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What Is Blue Book Value?

    Kelley Blue Book

    • It didn't take long after the first mass-produced cars started appearing for the used car market to come into existence. Determining a price for a used car was sometimes difficult to determine. Since 1926, the Kelley Blue Book, commonly just called the "Blue Book," has been available to car consumers. This guide lists the estimated value of nearly any used car. The so-called "Blue Book" value of a car arose because the company published the guide with a blue cover. Today you can find Blue Book values both in printed form and online.


    • If you want to find out the Blue Book value of a car, you can go to the Kelley Blue Book website or find the newest version of the published guide at your local bookstore or library. To find the car's value, you have to know certain information, such as the car's make, model, year and mileage. For example, according to the Kelly Blue Book website, a 2009 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro Wagon with 25,000 miles and standard options and in excellent condition has a trade-in value of $23,175, as of April 7, 2011.


    • Knowing the Blue Book value of a car can be invaluable to anyone interested in buying or selling a car. Whether you're trading in a car to a dealer and want to ensure you get a fair price or if you want to know what price you should list your car at if you sell it privately, using an objective measurement like the Blue Book gives both the buyer and the seller common ground for beginning negotiation.

    Other Valuation Methods

    • Auto buyers and sellers don't have to rely on the values determined by the Blue Book. Other evaluation methods are readily available and can also help you determine what the fair market value of a car is. The NADA guide, created by the National Automobile Dealers Association, has been around since 1993 and provides similar information. The NADA values are available online and in published book format.

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