Frequently Asked Questions: New Car

What is the Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor?

The Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor is a range-based pricing tool to help car buyers and sellers talk about price realistically. Research from the 2018 Cox Automotive Car Buying Journey Study showed that shoppers are looking for a fair price not only for new vehicles, but also for used vehicles and the vehicles they currently own. Limiting market-based pricing to a single price point doesn't consider all the variables associated with structuring a car deal. The Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor is designed to reduce friction between buyers and sellers. 

What is the Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price?

Fair Purchase Price reflects the price consumers are typically paying for this vehicle. The Fair Purchase Price is regionalized based on actual new-vehicle transactions collected from across the country and adjusted regularly as market conditions change. 

Fair Purchase Price is determined by collecting thousands of actual consumer vehicle purchase prices, plus data from national vehicle registration databates and several other reliable third-party sources.  Kelley Blue Book's lead analysts and statisticians review and validate the data each week for reliability. 

Instead of the drop-dead lowest prices that similar tools might try to show, the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price gives you a realistic view of what a new car is actually selling for. 

What is the Fair Market Range? 

The Fair Market Range reflects the range of prices that Kelley Blue Book estimates most people will pay for a specific vehicle this week based on its year, make, model and style. This range is determined using sophisticated statistical models that consider recent transactions, supply, demand and market changes. Sometimes people think that the lower part of the range represents a vehicle with less equipment and the top of the range shows a vehicle (or a style) with more equipment. This isn't the case. If you choose options, packages, and colors when looking up a car, the Fair Market Range you see is for THAT vehicle with THAT equipment. 

How is the Fair Market Range on the Price Advisor determined?

The Fair Market Range for new cars is Kelley Blue Book's estimate of what a consumer can reasonably expect to pay this week in their area for a vehicle configured with their selected options, excluding taxes, title, fees and any available rebates or incentives. Values in the Fair Market Range are detemined from our process of collecting hundreds of thousands of vehicle transactions each week and updating our values with that information. 

What is MSRP? Is that the same as "Sticker Price"?

The MSRP, or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, is the price set by the new car manufacturer. The MSRP shown for a vehicle includes destination charges and minimum required equipment.  MSRP, destination charges and minimum required equipment appear as separate prices on the manufacturer's window sticker, so "MSRP" and "sticker price" aren't exactly the same.  A dealer can choose to sell a vehicle above or below its listed MSRP.

What is Invoice?

Invoice price comes up often in price negotiations, so Kelley Blue Book provides it as a point of reference only. Consumers should know that the invoice price often bears little resemblance to how much the dealer really paid for the car. Invoice price is the price an automaker charges its franchise dealers for a new vehicle, but it does not include holdbacks and factory-to-dealer incentives, which can lower the effective cost to the dealer. The invoice price shown includes destination charges and minimum required equipment but it doesn't include any dealer costs for local and regional advertising, selling, preparing, displaying or financing the vehicle.  Kelley Blue Book does not represent that the invoice price is the price a dealer actually paid for the vehicle.

What does the term "holdback" mean?

Automakers offer holdbacks to help reduce some of the costs of a dealer acquiring a new car from the factory - and keeping it on his lot. Usually holdbacks are from one to three percent of the MSRP and vary in duration. Holdbacks help cover the interest on the dealer's vehicle loans. When a dealer can sell the car quickly, he keeps more of the holdback money. The longer the car stays on his lot, the less he gets. Once the holdback expires, the dealer can begin to lose money on the car. While holdbacks are not negotiable, it is possible to negotiate with the dealer by knowing how much holdback he/she will be keeping. If a car has been on the lot for two or three months, the dealer is far more likely to sell it at a better price to avoid building up more debt. Remember, the dealer's profit has to cover the cost of operating the dealership, paying his salesman, maintaining his inventory and advertising the vehicle. Also keep in mind that popular or hard-to-find models will often fetch top dollar, so dealers will be less inclined to reduce their price. 

When will you have more new car pricing?

As soon as a manufacturer releases pricing information, we map out the complex relationships that exist for any given vehicle. For example, maybe you can't get a sunroof all by itself; you might need to get heated seats too. We then upload the verified info to once a week. Please be aware that many new models are advertised and may even be seen in the dealerships before the manufacturer has finalized pricing.

How often do you update your new car pricing?

We update or verify Fair Purchase Price and Fair Market Range at least once a week to account for market conditions and fluctuations. We update or verify other elements like MSRP and invoice as needed - when we get new info from the manufacturer.

Does your pricing account for my region?

Yes. We understand how important it is to provide pricing that is geographically relevant. In order to better meet consumer and dealer need, we produce values based on 134 geographic regions in the U.S. and analyze each region individually to reflect local pricing and economic conditions. 

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
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

What is the difference between factory, port, and dealer-installed options?

Factory-installed options are add-ons that the factory adds, whereas port-installed options (PIO) are installed on the vehicle once it arrives in the United States – literally "at port." Both factory-installed options and port-installed options must be factory approved. Since there is some price control, we can consider them when providing Fair Purchase Price or Fair Market Range. 

Dealer-installed options are items added to the vehicle once it arrives at the dealership. These might include alarm/security systems, upgraded wheels, etc. We don't include dealer-installed options when showing Fair Purchase Price or Fair Market Range, since these options can vary widely in price and quality. There are just too many variables to ensure any kind of accuracy when it comes to dealer-installed options. 

Do you have Canadian pricing?

Pricing and specifications info on 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.

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 Canadian 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

Do you have anything on pricing in other countries?

Pricing and specifications info on 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.

Kelley Blue Book also operates websites with pricing and information specific to these other countries: 

In addition, Kelley Blue Book data and valuations can be found on websites in these countries

 As we continue to offer more global websites, we will pass the info on to you via

If you're interested in pricing for a country where we don't currently offer values, you can use a 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 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

Does Kelley Blue Book provide escrow services for vehicle purchases or guarantee online vehicle purchase transactions?

No. While many dealers display the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor to provide context on what might be a good deal or great deal, Kelley Blue Book does not participate in new or used vehicle transactions or guarantee pricing. To read more about how to help protect yourself from online fraud, More

I am buying a demo car from a new car dealer, but it already has 700 miles on the odometer. Is this car considered new or used? How do I find its value?

A vehicle is considered new until it has been registered by an owner, not by virtue of the number of miles on the odometer. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with a standard deduction for miles on a new car. The discount offered for a demo model would depend on the dealer and should be compared against incentives or changes made on the new model before making your decision.

Contact Us

Contact KBB

Business Inquiries

195 Technology
Irvine, CA 92618

Thanks for Supporting
Kelley Blue Book.
We deliver up-to-date car values, expert reviews and unbiased reporting at no
cost to you. To do this, we display ads from only trusted partners.

To continue on our site, simply turn off your ad blocker and refresh the page.