Kelley Blue Book Logo

Kelley Blue Book

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203 User Reviews

8.6

Overall Score

What is known today as Kelley Blue Book (KBB)—first started in 1926—has origins dating back to 1918. The company gets its name from founder Les Kelley, who launched the initial enterprise under the name Kelley Kar Company. The enterprise was a car dealership with Model T Ford vehicles for sale. 

Kelley collected raw data from his business operations with other dealers and banks, publishing the information for public consumption in the first Kelley Blue Book in 1926. This book became a standard guide in the automotive trade for determining car value. 

By the 1960s, the company moved from a car dealership to a specialty publisher, focusing on the production of its automobile pricing guides.

The company details current market value and ranges for every type of new or used vehicle available on the market. Kelley Blue Book also provides dealer invoice pricing for new cars and trade-in values for used cars. Website visitors to kbb.com can also find expert and consumer reviews, safety ratings, and detailed 5-year Cost-to-Own data, as well as the opportunity to sell their car with an on-site ad listing.

Read on for pros and cons, plus Kelley Blue Book reviews from real users. 

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The Good

  • Blue Book Values
  • Free Tools & Services
  • Expert Reviews & Lists
  • Pricing Package Options

Blue Book Values

Kelley Blue Book's most significant feature allows owners to determine what their vehicle is worth, called Blue Book Value. All it requires is the make, model, mileage, model year, and relative condition to find the car's value. Car pricing is fast, free and requires just a few clicks to get the results. 

Kelly Blue Book values are a go-to feature for both car buyers and sellers, whether going through a dealership or selling directly. The Blue Book values are the gold standard for determining vehicle valuation in the automotive market, allowing all parties, when buying or selling, to be informed and prepared to negotiate accordingly. 

For new automobiles, KBB also provides information about a car's suggested retail price (the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP) and the dealer invoice price. 

For used cars, KBB provides retail value, certified pre-owned value, trade-in price, private party value, and an instant cash offer if you are looking to quickly sell your car to a local dealer. 

Instant cash offers are to be redeemed with a participating dealer, pending inspection and appraisal. 

Free Tools & Services

When the Kelley Blue Book website was launched in 1995, it charged consumers $3.95 for a pricing report. The backlash was almost instantaneous. Customers insisted that online information should be free. In response, KBB did just that, offering a list of free pricing tools and services for both car shoppers and dealers. 

Here are a few of the company's no-cost features/tools that stand out:

Free Dealer Price Quote. With the car make, model and zip code, users can find out the going sales price for any vehicle offered by car dealers.

Five-year cost-to-own. Helps prospective buyers to prepare for new car ownership by configuring the hidden costs over a five year period. These hidden costs are fuel economy, state fees, financing, maintenance, repairs, and insurance. Once the hidden costs have been calculated, it then allows buyers to compare and contrast those costs between different vehicles.

Next, it calculates the loss in value-what the car is worth in five years, adding the two together to determine the cost to own. This especially comes in handy when comparing cars of the same market price, since the cost to own can be the deciding factor of which car is more expensive.

Autocheck vehicle history report. Kelley Blue Book is best known for this feature along with the ability to determine the going rate of a car's market value. Autocheck is a partner with Kelley Blue Book, helping prospective used car buyers do background research on a used or pre-owned vehicle to determine the vehicle's history. This feature helps buyers avoid pitfalls by finding any accident reports, criminal activity or unreported title brands.

Expert Reviews & Lists

Kelley Blue Book also offers expert and consumer vehicle reviews and ratings. Kbb.com also features numerous awards and top 10 lists.

Bonus services include credit checks, car insurance information, and vehicle history reports.

Pricing Package Options

If you are selling a car, there are four different packages for placing a used car ad on Kelley Blue Book. Available packages are dependent on your location, but basic options are:

  • The basic package runs for 4 weeks with 5 photos for $20.
  • The upgraded advertising package runs for 8 weeks with 10 photos for $30.
  • A combo package that includes an ad listed on Autotrader.com with 15 photos costs $60.
  • Another combo package without the listing on Autotrader.com may be available depending on where you live for $40-$50.
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The Bad

  • Listing Feature Could Be Better
  • Poor Mobile Apps
  • Customer Complaints

Listing Feature Could Be Better

Looking up car listings on KBB.com has one feature that could be improved: the cars should be listed separately, as both are currently mixed together. This occurs throughout the site and can be tedious at best and confusing at worst.

