Edmunds Used Car Price Guide vs. Kelley Blue Book

February 28, 2013

Most people who have either purchased or sold a used car are familiar with the Edmunds used car price guide, the Kelley Blue Book and other used car price guide books as well. These documents present current information about average prices for used vehicles on the market. They can be extremely helpful to both sellers and buyers when attempting to figure out what a fair deal for a used vehicle is. However, they can also be very misleading, and it is important that you know the differences between these two information sources and how to best use the data that they provide. Failure to do so may result in you charging or paying more than you should for a used vehicle, which can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

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Edmunds Used Car Price Guide

The Edmunds used car price guide generates car values from a wide variety of sources, including dealership transactions, depreciation costs for unique vehicles and private seller information. The guide splits car condition up into 5 different categories which you can use to help judge the price of your vehicle through comparison. Naturally, a salvage level car will sell for only a fraction of the cost of a like-new model of the same vehicle. Generally speaking, most buyers and sellers agree that Edmunds has a more comprehensive listing of car conditions than Kelley Blue Book does.

The Edmunds guide attempts to provide you with an overall average price for cars of a particular make, model, year and condition. This average is inclusive of both private sellers and dealers. Generally, private sellers will sell vehicles for significantly less than dealers, so the Edmunds guide price for a used vehicle may be somewhere in between and, consequently, a bit higher than you may wish to offer a vehicle if you plan to sell it privately.

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Kelley Blue Book Price Guide

The Kelley Blue Book also gathers its data from a number of different sources. Unlike Edmunds, however, Kelley values generally cater more toward the dealer. Many dealers utilize the Kelley Blue Book guide prices for used vehicles, and dealers and customers negotiate the actual price of a vehicle downward from that level. For this reason, the Kelley value tends to be higher than the Edmunds value and also quite a bit higher than what a private seller would charge for a car. Likewise, you should not expect to pay the full Kelley Blue Book value for a car in most cases.

Ultimately, neither the Edmunds nor the Kelley value of a vehicle is entirely accurate for any particular car. The quality of the car and the various depreciation costs play a much greater role in the overall price than either of these two values do. However, the Edmunds value generally provides a more accurate price for the customer than the Kelley value does. Consult a specialist for more assistance.

Related Questions and Answers

Do Dealerships go by the KBB Trade in Value for Trading in a Car?

Dealerships seldom go by the KBB trade in value (Kelley Blue Book) for cars when you bring your car in to sell or trade it in for another vehicle. Instead, they go by two other values. The Wholesale Blue Book Value and the Manheim Market Report. The Manheim Market Report is a report from the average of cars sold at auctions based on the sales of thousands of cars and trucks all over the U.S. The Wholesale Blue Book value is the most money that a car dealer will pay for a car after they determine how much they will have to spend on it to fix it up so i can be resold.

What is the Blue Book Value of My Car?

Many people want an answer to the question of 'what is the blue book value of my car?'. If you need the answer to this question, you can find it by going to the Kelley Blue Book website or other websites such as edmunds.com, that help consumers figure out the potential value of their car or truck. Most car dealerships would also have a copy of the Kelley Blue Book publication, but it is probably a good idea to check it out yourself so you aren't pressured into selling your car to them, or trading your car in for a new one. Another source may be a website for the manufacturer of your brand of vehicle.

Is Black Book Car Pricing Generally Higher or Lower than Blue Book Values?

When it comes to selling your car, you want the best price you can get, and studies have shown that black book car pricing, on average, are lower than the trade-in amounts shown in either the Kelley Blue Book or in the NADA and edmunds listings. Black Book gets its prices for used cars based on the weekly amounts that cars sell for at wholesale auctions. Black Book gets these auction price lists from about 50 auctions a week and then averages the prices together to get the price they list for the used vehicles in their weekly publication. They also bounce these auction prices off what the local dealers are charging for cars.

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