How Does Kelley Blue Book Work?

April 7, 2021

By Jack EstradaSales Manager/Finance Director, Auto House

Consumers have more research tools than ever before, and it’s made car buying and selling far more competitive for everyone involved. For more than 90 years, people have been using Kelley Blue Book when buying or selling a car. But where does Kelley Blue Book get their values? KBB valuations are the results of sorting through massive amounts of data, including actual sales transactions and auction prices, which are then analyzed and adjusted to account for seasonality and market trends. 

How Does Kelley Blue Book Work?

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is a helpful guide for setting consumer expectations of the price they can expect to pay for a new or used car, as well as determining the average trade-in value of their vehicle. KBB shows what people in your area are actually paying for different types of cars, trucks, and SUVs. The site is updated frequently to reflect market changes. KBB is also used by lending institutions when preparing consumer loans. 

Currently, market fluctuations due to the COVID pandemic show many cars gaining value rather than depreciating, which is unusual. Car values are actually increasing because new car production dramatically reduced in 2020 when manufacturing slowed as a result of the pandemic. As a result, the demand for pre-owned cars of all types is very high. As a result, most people will get more for their trade-in right now, but the shortages of new cars mean they may pay a bit more for a used vehicle than they might under normal market conditions.

Kelley Blue Book Values reflect local conditions in over 100 different geographic regions and are updated weekly to give consumers the most up-to-date used car pricing information. –

The Kelley Blue Book value meaning will depend on the transfer method for your car, truck, or SUV and the market you’re in. Each vehicle will have a specific price range for its retail sale price, trade-in value, and fair market value for private sales. Let’s look at each type of Blue Book valuation and when they are most helpful, plus other information offered on the site.

The KBB New/Used Value range reflects the prices people pay for similar makes and models in your market.

The KBB Trade-In Value range will show what you can expect to receive for your car this week when trading it in. 

The KBB Private Party Value reports on a fair price range for selling your car privately to an individual instead of doing a dealer trade-in.

KBB Fair Repair Range details the price you can expect to pay for common maintenance and services using real market data in your area.

Auto House is a Kelley Blue Book Buying Center, so we always have a buyer available on-site or by phone, or you can get a valuation online, so you’ll have a good idea of the price to expect before you enter into a sales negotiation. Auto House also offers the highest value possible for your current vehicle. By leveraging our extensive network of dealer/buyers, we can get the best and most competitive value possible for your vehicle. All Auto House offers are good for seven days, so there’s never any pressure, but if you’re ready to sell right away, we’ll cut you a check on the spot. (Unlike the other guys, who’ll leave you waiting for up to two weeks.)

Get an instant, accurate estimate of your car’s value online, over the phone, or in one of our three indoor showrooms, without high-pressure or gimmicks designed to leave you at a disadvantage.

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