Whom To Trust When Buying a Pre-Owned Car


Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is America’s most trusted pricing guide by consumers and car dealerships for values and prices of new and pre-owned cars. If a car dealership is KBB certified, it means that all its vehicles have been inspected by their manufacturers’ warranties, trusted car reviews, and that its prices are fair.


In 1918, Les Kelley opened his own used car dealership in Los Angeles. The Kelley Blue Book Values started out of Kelley’s need to create a used car list pricing of used cars he wanted to buy from neighboring dealerships.

KBB’s evaluation service for car pricing is done by the banking and insurance industries. Loan givers and insurance companies started using KBB. After World War II, the US government used KBB to place a ceiling on used car prices. For decades, Kelley Blue Book was mostly a trade publication that wasn’t available to car-buying consumers until 1993.

Established Values

The following sources make up a typical year in used car purchase information and updates the database that KBB experts analyze:

Wholesale Auctions

Auctions receive their vehicles from dealers, rental agencies, fleet owners, off-lease vehicles owned by financial institutions and manufacturers’ demos and promotional vehicles.

Independent Dealers

Independent dealerships sell used vehicles only. Their customers are auctions, consumers and wholesalers.

Franchised Dealers

Brand new car dealerships enabled by respective manufacturers (Honda, Nissan, etc.). Their customers are consumers and auctions.

Rentals & Fleet

Cars in rental fleets are sent to auctions after one year of service.

Original Equipment Manufacturers

After using cars as employee cars, promotions, or other distributions, the manufacturers take these used vehicles to auction.

Financial Institution Lessors

After the term of a leased vehicle is complete, these vehicles are either sold back to the lessee or at an auction directly to dealer.

Consumer Private Party Transactions

KBB tracks consumer sale prices yearly.



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