book is an Irvine, California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company that is recognized by both consumers and the automotive industry. First published in 1926 by Les Kelley the company founder, the book is named after The Social Registry, a book that listed the names of local movers and shakers commonly referred to as the “blue book.”

Over the years,  book became a standard guide in automotive trade in determining car value. It’s kept up with the times, turning into a viable online resource. You may use this book as a credible source for obtaining needed important information on new and used cars as well as motorcycles and recreational vehicles. It’s especially useful to determine a fair price on a vehicle.

Kelley publishes its books for different types of users. We’ll turn our attention to the consumers.

KBB New Car Price Manual

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP): is the price at which the manufacturer recommends that the retailer sell the product, and it is usually inflated. Included in the MSRP are the destination charge for the vehicle and the minimum required equipment cost. Kelley Blue Book also lists this information separately.

Dealer invoice: The price that the manufacturer charges the dealer for the car. But remember that this price doesen’t include dealer expenses on advertisement, sales commission and so on.

New car blue book value: This price is an average selling price of the vehicle based on the sales of a definite car throughout the country. There may be different regional prices because of variations in demand. One car may be cheaper than the other one in different states of a country.

Optional-equipment price: Kelley Blue Book provides an opportunity to evaluate the cost of the car of certain options. Want to know how much it will cost for you? Then you are here!

Kelley Blue Book Used Car Guide

Retail value: This price is an average listing price of the vehicle throughout the country. You need to remember that the actual selling price will be less (or much less) because retail value includes such dealer expenses like advertising and sales commission and ao on. Usually that price is much higher than the private-party price.

Private-party value:  If you decided to purchase a vehicle from a private owner, not a dealer, then you need to know that the selling price will be lower than the retail value. Because an individual doesen’t bear the burden of a dealer’s overhead. Remember that the price is not fixed since Kelley doesn’t track all private-party used car transactions throughout the country and you always may converge at a lower cost by chaffer.

Trade-in value: This is the typical price that a dealer would offer you for your used car. This price is lower than what you’d receive from a private buyer.

The Online Experience

Kelley Blue Book is a source which is updated weekly. Here you can compare cars, check out safety ratings, read reviews, even shop classified ads and insurance carriers.

All you need to do if you are looking for a new car is to go to the site and choose necessary manufacturer, model of the vehicle. The site will offer you to select your desired model year, zip code, body trim and modification. It then shows pictures of your selection and tells you what’s new for this year. That is simple and quick way to achieve a good result.

You will pass through the same operations if you want a used car. Follow the same steps under the Used Car tab. The site will offer you to choose what kind of price you want: retail, trade-in or private party. Then you’ll need to know the mileage and condition of the vehicle. And if you still can’t decide, fill out a condition quiz. You’ll know how much to sell or buy your car for due to Pricing information.

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