Poor Mobile Apps

As highly regarded as the KBB website is, the iPhone and iPad apps fall way short of its expectations. With only a one star rating, customers have more than their share of negative feedback. A few harsh critiques:

The app is extremely slow and can lag or jump around. For instance, when selecting the choice of car, it will jump back to various different prompt screens (what make of car, body style, etc.) and then return to the screen you're supposed to be on.

Since they redesigned the app, the ease of use has become intolerable compared to the previous version. It now takes longer to view your desired car due to the additional steps to get to the car.

The Android app isn't much better. With only three stars, it is riddled with the same issues as the Apple version.

Customer Complaints

Customers complain that it takes way too long to find what they are looking for—along with a myriad of technical issues. Regarding these app issues, being that many car dealers use this app, it would behoove KBB to fix any bugs or technical issues to maintain good relationships and continued trust in their brand. The standard Blue Book Value feature is fast and easy; however, clicking through to the results can be a bit confusing, as the page is very crowded and one has to scroll down to finally see the price chart for the specified vehicle. The page could be made cleaner with fewer components.

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The Bottom Line

Kelley Blue Book has been a trusted resource for car buyers, private sellers, and dealers for many decades and continues to be today. It is an easy, fast way to find out how much your current vehicle is worth if you are looking to sell your car, and how much any car is worth if you are buying and want to make sure that you are getting a fair purchase price. KBB's reputation speaks for itself in this regard. 

However, the company should work on improving their apps-especially since many car dealers use them along with making their blue book value results page cleaner for better visibility.

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Star Rating

4.6

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203 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

66%

4 grade

27%

3 grade

4%

2 grade

1%

1 grade

2%

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Review Source

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Anne Sainsbury Salt Lake City, UT

I have used Kelley Blue Book both to find used cars when I was shopping for a new car and to find the current value of my car when selling an older car. When looking for used cars I love how many cars are available on the site. There have always been plenty of vehicles represented when I have looked. One of my favorite features on the site is the ability to input the details of your car and get a range of appropriate selling price. This was very helpful when we sold our second car last year and we were able to get a fair price for it.

1 month ago

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Lisa C Johnson Washington, DC

I think this is the best book around. Before I buy cars I do alot of research. I know how much a car is worth and the amount I'm willing to pay and a decent amount that they should receive. I walk into the dealership with this book. Salesmen know that you are serious and have done your research. As a female I know that we can be taken advantage of. So thanks to this book I can be a well informed customer. The price I quoted was accepted at the dealership.

2 months ago

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Destini Ferguson Tallahassee, FL

Before purchasing a car pull up Kelly Blue Book! They show what your car should be worth so that you can bargain for the cheapest price. I defiantly recommend this to car buyers. It saved me thousands of dollars.

1 month ago

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Jodianna Maitland, FL

Before I buy a car I check Kelley Blue Book to see if I am getting my moneys worth! I can easily type in a cars information and they will tell me how much it is worth and is always reliable.

1 month ago

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Ted Rock Island, IL

I have used Kelly Blue Book to find the value of my cars before going to dealer to look at new cars. The trade in allowance that is calculated in KBB really helps in the negotiation process. I wouldn't go to dealer without knowing the value of my car.

8 months ago

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Jennifer Salt Lake City, UT

The website works as advertised as have a lot of information.

4 days ago

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Peter Harmatuk Columbia, MD

KBB is a great resource for finding the potential value of a car. I have never found it extremely useful in terms of knowing what you would actually get for your car or being able to pay for a new one, but it does give you useful guidance for approximate values

4 months ago

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Paige Ellis Slade Gilbert, AZ

Whenever we are considering buying a car, or first thing is to go to Kelley blue book and see what it’s value is. Kelley blue book has helped us with each one of our cars to know if we are getting a good deal.

5 months ago

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Dan Whiting American Fork, UT

I used Kelley Blue book to find out the value of my Honda Odyssey. The website was a little confusing at first. But after I spent some time with it, I was able to navigate and find the answers I was looking for. Placing an ad was easy enough, and I feel that it was definitely worth the small fee to reach as many people as I did. I'm sure I made more money from the sale as a result.

9 months ago

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Christine Farmer Littleton, CO

Kelley Blue Book is our go to website to value our cars to decide if they are worth fixing or if it's time to move on. Also, to give us a basis for a price to sell OR to buy a used car. The reviews available are very well written and helpful. You can also view used cars for sale and I like how those are presented. One thing they show on the intro page is the exterior and interior color--this is nice for me because I care about the interior color and on most sites I have to click on that car to find the interior color, so it saves search time for me to have that noted on the scrolling page. Very useful site!

2 years ago

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Christopher Milke Olney, MD

Great source to figure private party and trade in value ranges for your car as well as shop for new car values.

