NADA

4.1

Overall Score

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The National Automotive Dealers Association issues consumer pricing reports similar to Kelley Blue Book on new, used, and certified preowned vehicles. The company provides educational automotive research, and extensive business training and advocacy to dealerships nationwide. The company began in 1917 in McLean, Virginia. Around 90 percent of new car dealerships located in the United States are members of this automotive association. The organization lobbies for dealers politically and desires to educate consumers on fair pricing. 

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The Good

  • Great resources and tools
  • Compare many cars at once
  • Full disclosure

The company's website provides ample resources and tools to prepare consumers for their next vehicle purchase. Plus, the nada.com website features resources from partners to help consumers get free dealer and insurance quotes, check a vehicle's history, sell their current car and find current loan rate information. Shoppers can also calculate monthly payments and find out how much they can afford for an automobile. These resources have been made available thanks to partnerships The National Automotive Dealers Association has with other automotive companies.

One interesting and unique feature on the NADA.com automotive website is the pervasive ability to compare up to 4 new and used cars at one time. This side-by-side comparison feature breaks down the difference of the various cars selected in a number of different extensive categories. You will discover the manufacturer's suggested retail price, factory invoice cost, used trade-in estimate, and used retail pricing for all 4 selected vehicles. It will also compare the fuel economy in miles per gallon, performance/mechanical specs on the vehicles, safety features for your family, and any warranties that may be offered. The NADA comparison tool also reveals the cost of ownership over 5 years and shows interior and exterior pictures of all the vehicles when available.

The Bad

  • Pricing guides are different
  • Not an accurate gauge

The NADA pricing guides can be trusted and reliable. However, they operate differently than those you may find on Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and other similar websites. The guides issued by The National Automotive Dealers Association use dealer sales prices which are not exactly helpful if you are buying or selling a car through a private party. Dealers sell cars at much higher prices and offer rebates and incentives. This generally does not apply to most used car sales.

Another factor to consider is that the NADA pricing guides analyze vehicles in excellent and clean conditions. Since most cars are not in this great of condition in the used car market, the NADA guides cannot be considered an accurate gauge in pricing vehicles that do not fit NADA's criteria. Keep these tips in mind when using the NADA guides while comparing different vehicles.

The Bottom Line

The consumer pricing guides provided by The National Automotive Dealers Association can be considered honest and dependable when it comes to dealer pricing on new, used, and certified preowned vehicles. The company has been around for 98 years with no complaints. When you want detailed information on your next vehicle and want to compare it to other cars, we recommend these guides to assist you in your quest.

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