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What Are Valid Book Value Sources?

What Are Valid Book Value Sources?

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Can Consumers Trust All Book Values?


The most well known “book values” come from several sources and sites. Per Google, the top five are listed as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, NADA, Black Book and TrueCar. Google seems to be most seller’s go to for asking valuation questions. In turn, Google will provide more than just these five sites, so which are truly valid? The answer is NO!

We asked the question for you, the consumer and Google gave us the list of other potential valuation sites being J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, CarFax, and Bumper. We did the digging for you! Not all sites are valid, even when asking the question of “What are valid vehicle value sites”.

Kelley Blue Book is the most well known resource for vehicle values. They provide both consumer and dealer retail values as well as trade-in values, based on market conditions, vehicle condition and popularity of the vehicle.

Yes, you read that correctly, KBB chimes in on the popularity margin. KBB is primarily funded through advertising revenue from car manufacturers, dealerships, and other automotive-related businesses. They also generate income from syndicated data sales and services they provide to automotive industry professionals. Additionally, KBB offers various products and other services and tools and market reports, which are available to consumers and businesses for a fee.

Edmunds is a close runner in 2nd place for valuations. They offer a variety of tools for buyers and sellers, including true market value, generating their revenue by selling subscriptions to their premium services, such as Edmunds True Market Value (TMV). TMV provides an estimate of what people are actually paying for a specific make and model in your area, by gathering data from a variety of sources, including dealerships, auctions, and private sales, to provide up-to-date and accurate pricing information. This pricing is based on factors such as the vehicle's make, model, year, mileage, condition, and local market trends.

NADA is notta, zilch, not happening! NADA will now direct you to J.D Power for the valuation, NADA Car Values Guide is now J.D. Power Car Values Guide, known for its research and insights into various aspects of the automotive industry, including vehicle quality, performance, and consumer behavior. During our research, we chose a vehicle for valuation and were only provided with trade-in value. When we tried to obtain an actual offer price, instead, we were informed there was no coverage in our area and directed us to nearby dealers to obtain an offer price. Therefore, you, the seller, are back to “where do I really get a reliable value for my vehicle?”

Black Book only provides their values to authorized dealers. The average consumer is not able to obtain a BB valuation. Black Book provides valuations for used cars based on factors such as the make, model, year, mileage, and condition of the vehicle. Again, keep in mind that Black Book is used by automotive professionals, such as dealerships and financial institutions, so their values may differ from those provided by consumer-focused sources.

TrueCar....Oy vey! We found this was not the best way to obtain a value for a vehicle. It is more of a platform for selling and buying and will not give a valid value for purchasing or selling a vehicle, only their value for buying or selling. While they claim to provide pricing information based on recent transactions in your area, they have detailed questions to obtain a value estimate and if you’re ready to sell, they will then send your information to several dealerships to obtain their offer.

On the remaining sites given by the Google search, Consumer Reports is definitely a reputable source forreviews, ratings and research by providing valuable information on vehicle safety, reliability and performance. Car and Driver, known as the most reputable automotive magazine that provides reviews, rating and news about cars, not values. CarFax is a valid site for vehicle history reports, which can be a wonderful tool for understanding a vehicle’s past, which helps in determining the value, but they do not provide the value, only the report. Lastly on the list is Bumper, which we learned was founded in 2015, based in Bengaluru, India. While no pricing tool can provide a perfectly accurate value for every vehicle in every situation, it's always a good idea to compare the values from multiple sources to get a more accurate picture of your car's worth.

It is crucial to consider that like any other source of information, these valid sites may have errors and outdated information. Vehicle specific details, such a condition or options, may not always align with the actual vehicle being evaluated. Each site does provide valuable information, but consumers should use it only as a starting point. Do consider other factors involved, such as local market conditions and the known vehicle history. Remember, expert opinions are just that, OPINIONS. Make a well informed decision. While their facts are generally on point, they are not always the absolute truth for every vehicle transaction.

The true value of any vehicle is the amount that someone is willing to pay for the vehicle today! Find out your TRUE CASH MARKET VALUE by clicking the link to get an up-to-the-minute offer on your vehicle. We buy any car from $200 - $200,000

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