2 months ago

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Joannetta Jarman Secaucus, NJ

Before we buy any car we always check the KBB for a cars rating to see how its doing and what its history is. We trust no one before check the KBB price.

5 months ago

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Chelsea Snow Eagle Mountain, UT

As I was selling my Ford Focus, this site served as an excellent tool for me to know how much it was actually worth. I was able to sell it at a reasonable price because of Kbb.

6 months ago

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Leonides Fourteen Logan, UT

Kelley Blue Book helped me find the right make model and price I should pay for two of the past vehicles I have owned and it’s pricing and reviews are very helpful and accurate

8 months ago

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Ryan Larsen Logan, UT

I use Kelley Blue Book as my source of information when researching car values and reviews. The website is packed with useful information and is easy to navigate. I believe that their estimated values are consistent and dependable.

8 months ago

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mikala gneiting Ammon, ID

Great service! It’s nice to know the value of cars when it’s time to trade or buy. Quick reference to let you know what your vehicle is worth. Or to compare someone’s asking price to what the value “should” be.

8 months ago

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Patricia Miller Preston, ID

This book is a first stop when we are looking at a car or truck. We always check to see what the value is on a used car we like then we have a good idea if the sales price is fair or high! This book gives you a good starting pay when you are negotiating on a vehicle!

1 year ago

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Kaysha Love Las Vegas, NV

Kelly blue book is a great resource to use. This company is very benefical when coming for teaching for cars. This company is also very honest and makes sure to give the most accurate quotes on vehicles. A very trusted company.

1 year ago

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JDWain Tallahassee, FL

Kelly Blue Book provides a great serivce to its customer and has helped me determine how much my car is worth when selling and also how much I should pay when buying a used car. Their prices are always very accurate for what the market will pay.

1 year ago

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Eddie Rios Ogden, UT

Overall, Kelly Blue Book is a well trusted name in the industry. I have used their tools multiple times. Kelly Blue Book offers real value in saving money through accessible information. They offer industry leading, key information invaluable in making purchasing decisions. I won't ever buy anything without consulting Kelly Blue Book!

1 year ago

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Aaron Paxman Lehi, UT

I recently bought a truck and I used Kelley Blue book to aid me in getting the best deal possible. I found the truck I wanted and the seller was asking way too much and I was able to get the price to come down due to Kelley Blue Book. Website is very user friendly and getting the value of a vehicle was very easy to do.

2 years ago

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Alicia Holman Gilbert, AZ

Very user friendly and seems to be very informative. I don't like that it links to dealerships pretty quickly, but I know that's a way for them to get money. I wish it was a little more detailed as I do think there are more items that go on cars, but it's a minor detail.

3 years ago

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Ashley Ulibarri Sandy, UT

Kelly Blue Book provides a great service. It’s the number one place I go to to check a vehicle’s value. I always research vehicles on Kelly Blue Book before purchasing a new car. It’s also a great place to look for cars. I also always use it as a resource when selling a vehicle to know the fairest price to sell it at. I love using this service.

10 months ago

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Shante Reeder Ogden, UT

This is such a great tool if you are looking to buy or sale a car! Information is accurate, and easy to navigate through! We have used this site many times while trying to privately sell our vehicles, and it has never steered us wrong!

10 months ago

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Mike Ika West Valley City, UT

The thing I like about using KBB when searching for cars is the fact that i can also check the worth of the vehicle I’m looking for. It’s nice to be able to have an idea of what a car should be worth and what the price should be so that way I dont get swindled or overpay for a new /used vehicle. To me all car search engines are basically the same, but KBB offers a trusted and reliable estimation of a cars worth.

1 year ago

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Stephanie Love Herriman, UT

I’ve used Kelley blue book a lot. It has all the information you’re looking for on vehicles you’re looking into. The site is very user friendly and I was able to navigate thru it very easily. It has very useful information and helped me make decisions on buying or selling my vehicles. I will always use Kelley blue book when it comes to buying or selling my cars.

1 year ago

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Kurt Lucas Olney, MD

Kelly Blue Book has been in business for a very long time. I trust them the most because of that.

2 months ago

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Jim Ellicott City, MD

I’ve traded a few cars in the last few years. This helps me negotiate a better trade in price.

2 months ago

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Lex Midway, UT

I love this website because it helps me when buying cars to see what price it should be and has gotten my cars cheaper before

5 months ago

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Yolanda Briganti Riverton, UT

I've been using KBB for helping me gauge the value of cars for a long time. This week I couldn't get the drop down menu to change the year of the car. It has worked in the past. Not this time.

