Understanding Kelley Blue Book Values

MINT HILL, NC – When you’re selling a car, the hardest thing has always been determining its value. Sure, you can grab a general idea here and there, but what is your car worth specifically? That’s where things like the Kelley Blue Book come in handy.

Here’s what a KBB value does tell you: worth based on year, make, model, sub-model, paint color, interior luxuries, and most importantly, location of the seller. It oftentimes gets incredibly detailed, like down to if your car came with fabric or rubber floormats, or if you have the standard or premium sound system that the manufacturer offered.

What the KBB doesn’t factor in are aftermarket modifications. This is generally considered to be proper practice as getting your money back from a car mod rarely happens, if ever, and often devalues a car if undoing said mod requires time, money or replacement “stock” parts. As a rule of thumb, mod money should usually be considered “dead” money.

So how accurate is KBB value? That depends a lot on the user. When we’re entering data about our own car, we tend to think of it as nicer than it really is. Just browse any KBB listings for a while, and you’ll probably find most cars listed as “like new” or “good” when the pictures tell a different story. Plus, KBB asks a lot of questions, and it’s easy to make a mistake when valuing your own car. No valuing tool has solved the problem of the human element, at least not yet.

Ken Manchester
 

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