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Book Values, are they of value?

I am often asked about the accuracy of book values for used vehicles.  My experience is that the more common or available a vehicle is, the more you can use it as a pricing guide.  And it is just that, a guide.  No one is obligated to sell a vehicle for book value, although some lending institutions will only lend a percentage of the value that NADA or Kelly Blue Book or similar guides assign to a vehicle.  So if you are interested in a 2010 Honda Accord EX and there are 70 of those vehicles in your area, a book value is not a bad way to go.  However, if you want a 1993 Corvette that has under 20,000 miles and is a one owner vehicle with a clean Carfax report and impeccable maintenance and care and there are 2 or 3 within 500 miles, well, the book won’t be much help.  In cases like that, you need to determine what you are willing to spend and how patient you are willing to be.  I suggest doing your homework and consider the availability of a vehicle before relying on what a guide says a vehicle is worth.  If an owner has invested thousands of dollars in a vehicle over the course of their ownership, and can prove it, isn’t that vehicle worth more than a similar vehicle that has had marginal maintenance and a nice detail just before being listed…Lots to consider I know!