Even though buying a used car at some point may seem more complex than purchasing a new car, but they actually are not much different. The first thing that you should do is begin the process with visiting NADA guide and determine the NADA used car value.

At a certain time, finding good private seller or dealer takes a lot of intuition. This is because they sometimes try to sell their used car at too much price. Even though you assume that the car has thoroughly checked out, you just cannot be too sure. But the NADA guide and Kelley Blue Book have changed the conventional process of purchasing used-car. In this article, we focus on the NADA guide to find used-car value.


One great advantage of NADA Blue Book is it gives you information of all car sales in the nation. NADA, stand for National Automotive Dealers Association, represents more than 19,700 new truck and car dealer in the nation. Additionally, NADA also has editors who give a review of more than 1 million actual car trading transaction every month. This is how the numbers are gathered. No wonder if there are so many dealers and customers rely on NADA. Getting the accurate value of a car does not necessarily mean that the car is sold at a great price. But, it will be nice if you have at least a base line to work.

Comparison between NADA and KBB

Another basic thing to do is comparing NADA guide and the KBB. NADA evaluate the vehicles based on the retail price, auction price, and other data source. The NADA editors review the information on a monthly basis.
The KBB also conducts extensive research to decide the values of every vehicle. However, KBB focuses more on used-cars and customers, while NADA focuses on new cars and dealers. Thus, if you are buying certified pre-owned cars, it is better to use NADA value prices in the negotiation.

Why would you have to use NADA used-car value? The answer is a comparison. Sometimes, NADA used-car value is lower than Kelley Blue Book values. When there is an actual price difference, you have one more advantage on the negotiating table.

Even though buying used-car is actually more complex than purchasing a new car, there is one thing to take into account. Different from new cars, every used-car is unique due to the condition, mileage, and also options. The NADA guide and Kelley Blue Book address those specific conditions into their calculations.

In addition, they also take into account the different options for example power windows, transmission, power door locks, cruise control, leather seats, power sunroof, alloy/aluminum wheels, a navigation system, and entertainment system.

Now, imagine comparing and weighs all those factors without the help of NADA Blue Book and Kelley Blue Book.


There is one thing that should always take into consideration when using NADA is it does not take private sales into consideration. NADA offers four categories including:

  • Rough trade-in
  • Average trade-in
  • Clean trade-in
  • Clean retail

The clean retail will match the real NADA value for the vehicle based on the final sales prices nationwide.
In addition, if your car has reached more than 100,000 miles, most dealers will not consider the price of any guide. This is because they have difficulties to sell vehicles with that many miles at the dealership. These cars are directly sent to auction. If you are going to trade your used-car at dealers, make sure that the car has not reached that mileage limit. If your car has reached more than 100,000, it will be better if you sell it privately because you will make more money.

We believe that purchasing used or CPO car is a lot easier than purchasing a new car. This is because the NADA guide helps you determine the price of the used car. When you purchase a new car, the dealer begins to change the pricing for different car options. Check this post on when buying a brand new car is better than purchasing used-car.

You need to remember that there is no actual rule for which guide to use. However, when you want to score the best deal when purchasing a car, you can use both guides.

Car valuation is indeed a complicated process. But the NADA blue book and Kelley blue book help make the complex process a lot easier.

Happy car hunting!