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Kelley Blue Book: Your Guide to Buy Used Cars

Kelley Blue Book is the largest appraiser of automobiles in USA. Like many heritage and famous American companies, Kelley Blue Book too has a rich history, and today, its trademark terms "blue book value" and "blue book" are considered to be the guide when it comes to determining an automobile's market value. Kelley began trading in used cars in 1918 and his business grew in a few years. Then to be fair and transparent in his dealings, Kelley started publishing a list that indicated what models he wanted to buy and how much he would pay for them. The list was circulated to other car dealers and banks, and soon it grew massively popular because it gave a true picture of an automobile's true value as it was coming from a genuine dealer-cum-buyer. In 1926, Kelley brought out his lists in the form of book. It was titled Kelley Blue Book. The words "Blue Book" were inspired from the Social Register, which was referred to as the Blue Book, as it contained a list of important and elite people in society.

Nowadays the terms blue book value, Kelley blue book value, automobile blue book values are used in common parlance while negotiating a car deal.

How does the Kelley Auto Blue Book work in buying a used car?

There are two versions of Kelley Auto Blue Book one for dealers and one for consumers. The best way to explain how the books work is by means of an example:
  • Let us say that you are interested to buy a car in a dealer's showroom or from other reliable sources.. The first thing you will be interested to know is the fair price which you should be paying for it.
  • You start talking to the dealer and ask him about the price.
  • The dealer will probably show you "Kelley Blue Book Auto Market Report - Official Guide" (this is the dealer version of the Kelley car bluebook). This is not only to ensure transparency but also to make you understand the fact that the used car's price is according to the Kelley guide.
  • Once he shows you the price recommended by the Kelley guide, he would say that his selling price roughly matches the guide's price or is a little lower than it. What he is actually telling you is that there is no need to negotiate.
  • What the dealer will not tell you is that this value is a rough estimate or a suggested retail value as defined by Kelley's guide. But t his "rough estimate" may not be the same for all dealers. The Kelley blue book value for the car may show $ 12,000 but in reality he may have bought the same in the market for $ 9,000 only! So you have to be careful with the dealers.
  • Kelley also publishes different versions of the book to aid the consumers in purchase and sale of both used and new cars.
Kelley blue book value for a car is an estimate and you should negotiate this price. Visit 3-4 dealers to clarify and you will know more about the actual selling rates. Once you get this information, you will know how to make a proper and judicious use of Kelley auto blue book.

Kelley's used car consumer book contains information on the values of cars manufactured in the last 15 years. He gives three kinds of estimates: (i) the estimated retail price, (ii) the estimated trade-in value, and (iii) the sale price of a used car in a private deal. The book has charts and tables that can help you to calculate the market value of a car b ased on its condition, mileage and other factors.

Kelley Car Blue Book Site

The Kelley Blue Book site was launched in 1995 and it is one of the most used sites. People invariably surf this portal ,when they want to buy or sell new or old cars. The site is free to use and features sections such as Kelley Blue Book history, advice, reviews, ratings, and comparison of different car models. It is mostly used to determine the true market price of a car, and this is how you do it:
  • Assume that you want to find out the value of a 1989 Alfa Romeo Milano model.
  • Click on the "Used Cars" tab.
  • Under the "Get Blue Book Values" section, select the year, make and model, and hit the button "GO".
  • You will be directed to a page that will ask you to enter your ZIP code. Enter 77002 for Houston Texas or the appropriate zip code of the place where you live.
  • The page that comes up will help you to select the car value based on 3 features: (i) Trade in (ii) Private Party (iii) Sugges ted retail value. Select any choice. For example you may select "Private Party".
  • Few choices of the car would be listed. For e.g.: Gold Sedan 4D, Platinum Sedan 4D and 3.0 Liter Sedan 4D. You may click any of these choices.
  • The next page would give a choice of components. You are expected to tick if you have them or want them in the car. Mileage has to be entered and the transmission type has to be selected on this page.
  • Next page asks you to select the condition of the car. The three conditions are excellent, good or poor.
  • The final page gives you the Private Party value of the car. The results could be something like this depending on what you choose.
  • (1989 Alfa Romeo Milano Gold Sedan 4D) prices.
  • $ 1,360 for excellent condition;
  • $ 1,160 for good condition
  • $ 825 for a car in poor condition.
The site is easier to use than the Kelly Blue Book and is very user-friendly. You do not need computer experience to use it.




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Buying tips – used car Take decisions on what type of car you require.
Pick a used car seller.
Do research on the car design and decide on one.
Check out all about the used car history.
Estimate the car condition.
Make a test drive on the car you have chosen. Negotiate on the price and fix the deal.
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We have different types of used cars that can be acquired at low cost, check out the working condition and the worth before purchasing one.

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