Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Used Car Pricing

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


I keep landing on cars for sale; where do I get the Blue Book Value of my car?

Kelley Blue Book provides Trade-In and Private Party Values for your current car and Fair Purchase Price for used cars you might be considering. In addition, KBB.com delivers extensive listings of new and used cars in your area to assist you with the shopping process. Simply click a "Cars for Sale" link to see these vehicles in local inventory.

To get to the value for your car, navigate the path to the Blue Book Trade-In and Private Party Values:

  • Under "car values" from the top navigation, select "what's my current car worth"
  • Tell us which car you own using the year, make and model drop-down menus (2002> Honda> Civic>)
  • Type in your mileage and click "next"
  • Enter ZIP Code if prompted
  • Choose your car's category (sedan vs wagon) and style (DX, EX, LX). Note: Many vehicles only come in one category, but most vehicles are sold in more that one style (pre-packaged levels of equipment)
  • Add any options (packages, alloy wheels, moon roof, premium sound, etc.)
  • Choose what you're most likely to do - Trade In to a Dealer or Sell to a Private Party
  • Tell us the car's condition (Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Fair) or, if you're not sure, take the Condition Quiz
  • View the Blue Book Value based on your ZIP code and your car's age, mileage, equipment, and condition
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What is the Used Car Fair Purchase Price?

This is the price that Kelley Blue Book has determined people are typically paying a dealer for a used car with typical mileage in good condition or better. This price is based on actual used-car transactions and adjusted regularly as market conditions change.
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What is the Used Car Fair Market Range?

The Fair Market Range is Kelley Blue Book's estimate of what you can reasonably expect to pay this week for a vehicle with typical mileage and configured with your selected options, excluding taxes, title and fees when purchasing from a dealer. Each dealer sets and controls its own pricing.
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What is the Suggested Retail Price?

The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Price is representative of dealers' asking prices. It assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. This price also takes into account the dealer's profit, costs for advertising, sales commissions and other costs of doing business. The final sale price will likely be less depending on the vehicle's actual condition, popularity, type of warranty offered and local market conditions.
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What are Private Party Values?

Private Party Value is what a buyer can expect to pay when buying a used car from a private party. It may also represent the value you might expect to receive when selling your own used car to another private party. The Private Party Value assumes the vehicle is sold "As Is" and carries no warranty (other than the continuing factory warranty). The final sale price may vary depending on the vehicle's actual condition and local market conditions. This value may also be used to derive Fair Market Value for insurance and vehicle donation purposes.
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What are Trade-In Values?

Trade-in Value is what consumers can expect to receive from a dealer for a trade-in vehicle assuming an accurate appraisal of condition. This value will likely be less than the Private Party Value because the reselling dealer incurs the cost of safety inspections, reconditioning and other costs of doing business.
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What is the Trade-In Range?

The trade-in range is an estimate of what you can reasonably expect to receive for a vehicle with typical mileage and configured with your selected options, excluding taxes, title and fees, when purchasing from a dealer.
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What is the difference between the Trade-In Value I see on your site and the Blue Book Lending Value?

The Trade-In Value on our site supposes that the vehicle is in fair, good, very good or excellent condition and is taken in by the dealer AS IS. The values in our books, which are trade publications intended for use by the wholesale industry, factor in the Trade-In Value of the vehicle plus the cost associated with reconditioning the vehicle to the manufacturer's specifications and performing all required safety checks to make it ready for sale. In other words, while Trade-In Values vary depending on the condition of the vehicle, Blue Book Lending Values assume the car is in good condition or better, meeting manufacturer and state requirements. The value contained in the trade publication is widely used by dealers as a starting point to estimate a vehicle's value, depending on its condition.
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What do the abbreviations and symbols on your site mean?

(  ) - This bullet-symbol indicates the model(s) for which this line item is listed. Loosely, "Available for this price on...  LS, GS, etc."
( * ) - The asterisk is used as the wildcard symbol. It is a place holder to signify any missing character. For example, D*B means D(any letter here)B.
2D - Two Door
4D - Four Door
5D - Five Door
2WD - Two-Wheel Drive
4WD - Four-Wheel Drive
6-CYL - Six-Cylinder Engine
8-CYL - Eight-Cylinder Engine
ABS - Anti-lock Braking System
AWD - All-Wheel Drive
BuyPower - Typically these vehicles are offered with few options and little variation allowed for simplified ordering.
CID - Cubic Inches Displacement
CVT - Continuously Variable Transmission
DOHC - Dual Overhead Cam
DRW - Dual Rear Wheels
DSL - Diesel
EFI - Electronic Fuel Injection
FFV - Flexible Fuel Vehicles
GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
HO - High Output Engine
HP Turbo - High Performance Turbo
LP - Low Pressure Engine
MFI - Mulitport Fuel Injection
MSRP - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
N/A - listed in the description text means that the item is Not Available. There is usually text describing the circumstances.
N/A - listed in the pricing columns means that at this time the pricing information is Not Available.
N/C - means that there is No Charge for this item.
PFI - Port Fuel Injection
PIO - Port Installed Options
PZEV - Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle
SFI - Sequential Fuel Injection
SOHC - Single Overhead Cam
SPRCHG - Supercharged Engine
SRW - Single Rear Wheels
SULEV - Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle
TG - Turbo Gas (fuel type)
Turbo - Turbocharged Engine
ULEV - Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle
V - Valve
V6 - Six-Cylinder Engine
V8 - Eight-Cylinder Engine
VTEC - Variable Timing and lift Electronic Control system
VVT - Variable Valve Timing
WB - Wheelbase
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Is it better to sell my car myself or trade it in?

