Whether you are buying a new car or selling an older one, you want to be sure the price of the vehicle has its start in sound reasoning and fairness. Enter car valuation websites. We took a look at KBB, Edmunds and TrueCar to understand what buying and selling scenarios these tools bring the most value to.
KBB vs Edmunds
These 2 sites have been the go-tos to determine the value of a car for close to forever at this point. Let's see how they compare.
Which Is Better Kelley Blue Book Or Edmunds?
Both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are considered to be the top car valuation sites in the U.S. and are both trusted resources. Both websites are known to offer a lot of detail with the general information they provide about various makes and models.
Most experts believe Edmunds is more accurate with its car values. Kelley Blue Book typically has higher values on different cars listed on its website. There are some cases when Edmunds may have a few car models at a slightly higher value than on Kelley Blue Book.
Although Kelley Blue Book is considered a great resource, it shouldn't be the only site you use to determine the value of a car when you're buying or selling a model. NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) guides are also available and use algorithms to determine various car values. However, it still has slightly higher car values than Kelley Blue Book.
Edmunds can be most helpful because it has five car condition categories on its website. Kelley Blue Book only has four categories that it uses.
Is Edmunds True Market Value accurate?
Edmunds True Market Value is known to be accurate, making it a great resource to use when you plan to sell your car or trade it in at a dealership. The pricing system makes it easy to calculate the average transaction price and what other drivers are currently paying for the model. Getting an estimate will allow you to feel equipped to begin negotiating when you're buying or selling a car.
Edmunds True Market Value is also labeled as "Edmunds' Suggested Price" for new models to make it simpler and easier for consumers to understand. There are still times when the term "True Market Value" is used on the website for those who are unaware of the recent change.
If you want to have more accuracy with the value you obtain with Edmunds True Market Value, it's important to get as many details as possible about the vehicle. You'll need the make, model, and features that it includes. The trim will also influence the price. Keep in mind that cars often sell for different prices, depending on their availability and if they're in demand. You'll also need to consider any add-on features that the car may have if it's a used model.
It's also important to remember that the True Market Value doesn't include any taxes or fees. Millions of data points are used to determine the estimate, which includes nearby transactions in the local area. This is not the "out of door" cost but is its average transaction price. It also doesn't factor in rebates or DMV fees.
Edmunds vs TrueCar
These are 2 big players. Edmunds is one of the originals in the space. TrueCar by comparison is a relatively new player. Let’s see how they stack up.
Which Is Best For New Cars?
Both Edmunds and TrueCar are considered to be leading car valuation sites that are frequently referenced during the negotiation process between the buyer and seller. If you're planning on purchasing a new car, the best car valuation site is TrueCar. It's considered to be the most accurate with its valuations. However, the site doesn't offer any market guides when it comes to trade-in values, retail values, or wholesale values. This requires conduction more research and using additional tools.
The main reason TrueCar is known to be the most accurate is that their prices are based on the same new models that have recently sold in the nearby area. The information is updated every 30 days for new cars, which is more frequent than Edmunds.
Banks and financial institutions also don't use Edmunds for retail, wholesale, or loan value. NADA is also used as a second guide by dealerships and wholesalers to ensure the price of the new car is fair and ethical.
Do Dealers Have to Honor TrueCar Price?
Dealers are not required to honor the TrueCar price and have the freedom to determine the selling price of the vehicle. Some dealers will choose to honor the TrueCar price because they're more ethical and want to be fair to their customers. There aren't any rules in place that a dealer has to sell their vehicles for a certain price. This is one of the main reasons why cars that are more in demand have a higher price tag that is higher than MSRP.
Some dealers may give you a great deal but will require that you finance the car through their dealership. This allows them to earn more money over the term of the loan when you pay interest. It's important to shop around at different dealerships to try and find the best deal. Look for a dealer that is willing to honor the True Car price when you're negotiating the transaction.
Which Is Best For Used Cars?
Edmunds is considered to be the best car valuation site for used models because the site obtains data from a variety of different sources. The site relies on car depreciation costs, consumer information, and dealer transactions. The value takes multiple factors into account, like the features, number of doors, type of engine, and the trim level. The major features of the vehicle can influence the value of the model. This includes if the car has navigation, leather upholstery, an entertainment system, automatic climate control, and a sunroof.
The history of the car should also be taken into consideration. Vehicles that have at least one accident tend to lose some of their value, even if it's something minor like hail damage. There isn't any real way to gauge how much value the car will lose after it's been in an accident, but it is something you can use to your advantage if you're purchasing a used model.