10 months ago

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Hailey Burt Riverton, UT

I just recently sold my Subaru Outback and I used Kelley blue book to see how much it was worth, and I ended up getting exactly what it said I should get for my car!

6 months ago

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Lizzie Billings West Valley City, UT

I love this site! It helped me find the value of my car so I could sell it and I used it to find the value of my dads car so I could buy it. Amazing company!

6 months ago

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Mason Allen Provo, UT

I like that Kelley Blue Book is trust worthy but I have not had much success finding cars on their site. I wonder if people don't know about it or if they are particular on their cars but it seems like their inventory of posts has always been low.

6 months ago

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Cindy H Gilbert, AZ

I have tried to use their website but find it confusing. Several times i have tried to look up the value of a car and start off thinking it is going well but i can never seem to get a conclusion. I'm sure it is my lack of knowledge but for me the site has not been helpful.

6 months ago

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Cdavid St Louis, MO

I always check Kelley Blue Book before purchasing or selling a vehicle. When we sell a vehicle it gives us an educated target price that we should be asking for.

8 months ago

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Opi Logan, UT

Kelly has always provided accurate information on my cars value to allow me to sell quickly. I really like the links they provide for available cars in my area that I am researching. Love the website!

8 months ago

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Tanner Cook Gilbert, AZ

Kelley blue book is my first go-to resource when buying vehicles. Cars are investments and this tool makes it easy for me to make those investments properly. Always know what your car is worth!

2 years ago

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STurner Saratoga Springs, UT

I really appreciated the information This company gave when I sold and bought my car. I liked that it had a side by side comparison. I liked that it was easy to find and easily accessible on the internet. I felt that it was reliable information.

9 months ago

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AF ,

I love having a place to reference when purchasing (or selling) your car. I feel so overwhelmed with the whole process that it's nice to at least have a ballpark idea of what something is worth, and if it had good reviews.

10 months ago

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Jaci Rhoades Irving, TX

Kelley blue book is a great place to start Price shopping for a vehicle. I believe it's extremely important that the American consumer should take into consideration there is also a black book for car dealers. The black book often allows a $5 to $10,000 difference in what the car dealer wants you to know you can bargain with.

10 months ago

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Dre35 West Valley City, UT

KBB has been a great resource when it comes to finding out more information on our vehicles when we decided to sell it online. It was also the resource we used to make sure we were making a good deal in the purchase of our last vehicle. KBB also gets us quick access to local dealerships that have our ideal car in stock.

10 months ago

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Braylyn Linford Lehi, UT

We use Kelley blue book quite often when we’re buying and selling things it’s a nice option to use and it’s very informational it’s got a lot of good things on it I haven’t had too many problems obviously with it once again I feel like it’s a great source for anybody that’s needing to use it and I am grateful that it’s around

1 year ago

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Zac Cannon Long Beach, MS

Kelley Blue Book saved me on a trade-in when I got my new truck back in 2016. A car salesmen tried to cut me out of my trade by trading my old car for way less than it was worth. I showed him the Kelley Blue Book price and he bumped it back up.

1 year ago

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Shannon B Salt Lake City, UT

Kelly Blue Book was super helpful when I was trying to determine a fair price to purchase my Subaru for. I felt so much more confident going into the dealership knowing the value of the vehicle I wanted to purchase. Highly recommend before car shopping!

1 year ago

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Reese Pleasant Grove, UT

I have used Kelley Blue Book many times to look for cars and see what is out there. They are a trusted name that is always a good indication of what the price should be. It also can be customized to meet my search requirements. It is the one I trust the most.

2 years ago

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Katie Kearney Vienna, VA

I used Kelly Blue Book a lot when I was selling my car. I really enjoy the fact you can add a lot of detail into your features and get a great range of what your car is worth. It made it a lot easier when listing a price. I will definitely continue to use it in the future

2 years ago

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Eric San Diego, CA

Kelly Blue Book helped me buy my last car. Its not that I found the car through them but the site allowed me to know the value of the used car I was buying. Thanks to Kelly Blue Book I got the car for a few hundred bucks under market value.

2 years ago

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Kathie Bowman Lakeside, CA

Kelly blue book helped us when we were shopping for a used car. We almost bought a car but before I wanted to check the KBB. good thing I did because the car was way over priced so we backed out. if it wasn't for KBB we would of probably got the car and been upside down

2 years ago

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Kurt Lucas Olney, MD

I have used Kelly Blue Book for years when car shopping. I trust them the most when it comes to information they provide.

4 months ago

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Nell Damascus, MD

Really appreciate the information that the Kelley blue book provides when searching for the value on a car.

4 months ago

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