Kelley Blue Book has been the trusted guidebook for vehicle values since 1926. On Oct. 28, 2011, the used car value authority debuted a new service that will help consumers looking for state-by-state values. According to Automotive News, Kelley Blue Book has also added a used vehicle condition category.
Used car values by state reveal fluctuations
Dealers and consumers have praised Kelley Blue Book’s decision to expand listings to include used car values on a state-by-state basis. Previously, values had been reported across five different regions of the U.S., said Kelley Blue Book’s director of vehicle valuation, Juan Flores.
“The automotive industry is moving toward more transparency and more accuracy, and we’re following suit,” he said.
Kelley Blue Book will cover the full range of used car trade-in values for each of the 50 U.S. states, including the District of Columbia. Data indicate that car values fluctuate by as little as $100 to $200 from one state to the next. For consumers, that doesn’t matter much, but for automotive dealers that buy hundreds of used cars and trucks each year – not to mention the banks involved – it adds up.
The online Kelley Blue Book at kbb.com also reflects the new data.
A ‘very good’ step for the Blue Book
In addition to the state-by-state used car values, Kelley Blue Book has also added an additional vehicle condition category. The new category, “very good,” falls between “excellent” and “good” on the rating scale. The new price tier helps to enhance valuation accuracy and can mean more money in the seller’s pocket in many scenarios.
According to Flores, about 3 percent of all used vehicles on the market are in excellent condition, while 23 percent would merit “very good” status. The difference in valuation is approximately 1 to 2 percent.
“The introduction of ‘very good’ gives a more reasonable place for the dealer and the consumer to [meet] on the condition of the vehicle during the trade-in process,” Flores told Automotive News. “It eliminates some of the tension between the consumer and the dealer.”
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