Car Buying Tip: Throw away the Blue Book

Jul 29 14:52 2007 Jeff Jones Print This Article

You can save money on you next car if you have the same tools the dealers use.

Car Buying Tip: Throw out the BlueBooks

Pretty much any article you see on buying used cars recommends research,Guest Posting research, research. I agree, just make sure you are using the correct tools to do your research. The Blue Book is not the right tool. Many websites are out there that will give you Blue Book pricing,,, What do all of these sites have in common, they all make money from advertising. Who pays for all of that adverstising? Car dealers and manufacturers, so is it any surprise that the “used car pricing” on these sites is skewed to benefit these advertisers.

What is Black Book pricing? Its the pricing guide that dealers use to value used car trade ins. Its also used by banks and credit unions to value a car for a loan. It is comprised by looking at actual sales of cars state by state. If you compare Black and Blue book pricing, you will consistently see that Blue Book pricing skews in the dealers favor. That is how a dealer can sell so many used cars at “below Blue Book value” .

Blue Book pricing is all over the internet, where do I find Black Book pricing? I have found the best and most trustworthy source for Black Book pricing to be credit union websites. Here is an example (note you dont have to enter a vin number, just select the year and boxes to enter the make and model will pop up.)

So do your research, but just make sure you are doing it on websites that are not trying to make money off of you. Personally I have also found it useful to purchase a car at the end of the month. Salesmen and Dealers have quotas to make, they are more likely to let one go cheap at the end of the month.

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Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones

Jeff is a self avowed cheapskate and outlines his transition from spender to tightwad in his blog

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