nada-guide (3)Have you ever watched the Price is Right?  The people who play on that show have the nerve-racking joy to guess the price of that “new car!”  Sometimes they guess it.  Sometimes they don’t.  Too bad they didn’t have a NADA guide or a Kelley blue book with them.  The NADA blue book and Kelley blue book are very effective in determining a realistic price of a car.

Yet, with all of that price-guessing, you’ll never hear the word, value.

Price has to do with what the dealer wants you to pay.  Value has to do with what the car is worth to you.  This sometimes gets lost in all of the fight over a price of a car. I have mentioned about how to deal with a salesman over the price of a car in one of my previous articles.

The closer you can get the price to reflect the value of that car for you, the happier you will be driving off of the car lot.  The further apart the two are, the more regret you will have once the excitement of the new car wears off.

Believe me, I have done the latter.  It is no fun.  You kick yourself.  Every time you see a car ad that shows a better deal you want to sell the one you have and buy the other one…just to make up for the mistake.

The best approach is to not make this mistake in the first place.  This approach begins with determining your priorities in purchasing a car.

Both the NADA guide and the Kelley blue book provide a very useful set of categories.  That way, you can compare apples to apples.  We will use their two websites as examples.

Now, the NADA Blue Book begins first with the category of cars. By the way, there is also a section for Nada boat values in case you are looking to buy or sell one. You can choose between an SUV, a coupe, a pickup, etc.  The Kelley Blue Book page offers you multiple categories.  In addition to car type, it offers you the 40+ mpg category.

Do not underestimate this first step.  If you do not want to begin with the car type, you can choose some other category through their navigation menu.  The important thing is to not underestimate the first category that you choose!  It must match the reason for why you want the car in the first place.

It does not make any sense to go to NADA guide or Kelley blue book and begin with a coupe when you know you need a family car.  Nor does it make sense to begin a search for a pickup truck when you know you need a vehicle that gives you 40+ mpg.  This is a tough first step if necessity conflicts with your dream car.

But if you start out looking for a NADA car value for a vehicle that won’t serve your specific needs, you might end up driving off the lot with a dream car that ends up being a nightmare…or a regret.

So, after picking the most important categories, you can follow them until you get to the group of cars that you know you can choose from to match your priorities.

Consider consulting NADA blue book for a NADA car value. You can even look for Kelley Blue Book to determine the true car value by helping you think through your priorities.