Even though buying a used car seems far more complex than buying a new car, they really are not that different. All you need to do is begin by looking in the NADA guide and determining the NADA used car value.
At one time, it took a lot of intuition to find out if a dealer or a private seller were trying to sell their used car for far too much. Assuming that everything checked out with the car, you really could not be too sure. The NADA guide and the Kelley blue book have changed all of that. Of course, as I said, we will focus on finding the NADA used car value.
The great advantage of the NADA blue book is that it draws its information from all of the car sales in the nation. This does not necessarily mean that the car is being sold at a great price. But at least you have a base line to work from.
Another important thing to do is to compare NADA guide to the KBB. Even though the NADA blue book uses final purchase price of cars throughout dealerships and auctions all throughout the country, the KBB primarily calculates used car prices. In fact, it was created for that reason, whereas the NADA guide was created for cars in general, with a leaning towards new cars.
Why bother using the NADA used car value? One word: comparison. Sometimes, the NADA used car value will be lower than the Kelley blue book value. When that happens, you have one more advantage to bring to the negotiating table.
Now, even though buying a used car is not much more complex than buying a new car, we still have to take into account one thing. Unlike new cars, each used car is unique simply because of its mileage, condition, and options. The NADA guide and the Kelley blue book actually address these specifically in their calculations.
For example, in calculating the NADA used car value of a 2010 Toyota Camry, you BEGIN with the mileage! After that, questions are asked about transmission, power windows, cruise control, power door locks, leather seats, aluminum/alloy wheels, power sunroof, rear entertainment system, and navigation system.
Imagine trying to weigh these all without a NADA blue book or Kelley blue book!
Now, one thing that must always be taken into consideration is that the NADA used car value does not take into consideration private sales. Instead, it will offer four categories: Rough Trade-In, Average Trade-In, Clean Trade-In, and Clean Retail. Of course, the clean retail would match the actual NADA value offered for the vehicle according to nationwide final sales prices.
Next time, we might go further into the KBB and how its specific characteristics help us determine the value of a used car, and compare that to the NADA guide. Remember, there is no rule about which one you should use. Car valuation is a complicated process. The Kelley blue book and NADA blue book help make that complex process easier. Happy car hunting!