• The primary difference between Kelley Blue Book automotive values and the NADA Guides is the basis on which they each arrive at their separate automotive values.

    Les Kelley

    In the 1920s, Les Kelley began to print a list of cars he wished to purchase and how much he was willing to pay for them and then shared this list with bankers and car dealers. The Kelley Blue Book was printed in 1926 by Kelley.

    Blue Book Criteria

    According to the Kelley Blue Book website, you can choose from three criteria when determining the Blue Book value on a vehicle: "Trade-In Value (the amount consumers can expect to receive from a dealer for a trade-in vehicle), Private Party Value (the amount a buyer can expect to pay when buying a used car from a private party), and Suggested Retail Value (the value that is representative of dealers' asking prices for a used car)."


    The NADA (National Automobile Dealers of America) was formed in 1917 and started printing its used car data in 1933. The NADA Guides are the consumer affiliate of the NADA.

    NADA Guides

    The NADA Guides, according to The Next Car site, "provide two values for late model used vehicles, Average Trade-in value (the amount you would expect to pay to a dealer) and Average Retail value (the amount you would expect to pay to a private party)." It also states that the NADA Guides "provide older used cars with three values, Low, Average and High retail."


    It is noted on The Next Car site that Suggested Retail value is always higher than Private Party value because the dealer puts money into inspecting, repairing and other costs that drive the price up.


    NADA Guides

    The Next Car

    Kelley Blue Book

    More Information:

    Kelly Blue Book Home Page

    NADA Home Page

    NADA: Guidelines

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