You’ll always feel more confident that you got the best value when selling or buying a car if your entire transaction costs are near the average amount buyers in your area usually pay for the same manufacturer, model, year and version. However, finding the most accurate blue book for cars price guide may prove difficult. They all claim to provide unbiased fair market values for your car, however when compared, you will find significant discrepancies among the different price guides due to differences in their assessment methods. Among the most prominent, widely used and accepted automobile price guides are Kellys Blue Book for Cars, National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA Car), and Edmunds Guide. So, which is the most reliable guide among the three?
One sign of reliability is the assessor’s years of experience in the market. Among the three, Kellys Blue Book for Cars is the oldest, first printed in 1926 and continuing to serve as a bastion of trustworthy information for over 80 years. Shortly thereafter in 1933, NADA printed its first Car Appraisal Guides. The youngest is Edmunds Guide, established in 1966. Of the three, Kellys Blue Book has the longest record of unparalleled service establishing it as a standard in car appraisal guides. The Blue Book for Cars has an established extensive database and proven methodology that is continually being refined.
Another signal of accuracy is the completeness of the data and how often the data is updated. Blue Book for Cars, NADA Car, and Edmunds Guide all offer similar info like new and used car private party and detail retail values, trade-in values, and tips on how to buy, sell or trade in your car. Moreover, all of them have easy-to-access websites that makes researching car details and car reviews easier. Then, in what way do they differ from each other?
Aside from their websites, both KBB and NADA publish and regularly update easy-to-carry paperbacks in several versions that cater to the specific needs of its readers, only the Kellys Blue Book for Cars is published in its trademark blue color while NADA Car is bright yellow. Kellys Blue Book Used Car Guide is updated every 2 months, KBB New Car Guide is updated 4 times a year and KBB Consumer guides are updated twice a year. Meanwhile, the online data for Kellys Auction, Kellys Trade-in, Kellys Wholesale Lending, and KBB Retail Values are updated weekly, making the information more useful for car dealers and buyers alike. In contrast, the NADA car consumer guide is updated 4 times a year and the online data is updated monthly. Edmunds Guide, on the other hand, has stopped printing its portable book version since 2006 making it difficult to carry a copy with you when negotiating the final price of your car. Moreover, it only updates its online True Market Value (TMV) pricing tools monthly. So if you want more up-to-date values for your car, it looks like Kellys Blue Book will serve you best.
Aside from the normal guide contents, both the Kellys Used Car Guide and NADA car consumer edition can also provide you with Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN), easy-to-use equipment schedules with values for optional equipment, acceptable mileage range chart values, credit check service that can evaluate your credit score and what type of loan you could qualify for and retail values. However, Kellys Blue Book for Cars provides Retail Value for a longer time frame, more than 15 years compared to the less than 10 years covered by NADA Car. What’s more, Kellys Blue Book will also give you information on your car’s original list price, Kellys Auction (how much a vehicle is expected to sell for at wholesale auction), and Kellys Wholesale Lending (expected finance value of a fully reconditioned vehicle) values not found in other guides. Meanwhile, Edmunds Guide prides itself on providing the True Market Value (TMV) pricing for new and used vehicles, detailed histories on popular models, and Certified Used Vehicle Information. However, Kellys Blue Book, NADA Car, and Edmunds Guide retail or TMV prices do not factor in the buyer’s credit details that could markedly affect the final price of your vehicle though they do have connecting sites that will help you apply for a loan in easy steps.
Hold on now, the most important determinant of reliability has yet to be discussed, and this is the accuracy of values provided by these guides. Many experts would tell you that the most accurate car price guide is one that gives vehicle values closest to the actual “selling price” in the market, which actually varies day-to-day and place to place. Prices for new cars are not much of an issue, but used car values differ significantly because of many factors, primarily the condition, age and mileage of your car. To get the most accurate value, one has to keep tabs and analyze a large quantity of private, dealer and auction data. That is a difficult feat at best, and to be fair, none of the three: Kellys Blue Book for Cars, NADA Car, nor Edmunds Guide offer absolutely true or accurate values based on the analysis of your car’s present condition. In the end the one with the most expertise will probably provide the closest estimate and it is already an established fact that Kellys Blue Book has always been a leader and industry standard in car appraisal services.