What Is Kelley Blue Book?

Before selling your car, you should know what the Kelley Blue Book value is — and what that even means. Car-Worth provides an explanation for this industry term that can help you prepare for negotiations when you're getting ready to sell.

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So you’re selling your car and you’ve heard through the grapevine that the place to find out what it’s worth nowadays is Kelley Blue Book.

KBB has cemented itself in pop culture as the place to go when people have questions about their car, but what exactly is KBB?

Where Did Kelley Blue Book Come From?

Kelley Blue Book was formed in 1926 after initially being founded in Irvine, California as Kelley Kar Company in 1918.

While initially starting as a dealership, the company’s first Blue Book was created by gathering data from the aforementioned dealership.

After several decades operating in Southern California, the company shifted its business from the dealership to a specialty publisher focused on the production of its automobile price guide.

They became the first publication to utilize mileage to determine a car’s value.

During the Dot Com Boom, KBB created their company website, granting access to their pricing guide at the customer’s fingertips.

From there, Kelley Blue Book cemented itself as the go-to for automobile pricing. They have even gone so far as to expand their operations overseas into the Chinese market.

mechanic evaluating a car

What Services Does KBB Provide?

The draw of KBB is first and foremost its pricing guide. KBB determines the values on their platform by receiving data from actual used car sales.

These sales occur at wholesale auctions, private party transactions, lessors, independent and franchised fleets, and rental fleets.

The data is accumulated on a daily basis, meaning KBB is almost instantly accurate with their values.

All of that pricing data is analyzed by their proprietary algorithm. Combining that information with historical trends, industry developments, the car's location, the time of year, and current state of the economy, KBB can close in on the best value for their vehicles.

This results yield several different values for used cars:

Private-Party Value - the amount a buyer will have to pay a private seller for a particular used car.

Trade-In Value - the amount you’ll probably get when you trade your car in to a dealer.

Suggested Retail Value - the asking price most dealers have for a specific used car.

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Value - dictates how much cars covered by the CPO program are worth.

KBB’s platform is considered a trustworthy guide amongst the industry. However, it is not perfect.

KBB’s accuracy is subject to the lag time between data accumulation and analysis. The prices may not be indicative of the current economic environment or trends because of this lag.

Consumer bias also skews KBB prices, because people believe that their car is in better condition and, therefore, worth more than it actually is.

This mindset causes a discrepancy between expectation of their car’s value and the reality of the KBB pricing.

client using computer and on phone

Car-Worth & Your Used Car

If you’ve got a used car on your hands and are looking to get it quoted online, then Car-Worth is here for you.

Our customer service representatives can provide you with a quote on your vehicle within 90 seconds. If you like what you see, they can connect you with one of our local service partners.

From there, you can organize a FREE retrieval of your vehicle within 24-48 hours.

The best part? You’ll have the exact quoted amount in your hand at the time of the pick up. No haggling. No hassles. Just you getting paid as your old wheels get towed away.

Contact Car-Worth today and get started on getting rid of your used car now!

Can You Trust Kelley Blue Book?

Kelley Blue Book is considered one of the most trustworthy automobile pricing guides. Having several decades of experience in the industry and a tested process for valuation, Kelley Blue Book has earned the support of most within the auto industry.

What Does Kelley Blue Book Trade In Value Mean?

The Kelley Blue Book trade in value is the price a specific make and model of a vehicle would get if sold to the largest automation valuation company in the United States. Vehicles listed on KBB have been appraised and their market values assigned that do not require repairs.

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