This is a question of personal preference. When you trade a car in, the dealer must then absorb the cost of making the vehicle ready for sale, reconditioning, advertising, sales commissions, arranging financing and insurance and standing behind the vehicle for any mechanical or safety problems. You may get more for your car if you sell it yourself, but you need to consider the value of your time, the aggravation of performing at least some of the above tasks to get the vehicle into a suitable resale condition and the liability of making appointments and giving a test drive. See more about Selling vs. Trading in our Advice Section.
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I bought a new car a few months ago and I would like to check its used value. Why isn't it listed?

Kelley Blue Book reports vehicle values by analyzing actual transactions in the market. We do not believe in using arbitrary formulas to predict prices because our promise is to report dependable values, not set prices. It can be difficult to establish used values on newer vehicles if we have not seen enough transactions in the required amount of different markets to establish dependable values on these vehicles.
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When do you update your used values?

Trade-In Values, Private Party Values and the Fair Purchase Price on our website are updated or verified weekly. However, it is important to remember that an update does not necessarily mean that every vehicle will change in value. In addition, the values we provide are based on several factors including, but not limited to, the current marketplace, which can vary widely.
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My car has air conditioning, but it's broken; do I still check the box marked AC?

Yes. But in fairness, you should calculate the cost to repair the broken equipment and then subtract it from the total vehicle price. There is one exception: when the cost of the repair is higher than the value of the broken item, it's best not to include that item in the list of optional equipment.
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When looking for my vehicle's value, if I select an equipment package, XLT for example, which includes A/C, do I still select Air Conditioning?

Yes. It is important to include all the equipment found on the vehicle, even if it is standard or part of a package. The selection of a package allows for additional value to be added for those items that do not appear in our equipment menu, such as power mirrors, leather covered shift knobs and steering wheels, illuminated vanity mirrors, body side moldings, chrome trim, dual exhausts, additional speakers, consoles, bucket seats, etc. Therefore, if your XLT includes air conditioning, please select both the XLT option and air conditioning on the option menu. In doing this, you will not be adding value for the A/C twice.
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What about the value of equipment on my car that you don't have listed?

There are some options (e.g. alarm systems, heated seats, trip computers) that are not addressed on our site. These are items that do not have a consistent or reportable added value in the used marketplace. That is not to say that such options are worthless as they may make your vehicle more marketable against similar models; however we do not address options when there is not a consistent value to report.
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Do you value aftermarket equipment? Why do you show a luggage rack as optional equipment on my van, but not the ski rack that I installed myself?

We only value items which are either factory-installed or "factory quality." Space does not allow us to identify the vast variety of aftermarket items.
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How do I determine what condition my car is in?

This is a judgment call, so you will need to be as honest with yourself as possible. As a guide, we post the percentage of vehicles we value that match each condition. For example, if only 3% of the vehicles in the market are considered "Excellent" condition, chances are that your car isn't one of them. If you aren't sure, take our condition quiz.
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Do you have Canadian pricing?

Kelley Blue Book pricing pertains only to vehicles sold in the United States. Vehicles sold in other countries may look the same as their U.S. counterparts, but often contain significant differences in engines, safety standards and optional equipment. Currently we have no links to sites that offer values for non-U.S. vehicles, but we are continually upgrading our site and as more information becomes available, we will pass it onto you via the Web site.

You can obtain a report from a region in the U.S. that borders your own, but remember vehicles built for the Canadian market do differ from their U.S. counterparts in both the engines and optional equipment choices. You must also do a little math to convert the U.S. dollar values to your own country's currency.

If you would like an idea of the value of a vehicle in U.S. dollars in a nearby region, enter the ZIP code closest to your province.

Alberta --- Shelby, MT 59474
Atlantic Provinces --- Bangor, ME 04401
British Columbia --- Bellingham, WA 98226
Manitoba --- Fargo, ND 58102
Ontario --- Detroit, MI 48202
Saskatchewan --- Glasgow, MT 59230
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Do you have anything on pricing in other countries?

Kelley Blue Book pricing pertains only to vehicles sold in the United States. Vehicles sold in other countries may look the same as their U.S. counterparts, but often contain significant differences in engines, safety standards and optional equipment. Currently we have no links to sites that offer values for non-U.S. vehicles, but we are continually upgrading our site and as more information becomes available, we will pass it onto you via the Web site.

