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Are Blue Book Car Values Accurate on Junk Cars?

are kbb scrap car values accurate

Most people consider Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) to be the holy grail for valuing used automobiles. So, you might be surprised to hear that it’s not always accurate, especially when it comes to trading in a car with problems or determining the salvage value of a car.

In reality, there are a variety of factors that determine the difference between book value and market value. Everything from location, condition, mileage, make, and model influence the KBB fair purchase price. According to one source, about 90% of used vehicles today are sold below their blue book values. Thus, it’s important to keep an open mind and have realistic expectations.

If you’re interested in finding out the real value of your vehicle, just use our online pricing tool to get an instant, no-hassle quote for your junk car, pickup truck, van, or SUV. It takes less than two minutes, there is no obligation to sell, and your quote is guaranteed if you choose to accept it.

Just click HERE to get your instant online quote today!

Did You Know?

Here at JunkCarMasters, we’re the national experts at evaluating junk and damaged cars and getting you the best prices for them fast. Our car valuation is a fair market offer based on condition, location, make, model and year.

We’ll never try to haggle over the price, and we’ll never pressure you to sell when you’re not ready. When it comes to selling an old car, JunkCarMasters puts you in the driver’s seat. We are one of the nation’s largest junk car buying services.

KBB Value Vs. Reality

Every car is different, and every location is a different market for vehicles. So, it’s not surprising that the Kelley Blue Book “fair market value” rarely holds up across the board.

Take, for example, a Dodge Ram crew cab 4×4 pickup truck. There’s plenty of demand for this kind of vehicle in the southeastern United States where it does double-duty as a work truck and weekend off-roader. That same truck in a big city like New York might be impossible to sell at the Blue Book value since parking would be a nightmare and most garages would turn you away.

Also, the KBB fair market value doesn’t account for damage or repair costs. A car might look great on the outside, but if it’s due for expensive maintenance or is known to become less reliable with age, local buyers just won’t be interested in paying anywhere near book value. Salvage title value is even worse, at roughly 50% of its Kelley Blue Book Value.


scrap value of car

The most popular alternative to Kelley’s Blue Book is the NADA guide, created for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to help with pricing trade-ins. Many in the industry find the NADA guide to be more accurate. This is primarily because it requires all trade-ins to be in “very clean” condition.

Of course, as you may already know, older cars and junk cars are seldom “very clean.” As a result, you’ll have to discount NADA pricing based on the expected costs for maintenance, repair, and detailing.

Sometimes, using KBB Private Party Value will get you closer to a fair price for your vehicle. But even then, you’ll need to discount the cost of all the time and money spent listing your car and time spent waiting for a sale.

So What’s My Junk Car REALLY Worth?

Regardless of whether your car is in working order, you’re trading in a non-moving vehicle, or you’re hoping to sell a salvaged automobile, you are hoping to get the best price possible at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, the KBB fair market value can give people false or unrealistic hopes about what their vehicle is worth. That’s why most dealers these days use Manheim Market Report, or the “Black Book.” This resource isn’t available to the public and quotes much more conservative prices on vehicles.

Thankfully, the solution is simple. With the online pricing tool at JunkCarMasters, you can answer a few quick questions about your vehicle and get a guaranteed instant quote in about as much time as it takes to find out your car’s Blue Book value.

Our quotes are backed by a nationwide network of qualified junk car buyers who pay top dollar for less than perfect vehicles just like yours.

If you like our price, you can commit to a sale, get FREE towing and on-the-spot payment in just 24-48 hours. If you think we can do better, don’t hesitate to contact one of our representatives and let us know. We’ll work with you to get the price right, but we’ll never pressure you to sell if you don’t want to.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your quote and find out how much your car is really worth today!

What Does Car Book Value Mean?

Typically, car book value refers to a vehicle's Kelley Blue Book value. KBB values reflect the fair market prices for both used and new vehicles based on sales data, and they are updated regularly. When you are trying to sell a regular used vehicle, the KBB value can give you a good idea of what your car is worth and what you can sell it for.

However, there's an important caveat to KBB values: they're only good for usable cars in relatively good condition. When you're trying to sell a junk, damaged or broken vehicle, the KBB value is going to be completely different from what your vehicle is actually worth.

If you want to sell your damaged vehicle and you don't know what it's worth, JunkCarMasters can help. We can generate a fair market offer for your vehicle in just 90 seconds, with free towing and title transfer included.

Can I Use The KBB Value For My Junk Car?

Unfortunately, the KBB value really reflects the price of a usable car, not a junk vehicle. Instead, you will have to look at salvage sales in your area to get an approximate idea of what a vehicle with damage similar to yours will sell for.

JunkCarMasters can make that process easier. We'll provide a fair market offer for your car in just 90 seconds with free towing and title transfer included. Rather than hunting for a buyer and estimates separately, we can give you both at once!

All our offers are guaranteed for a week. Once you accept them, we can come to you in 24-48 business hours and pay you on the spot for your car! It's never been easier to sell your junk vehicle and get paid for it.

Who Will Pay Me The KBB Value For My Junk Car?

Unfortunately, junk cars are not worth what the KBB value lists for a used vehicle, so chances are no one will pay you that much. Instead, you'll get the salvage or auction value of a junk vehicle. But you can still try to maximize your profit and your benefits!

At JunkCarMasters, for instance, we can produce a fair market offer in 90 seconds with FREE towing and title transfer included. We can pick up your vehicle in less than two business days, and we'll pay you on the spot for it when we pick it up! Now that's convenient.

It’s a Quick and Easy Process

Step 1: Vehicle Details

Vehicle Details

Provide us with your vehicle’s details and a picture if asked.

Step 2: Offer


Request your guaranteed offer from us online.

Step 3: Accept


Accept the offer if you’re happy with it.

Step 4: Get Paid

Get Paid

In 24-48 hrs, you will get paid and have your car towed for free!

Get An Offer Online

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