Kelley Retail
Blue Book Value

The MSRP of Used Cars?


The retail blue book value, as defined by Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is their Suggested Retail Value (MSRP for Used Cars) and is the expected starting price for a used vehicle that has been fully reconditioned and is available for sale by a car dealer.

The keywords from above are "Suggested" and "Starting". It is extremely important when buying a car to keep in mind that Kelley Blue Book is simply a guide and nothing more.

In other words, if a car has a $20,000 retail value don't feel that that is a fixed non-negotiable sale price...

Everything is negotiable when buying a car!




Never Buy a Car
For Retail Blue Book Value

There are very few exceptions to this rule. Some examples are high demand vehicles, limited production vehicles, or vehicles with lots of expensive adds that Kelley Blue Book does not give a very true value for.

Keep in mind that KBB's biggest profits are made from car dealers that subscribe to their guides and they're not going to bite the hand that feeds them by figuring low retail prices.

All that being said, most car dealers rarely use the retail value for figuring their sales prices and usually just mark up their cost whatever amount they think they might be able to sell the vehicle for.

Oftentimes this leads to the sale price being higher than the retail value and this is where Kelley Blue Book can be very beneficial, use it to make sure you're not getting raked over the coals.

From the dealers perspective they figure...

They can easily come down
on price, but it's really hard to go up!

These values really serve their purpose here, although not an exact science, they provide a good reference for consumers that probably do not keep up with used car values on a regular basis.


Most Common Uses of
The Retail Blue Book Value

  1. When Structuring A Loan For A Retail Lender

    They'll use the retail value when structuring a loan for an auto lender that uses the retail value, and not the wholesale value, to determine how much they're willing to loan.

  2. As An Advertising Angle

    This is for ad cars and doesn't usually apply to all the cars on the lot.

    Example -
    Blue Book Retail Value $18,100
    Your Low Price Only $16,995.

  3. Smaller Used Car Dealerships

    It's oftentimes more convenient for a smaller used car dealership to simply print a Retail Book Sheet to use as a window sticker.

    It gives the dealer a nice mark up and lists all of the options on the vehicle for customers to see.


All in all, just keep in mind that the Kelley retail blue book value is just that...Kelley's value. Use it simply as a reference and know that car dealers can almost always come down in price.


Return from Kelley Retail Blue Book Value to KBB Guide

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