WHY KELLEY BLUE BOOK IS NOT ALWAYS AN ACCURATE WAY TO DETERMINE CAR VALUE
Determining the value of your car is the most important step in the preparation process when selling your vehicle. Most people automatically fall on the Kelley Blue Book value, because they have been conditioned by car dealerships to believe that the Kelley Blue Book value is set in stone. People are unaware that car dealership Kelley Blue Books have different prices (often undervalued) than the mass produced Kelley Blue Book that people have access to either online or in print.
The reality is that 90% of vehicles sold today are way below the KBB inflated value.
There are factors involved when selling your car that Kelley Blue Book just does not calculate, and because it’s printed once a year, cannot take into consideration.
SUPPLY & DEMAND
A Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab pick up truck is a very sought after truck for some people. In South Carolina where the vehicle is in high demand, it gets a higher asking value than in New York City where parking for such a vehicle is a nightmare and most garages won’t even take a vehicle of this size. On the other hand, a Toyota Prius is in high demand in the congested cities of the Northeast, but interest in it is almost lacking in North Carolina. Yet KBB gives the same price for both cars to both residents in NYC and SC.
I noticed on a local online classifieds site that someone was advertising a 2004 Dodge Intrepid SE with only 76,000 miles for a really good price, almost $1,500 under the Kelley Blue Book value, yet day after day, no one will buy this car.
Why, because the 2004 Dodge Intrepid is notorious for having transmission problems or that it has a 2.7 Liter Engine, one of the most expensive and difficult engines to repair if something was to go wrong (and something usually does go wrong with the 2.7 Engine).
I recently priced a used 2.7 engine for an Intrepid at a junk yard for $2,700 with 90,000 miles. Mind you, this is a special dealer price. A consumer off the street would pay much more than this. Needless to say I did not purchase the engine and scraped the car for it’s metal.
Kelley Blue Book Values can’t give you this kind of information, and they don’t take these conditions into account.
There is no one book that tells you the value of your home, there are many factors involved when selling a home; location, condition, size, functionality, local similar house sales, etc. So many in fact, that there are appraisers that calculate all these factors. Cars are similar, but people often don’t get appraisers for them.
It does not matter what the Kelley Blue Book Value Is if nobody is willing to pay that amount, as in the case of the Intrepid, then the car is not worth that price, but Kelley won’t tell you that.
A few key factors to keep in mind when trying to figure out the value of your car are as follows:
Even though the vehicle is considered used, the car must be able to start, run and drive without any noises, vibrations or odors that are out of the ordinary or unexpected.
Overall Exterior Condition
Too many dings or dents, paint chips and fading, major accidents (not repaired), previously repaired accidents, rust on the frame or any portion of the body.
The person who purchases this car must sit in it day after day, so they will be looking for things that can be annoying or irritating after a while such as, torn seats or components, unusual smells, pet hair, stains, ripped or torn car mats, falling headliner, cigarette burns, and so on.
The lights on the dash such as Check Engine, Transmission, ABS, Brake, Airbag (etc)
A good way to determine how in demand your vehicle is to just notice how often you see similar vehicles, do you normally pass your make and model vehicle when going to the mall or work?
The more often you see your vehicle the more in demand your car is in your area, if you drive something that is rare and hardly ever seen driving you may have a harder time selling it, or may have to settle for a price reduction.
Above all else, trust the professionals, they have been appraising vehicles for a long time, and they do it on a daily basis, not once a year.