Kelley Blue Book vs Nada | Comparison from Indy Auto Man, Indianapolis

Kelley Blue Book vs NADA: How to Find out a Used Car Value

If you are selling a car in Indianapolis, you want to get the most accurate car value estimation. Where can you get it: on Kelley Blue Book or Nadaguides website? In fact, the easiest way is to get a firm offer from the dealership. This is fast, simple, and absolutely free. You’ll get the exact price a dealership is ready to pay for your car right now. 

But if you need some figures to get an understanding of what to expect, you can use either Nada or KBB. In this post, you will find an explanation of how each source defines car values. 

How Is the KBB Value Calculated?

Kelley Blue Book was first published in 1926 as the vehicle price guide. It was intended for car dealers, insurance companies, and banks so that business people could use current car values in their dealings. In the 1990s, the KBB was put online as an experiment. They decided to offer the information to consumers for free, and then sell advertising to car brands and dealers. This business model is still actual for the Cox Automotive conglomerate, which currently owns Kelley Blue Book. 

Kelley Blue Book uses software to review and predict trends on the market by comparing more than 250 data sources. It uses predictive analytics and takes into account the following parameters:

  • Car information: age, mileage, condition, trim, and features.
  • The economic situation on the car market.
  • Seasonal price changes.
  • Values across the US and regionalized pricing.

At Indy Auto Man, we believe KBB values and take them into account when estimating your vehicle, whether you want to sell or trade it in.

Types of KBB Used Car Value Reports

  • Retail value or so-called Fair Purchase Price: The amount an average buyer expects to buy this used car for at a dealership. 
  • Trade-In Value: The amount to expect from a dealership when trading this car. Read more about KBB trade-in value. 
  • Private Party Value: The amount you may expect when selling to a private party. 
  • Certified Pre-Owned Price: Some dealerships in Indianapolis offer a factory-backed certification. The price for certified pre-owned cars is higher, but some people like the perks of buying such a vehicle.

What Do NADA Values Mean?

NADA stands for National Automobile Dealers Association – a trade organization representing all foreign and domestic franchised car dealers before the media, public, federal agencies, and Congress. 

The first NADA Official Used Car Guide was published in 1933. It was available only for the dealership subscribers. Later, the company launched the NADAguide website for consumers. Today, the website is owned by J.D. Power, responsible for the valuation data. 

They work with automotive experts and provide pricing information about all types of vehicles, including motorcycles, campers, RVs, trailers, and boats, calculating them by such sources as:

  • Vehicle sales at dealerships;
  • Auction houses;
  • Automotive websites;
  • Carmakers.

When determining the used car value, NADA Guides uses similar criteria as KBB does, like:

  • Supply and demand;
  • Macro and micro-economic factors;
  • Used car year, mileage, extra features;
  • Market area.

NADAguides doesn’t provide private party values, but you can find values for certain CPO vehicles.


In short, Kelley Blue Book can show you what your car is worth today, while on NADAguides you can only see how much your used car should cost.

Which Is More Accurate NADA or Kelley Blue Book?

NADA gives a good rough estimate of why a dealership values your car this way, but KBB can give a better idea of how much your car is worth.

Do Dealers Use Kelley Blue Book or NADA?

For more accurate car pricing, most dealers believe Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds, while NADA can hardly be used for real references.

How to Get the Most Accurate Used Car Value Estimation in Indianapolis?

get used car value Indianapolis

To get the most accurate used car value in Indianapolis, check both, KBB and NADA evaluations, and get an opinion from the local dealers, like Indy Auto Man. Take your car to the dealership to carry out an estimate or get our firm offer online right now.