KBB Used Car Values

Know the Dealers Used
Car Cost & Maximize
Your Trade in Value

This KBB used car values guide is packed with some very powerful, completely FREE information that will show you how to figure a car dealers used car cost and how to maximize your trade in value to get top dollar.

Knowing a car dealers used car cost (the "used car invoice") can save you $3,000, $4,000 to $5,000 or more and maximizing your trade in value can save you additional hundreds if not thousands of dollars!

Investing a small amount of time to truly understand the different Kelley Blue Book Values, which used car values car dealers use and how they use them is essential to "saving more and getting more."

"If you don't learn these values you will essentially be handing the dealer thousands of dollars (on a silver platter) in additional profits!"

Figure A Car
Dealers Used Car Cost

What car dealers lack in profit selling new cars, they more than make up for when selling used cars. If you want to avoid being the one that helps them make up that lost profit, then this is some serious money saving information you can't afford to skip!

Used Car Values Guide
Your Key To Figuring A Car Dealers Used Car Cost...

>> Step 1 - How To Figure The Used Car Invoice
This is the Magic Number that thousands of car dealers and auto lenders pay hundreds of dollars a month for this KBB used car value...Learn to figure it for free.

Learn to Figure the Used Car Invoice
>> Step 2 - Auction Standards and Common Costs
Some of the standards for buying cars at the auction and common costs car dealers incur. Here's six standards and five costs to know.

Auction Standards and Common Costs
>> Step 3 - How Your Local Market Can Affect Values
You can throw out some of these rules you've learned if your local market says to. Location, location, location...works for real estate and used car values as well.

Your Market and Local Car Pricing
>> Step 4 - Sum It Up and Figure The Dealers Used Car Cost
The moment you've been waiting for. Let's take what you've learned and figure the dealers used car cost. Some examples and a few more rules of the road.

Figure the Dealers Used Car Cost

Now that you've figured the cost of your "new" used car, let's use the KBB used car values to figure out how to maximize the trade in value of your old car.

Blue Book Trade In Value Guide To...
Maximizing Your Trade Profits...

>> Step 1 - Maximize Your Trade In Value
What is KBB trade in value? Five quick and easy tips to get the maximum for your trade in. Plus, what adds to a used cars value and what doesn't.

Learn the Blue Book Trade in Value to Maximize Your Used Car Value
>> Bonus - Should You Sell Privately or Trade It In?
Here are some potential tax benefits to consider when deciding whether to sell yourself or trade it in. Also, a quick pricing tip if you decide FSBO is the way to go.

Sell A Car Privately or Trade It In

And down
below you'll find:

What Is
Kelley Blue Book (KBB)

Kelley Blue Book or KBB for short is a guide that establishes values for used cars, trucks, SUV's and other used vehicles. It's important to note that KBB is only a guide. They do not buy or sell vehicles.

None of the blue book values you'll find in their guide are set in stone. Your trade in vehicle or the "new" used vehicle you are looking to buy may be worth more or worth less than its Kelley Blue Book value.

That being said their guides are a great starting point when, buying a car and/or trading a car and trying to figure that vehicles used car value.

FYI: Auto lenders lending guidelines play an important role for car dealers when they determine how much they will buy a car for. This applies to your trade in and cars bought from auction or other sources...

Auto lenders rely on these values when considering loaning money against the value of the vehicle. I discuss loan structure more in depth on my Auto Loans page.

It is important to know this, because this certainly has an impact on the amount of money a car dealer is willing to put into a trade in and/or a vehicle that's bought at auction.

I tend to see situations like this arise when a customer has a decked out vehicle with all kinds of cool add ons.

For instance, a lifted truck with premium wheels and tires. You may have spent $5,000 to have all that work done, but Kelley Blue Book is only going to add a few hundred dollars to the vehicles value for the wheels and tires and add no extra value for the lift.

A car dealer wouldn't want to own a vehicle for more money than a lender would want to loan...This would make it extremely difficult to sell.

The Four Kelley
Blue Book Values

Quick definitions of the four blue book values.
Click on any of the links for the values to learn the whole story...

Retail Value
Kelley defines this value as the expected starting price for a used vehicle that has been fully reconditioned and is available for sale by a car dealer.

This is one of two blue book values that car dealers use when:

  • Structuring a loan (some auto lenders loan money based on the retail value of the vehicle).
  • Determining the sale price of the vehicle.

The Retail Blue Book Value is available for free on www.kbb.com

Private Party Value
The Private Party Value is defined as the price one could expect to sell and/or buy a vehicle from a private party.

As mentioned earlier, KBB is only a guide and the actual car buying or selling price can be affected based on the vehicles condition and/or local market conditions.

Car dealers do not use this value when determining trade in value, or at all for that matter.

The Private Party Blue Book Value is available for free on www.kbb.com.

Wholesale Value
The Wholesale Blue Book Value is deemed by Kelley to be the "used car invoice" and to some degree that's true. It is by far the most used, of the four values, by car dealers.

Car dealers use the wholesale value when:

  • Structuring a loan.
    (most auto lenders loan money based on the wholesale value)
  • Determining the trade in value of a vehicle.
  • Determining what to buy a car for at auction.

Unfortunately, for you the consumer this figure is not available for free.

Tens of thousands of car dealers and lenders pay hundreds of dollars a month to subscribe to Kelley Blue Book just for this number.

There are three ways you as a consumer can have access to this all so important value:

  1. You can subscribe to Karpower.
  2. Purchase one of Kelleys guidebooks.
  3. You can read my Wholesale Kelley Blue Book page to learn to figure it for FREE!

Trade In Value
Trade In Value is Kelleys estimation of what a consumer could expect to receive for their vehicle if they were to trade it in to a car dealer.

It may make you scratch your head, but car dealers do not use the Blue Book Trade In Value when figuring the actual cash value (ACV) of your trade in.

The Blue Book Trade In Value is available for free on www.kbb.com.

Kelley Blue Book Values
What Has A Value and What Doesn't

You'll find values for:

Online at KBB.com:

  • 21 Years of Used Cars, Trucks and SUV's
  • Motorcycles
  • ATV's
  • Snowmobiles
  • Personal Watercraft

Values Found In Their
Published Guidebooks (Must Subscribe):

  • Early Model/Classic Cars and Trucks (back to 1946)
  • Motor Homes, Campers & Van Conversions
  • Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels & Folding Trailers
  • Residual Values (Applies to leases)

There are no
values or guides for:

  • Canadian Car Values
  • Boats
  • Aircraft
  • Tractors
  • Commercial Vehicles

How Often Kelley
Blue Book Values Are Updated

KBB used to provide updates to dealers every two months, but due to this crazy economy we are in, they have now started to adjust their values on a weekly basis.

If you were to purchase a subscription to the actual Blue Book "book," then the updates are monthly.

Other KBB values and their updates are:

  • Older Car Blue Book (1987-2000) updates 3 times a year.

  • Classic Car Blue Book (1946-1986) updates 2 times a year.

  • Motorcycle Blue Book (1975-2007) updates 3 times a year.

  • Personal Watercraft Blue Book updates 3 times a year.

  • Snowmobile Blue Book updates 3 times a year.

  • RV Blue Book (1986-2007)updates 3 times a year.

  • Travel Trailers Blue Book updates 2 times a year.

Now that you've got a general understanding of Kelley Blue Book and the different KBB used car values, I'd recommend skipping back to the top of this page and following some of the links in the mini-guides...That's where the really good stuff is!

Return from KBB Guide to Insider Car Buying Tips home

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