Are you buying or selling a used car? Experts suggest the pre-owned vehicle market in America will be worth close to $146 billion in 2023. The two biggest players in this space are NADA and Kelley Blue Book (KBB). These companies have the lion's share of the market and a trusted reputation with buyers and sellers.
If you're selling or buying a used vehicle, the most important aspect of the transaction is knowing whether or not you're getting a good deal. Is the dealer offering you fair value for the car, or are they trying to rip you off?
We've all heard nightmares of overpaying for a car or a dealer not giving us enough money for our trade-in. Fortunately, NADA and Kelley Blue Book offer a valuable service, ensuring you get fair value for your vehicle when buying or selling. But, which of the two is the better option for researching the true value of your car or truck?
Most car owners have heard of the "Blue Book value" of vehicles. The Kelley Blue Book value has been around since 1926 and is still a popular tool for pricing new and used cars and trucks. This guidebook provides an estimated price range for car buyers and sellers based on the vehicle's year, make, and model.
NADA is an acronym for the National Automobile Dealers Association. This trade organization represents all franchised dealers of new vehicles. NADA also publishes the Official Used Car Guide, providing used car values for American dealers.
The Used Car Guide, founded in 1933, is a valued and trusted resource for dealers when setting retail prices and calculating vehicle trade-in values. J.D. Power, an industry-leading data company, acquired NADA in 2015.
Both KBB and NADA have more than 80 years of experience in the new and used vehicle markets in the United States. There are differences and similarities between KBB and NADA in how they calculate used vehicle values.
KBB and NADA provide trade-in and retail values on all vehicle makes and models sold by franchise dealers in the US. KBB gives the buyer or seller a fair estimate of the market range. NADA provides three values based on the vehicle's condition when trading it in.
NADA and KBB constantly update their database to accurately reflect changes in market pricing due to demand. When assessing vehicle values, KBB looks at the mileage, condition, warranty, and local market conditions. Meanwhile, NADA focuses on the vehicle's wholesale price. Both companies also use the following factors to establish fair pricing.
KBB acquires data from used car sales, auctions, dealers, manufacturers, private sales, and fleets. NADA uses data from dealership transactions, wholesale transactions, and website pricing from sites like Autotrader, for example.
KBB offers information on certified pre-owned (CPO) value, trade-in value, private party value, and suggested retail value. NADA provides retail, trade-in, and CPO values. NADA price guides don't offer information on private party values.
NADA vehicle values are usually higher than those from KBB. They assume the vehicle is in good condition when selling. On the other hand, KBB asks the seller about specifics regarding the state of the car.
KBB and NADA both provide instant offers on vehicles. Kelley Blue Book provides the seller with an instant cash offer after inputting their vehicle information through the company's website portal. The offer remains valid for three days with participating dealers.
NADA provides instant offers through its partner network of dealers on the official J.D. Power website. Sellers can drop their vehicle off, or the dealer will collect it from you. It's important to note that both companies offer final deal offers after undergoing a vehicle inspection.
Both KBB and NADA are effective tools for selling your vehicle. While there are minor differences in how the two companies collect data and value vehicles, you will get a very close price from both companies when finalizing the deal.
While NADA doesn't ask for specifics on the vehicle's condition when making an offer, they'll adjust it after inspecting your car or truck. So, both offer a pragmatic solution for vehicle owners looking to sell their car, truck, RV, or motorbike.