You can use a Used Pricing Report from our Western Region as a guideline, but remember vehicles built for the foreign markets do differ from their U.S. counterparts in both the engines and optional equipment choices. You must also do a little math to convert the U.S. dollar values to your own country's currency.

If you would like an idea of the value of a vehicle in U.S. dollars in the Western region, please enter the following ZIP code: 92618
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Does Kelley Blue Book provide escrow services for vehicle purchases or guarantee online vehicle purchase transactions?

No. Kelley Blue Book does not participate in new or used vehicle transactions. Read more about protecting yourself from online fraud More
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I am not in the United States. Can I still get a Used Car Report?

Kelley Blue Book information is based on cars originally sold in the United States that are now being bought or sold in the United States. You can get a report, but you will have to enter a U.S. ZIP code, since there are regional factors that make the values different.
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My car is in good condition, but has a "salvage" title. How does that affect the value?

A salvaged, reconstructed or otherwise "clouded" title has a permanent negative effect on the value of a vehicle. The industry rule of thumb is to deduct 20% to 40% of the Blue Book value, but salvage title vehicles really should be privately appraised on a case-by-case basis in order to determine their market value.
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I purchased my car outside the U.S., but it is now registered here. Can I still get a Used Car Report?

Kelley Blue Book only offers value information on vehicles sold in the United States. Cars imported through sources other than factory authorized distributors are considered gray market vehicles and may have substantially lower used values because the conversion to U.S. specification is performed by aftermarket companies, not the factory. Kelley Blue Book does not address gray market vehicles; therefore yours may have to be privately appraised.
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How can I get the value of my car on a past date?

Occasionally we get a request from a consumer for the value of a particular vehicle at a particular date in history. This request may be for litigation, estate planning, taxes, etc. The fee for a Past Value Report is $35 per value. We do sell these older books as well, and in some cases the book may be less expensive than the Past Value Report. To request a Past Value Report or archive book, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-258-3266, option 2. This service usually has a 48-72 hour turn around time. If you do not wish to purchase a report or book, our publications can often be found at libraries or credit unions.
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My car is more than 21 years old and isn't listed on the site. How do I find its value?

Our Early Model Guide, Collector's Edition does address vehicles older than 21 years going back to 1946, and gives a range of Retail Values from fair to excellent condition. Unfortunately this information is not available via the Internet at this time; the Early Model Car Guide is offered by annual subscription, or you may also order a single book or a certified copy of a particular value in the book. If you would like to place an order, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-258-3266, option 2. If you do not wish to subscribe, this publication can often be found at libraries or credit unions.
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I totaled my car. How can I find the insurance company's total loss value?

Insurance company policies vary quite a bit, but generally insurance adjusters try to determine the replacement value for a vehicle that has been totaled as a value somewhere between Wholesale and Retail. They may also research comparable vehicles that have sold in your area to help determine a fair price. You could average the Trade-In Value with the Suggested Retail of your vehicle and use the resulting value as a reference point for determining replacement value. Please note that insurance companies do not have any obligation to use Kelley Blue Book pricing to determine replacement values. Insurance companies use Kelley Blue Book as a reference and will set their own policies as to which values they use.
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Why doesn't Kelley Blue Book list trade-in values, private party values, or a used car Fair Purchase Price for Lotus, Ferrari, Bentley, etc.?

Kelley Blue Book reports vehicle values by analyzing actual transactions in the market. We do not believe in using arbitrary formulas to predict prices because our promise is to report dependable values, not set prices. Kelley Blue Book does not currently offer certain values for these exotics or low-volume vehicles since they are seldom seen in the market and can vary widely in value. Low-volume and exotic vehicles should be privately appraised to establish a trade-in or private party value.
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What is Kelley Blue Book Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Price?

Kelley Blue Book Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Price is representative of dealers' asking prices for a used car covered by the automaker's CPO program, and the starting point for negotiation between a consumer and a dealer. The final sale price may vary according to the vehicle's actual condition, popularity, type of warranty offered and local market conditions. In other words, it's the price you should expect a dealer to ask - not always the price you should pay.

In calculating Kelley Blue Book Certified Pre-Owned Price, we take into account the dealers' profit, costs for advertising, sales commissions and other costs of doing business - as we do for the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Price - while also factoring in any value associated with the CPO program. For most vehicles, CPO coverage typically increases market value between $1,000 and $2,000.

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Can I sell my car on your site?

Yes, as a private party, you've got the same opportunity as a dealership: to reach millions of serious car shoppers with a listing on KBB.com. To create, purchase and post your car's classified ad, simply click here.
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How can I get the value of a vehicle from a past date?

The Past Value Report will provide the Wholesale & Retail Value of the vehicle. The fee for this service is $35 per value. To request a Past Value Report, please contact the Customer Service Department at 800-258-3266, option 2. This service usually has a 48-72 hour turnaround time.

We do sell these older books as well, and in some cases the book may be less expensive than the Past Value Report. For more information on purchasing older books, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-258-3266 option 2.

Or you may choose to look up the value in the reference section of your local library, which is free of charge.

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