back to articles | December 31, 2018 | Dale Peterson

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

Used Car Blue Book

Blue Book Value for Used Cars

The saying, "be careful that you don't buy someone else's problem" quickly comes to mind when you think about used car buying. It is imperative that you research the used car that you want to purchase to avoid problems down the road. Fortunately, there are resources to guide you in your research, commonly known as the "blue book" or Kelly Blue Book (KBB). Over time, this source has become the industry benchmark in placing a value on any automobile – new or used, to purchase or sell.

Blue Book Value

"Blue book value" is a common term in the car buying business meaning the cost or worth of an automobile. The Internet has made this research process easier with several popular guides online.

The most well known resource, responsible for coining the phrase "blue book", is Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a primary source for determining the loan to value ratio on used cars for over 75 years. We, at, consider KBB as one of the best providers for auto price values; therefore, we're linked, making it even easier for you to access and review. Another helpful "blue book" is N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guides, established in 1933.

How to Determine the Blue Book Value of a Used Car

Sites like Kelly Blue Book help determine what a dealer might be willing to pay for a used car. Kelly Blue Book calculates the value based on the make, model and year, but also takes into consideration key factors such as mileage, options and the condition of the vehicle. Kelly Blue Book is free and has easy to follow steps and worksheets to aide in determining the approximate value of a used car. Knowing the blue book value will help you in your search for a fair deal.

Determine What You Want to Spend on a Used Car

If you are buying a used car, it is best to know how much money you have and what you're willing to spend. This step is just as easy to research by applying for a loan at Here you'll choose from several loan offers direct from the lenders with the lowest APR based on your credit scores. Remember that you'll need some extra money to cover the tax, title and tags when applying for a used car loan.

So, if your "new" used car is priced close or better still, lower than blue book, apply for a loan at, then get the car checked out by a mechanic and verify the car's history with CARFAX. Soon you'll be on the road with confidence that you're not buying someone else's problem rather, a bargain.