Frequently Asked Questions: Used Car

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 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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How do I see the Blue Book® Value for my vehicle?

Kelley Blue Book provides Trade-In and Private Party Values for your current car and Fair Market Range 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 "Trade-In and Private Party Values"
  • Tell us which car you own using the year, make and model drop-down menus (2015> 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 Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price for used cars? 

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 Fair Market Range for used cars?

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 Typical Listing Price?

Formerly known as Suggested Retail Price, the  Kelley Blue Book Typical Listing 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 is Kelley Blue Book Typical Listing Price (Certified Pre-Owned)?

Formerly known as the Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Price, the Kelley Blue Book® Typical Listing Price (CPO) is representative of dealers' asking prices for a used car covered by the manufacturer’s warranty in its CPO program. It assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clear title history. The price also takes into account the dealers' profit, costs for advertising, sales commissions and other costs of doing business, 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. 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    

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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 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, if any). 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 the vehicle's value for insurance and vehicle donation purposes.

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What is the Kelley Blue Book℠ Instant Cash Offer? 

The Kelley Blue Book℠ Instant Cash Offer is a real offer for a specific amount to purchase a consumer's car or apply the amount toward another car. The Offer is valid for 3 days (not counting Sundays) and can be immediately redeemed during business hours at any Participating Dealer, pending inspection. It is based on specific elements of the consumer's car, like installed options, specific condition (such as dents and mechanical issues) and local market demand.

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How is an Instant Cash Offer different from Trade-in Range?

The Kelley Blue Book℠ Instant Cash Offer is:

● A fixed offer applied toward your next car purchase or used to sell your current car to a Participating Dealer (pending inspection)

● Valid for 3 days (not counting Sundays)

● Based on specific details related to the condition and features of your car, like installed options, dents, mechanical issues, and local market demand

 

The Kelley Blue Book® Trade-In Value is:

● An estimated trade-in value used toward the purchase of another car only

● Updated weekly

● Applied to similar cars of the same year, make, model, style and general condition

● The general value Kelley Blue Book estimates consumers can expect to negotiate this week based on the style, condition, mileage and options of the vehicle when they trade it in to a dealer, however every dealer is different and values are not guaranteed

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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 Blue Book® Lending Value, which is intended for use by the wholesale industry, factors 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. Lending Value 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 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

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Is it better to trade in my car or sell it myself? 

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. When will it be 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 car 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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How does mileage affect a car's price or value?

Kelley Blue Book employs a team of statisticians that analyze millions of transaction records to determine what the typical mileage of a vehicle should be based on its age and time spent in the market. The typical mileage points change regularly based on the mileage data in our transaction records. If a vehicle's mileage is higher or lower than the typical mileage, we give it the necessary adjustment. Generally, lower-mileage vehicles have a higher price or value. 

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Does your used car pricing account for my region?

Yes. Kelley Blue Book understands the importance of providing pricing that is geographically relevant to consumers and dealers. In order to better meet the needs of the industry, we produce values based on 134 geographic regions in the US. Each region is analyzed individually to reflect local pricing and local economic conditions. 

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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 would need to deduct the cost to repair the broken equipment 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, whether 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., rims, alarm systems, heated seats, trip computers) that are not addressed on our site. Most of these are dealer-installed or aftermarket. These items don't 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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Can I sell my car on your site?

Yes. As private party, you've got the same opportunity as a dealership: to reach millions of serious car shoppers with a listing on KBB.com and Autotrader. To create, purchase and post your car's classified ad, get started here. 

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Why don't you value aftermarket equipment? 

This can be confusing for a lot of people: "Why do you show a luggage rack as optional, but not the ski rack I installed myself?"

We only value items which are either factory-installed or "factory quality." There is a tremendous variation in something like rims, so it would be impossible to list – and report values for – all the different options. Space does not allow us to identify the vast variety of aftermarket items.

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How do I determine what condition my used car is in? 

This is a judgment call, so you will need to be as honest with yourself as possible. Most people tend to overestimate the condition of their car. 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?

Pricing and specifications info on KBB.com 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

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Do you have anything pricing in other countries? 

Pricing and specifications info on KBB.com 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: 

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

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

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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'm 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 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 US, but it is now registered here. What's the value of it?

Kelley Blue Book only offers values 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 car 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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My car is more than 21 years old. How do I find its value?

Kelley Blue Book provides values for used vehicles up to 21 years old. Transactions for older vehicles are too rare, therefore we don't have enough data to analyze and are unable to report values for them. If you have questions, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-258-3266, option 2. 

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I totaled my car. How can I find the loss value for the insurance company? 

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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Do you still sell the printed editions of Kelley Blue Book?

No. For over 90 years, Kelley Blue Book published Used Car Guides providing values for used cars and trucks. For over 40 years, Kelley Blue Book published the Motorcycle Guide, but in 2017, we published our last printed book. These decisions are never easy. 

The good news? If you need to get the value or your current car or are interested in what you should pay for your next car, you can still find 21 years of new and used car pricing right here on KBB.com.  In addition, we also offer values for motorcycles, personal watercraft and snowmobiles

If you would like to learn about other options to receive Kelley Blue Book® Values, or have any questions, please call KelleyKare at (800) 258-3266.

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