Used Car Invoice

The Magic Number
For Used Car Values

Calculate the used car invoice...
The 1st of 4 steps in the kbb used car values guide.

In order to figure a car dealers used car cost you must first understand what used car values dealers use when buying cars.

The "used car invoice" is how KBB (Kelley Blue Book) refers to their wholesale blue book value. This is typically the only value dealers use when buying cars, either at auction or as a trade in.

The other three KBB values have their time and place, but buying a car (for a dealer) is not one of them. However, you'll see the importance of these numbers below.

The Magic Number
I personally refer to the KBB wholesale value as the Magic Number, because it is just that important. There is a reason why this number is not available for free on

There is also a reason why tens of thousands of car dealers and auto lenders across the country pay a couple of hundred dollars a month to access this used car value, because it's where All...the Magic...Happens!

How To Figure The
Wholesale Blue Book Value

There are two ways to figure this all so important used car value. As for which one of these methods will get you the closest to the true wholesale blue book value, it will vary, but either one will get you in the ballpark (a small one at that).

Method #1
Average the blue book private party value with the blue book trade in value. Both values can be obtained for free at

Once you've got the two values, simply add them together and divide by two.

Method #2
Obtain the blue book retail value for free at and multiply retail by 75%. This is the quicker of the two methods, but I've found it's not quite as accurate, but will still get you close.

Use either one of these methods and Presto!'ll have discovered the wholesale blue book value (the Magic Number), which is the first step in figuring a car dealers used car cost.

Let's move on and discover some rules of the road when dealers are buying and some common costs associated with auctions and reconditioning.

Now that you've figured the used car invoice,
What would you like to do next?

Move On To Step 2 >
Rules and Dealer Costs

Or you can...

Review the entire Used Car Values guide by returning from -
Used Car Invoice to the KBB Guide

Go to Insider Car Buying Tips home

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