Purchasing a new vehicle is an important decision whether you are looking for a used or new car.
Nowadays, you don’t need to visit multiple dealerships, negotiating prices, and reviewing paperwork.
Things get more challenging if you decide to purchase a car from a private seller, especially if you don't have any mechanical experience and don't know what’s going on with the vehicle and what to expect.
Luckily, many online platforms can get rough estimates about the price range of specific vehicles. This way, you feel confident about purchasing your new car at a great price.
Among the different car value guiding websites, two of the biggest names are CarGurus.com and Kelly Blue Book or KBB.com.
Do many people wonder which one is more accurate: CarGurus VS Kelly Blue Book?
This article helps you answer your question by reviewing the background behind the value calculations on each website. Then, we highlight the top reported stories from real people who purchased cars from both websites.
CarGurus VS Kelly Blue Book, Where did the story start?
Before discussing which website is more accurate, it is essential to understand how each car value is calculated in each of these resources.
CarGurus, the background story
CarGurus was first found around 2006 as one of the “most highly trafficked automotive sites on the internet,” according to KBB.com.
In the beginning, CarGurus was just a blog website that allows people to post questions and reviews about specific vehicles. As a result of the high traffic to this website, many dealerships reached out to CarGurus to advertise as the audience are interested in the automotive industry.
Nowadays, the website expanded its focus to provide car reviews and discussions and connect dealerships with customers in a step to easen the car shopping process.
The current website has more than five million used, new, and certified cars.
As part of their website, CarGurus also generated what’s called “CarGurus Instant Market Value” to help customers estimate their vehicles’ current price, in case they are interested in selling their cars via CarGurus.
According to Kbb.com, “CarGurus Instant Market Value (IVM) is an estimated fair retail price for a vehicle based on a detailed analysis of comparable current and previous car listings in your market.”
They also added, “CarGurus calculates and continually updates their IVM daily using a complicated algorithm that considers millions of data points including the car’s make, model, trim, year, mileage, options and vehicle history. They factor in current and recently sold vehicles when doing their pricing analysis for IMV. CarGurus adjusts its Instant Market Value based on data from over 150 different urban and rural car markets nationwide.”
Kelly Blue Book, the background story
On the other hand, Kelly Blue Book is almost the “standard for vehicle values and pricing” in the automotive industry.
They started with printed material, and they used to have a dealership that collected information about car values from a surrounded dealership in their area.
As they grew, the company focused on the website and almost like the most extensive library related to car pricing in the United States.
Regarding Kelly Blue Book’s car value calculations, they have what’s called “Blue Book Value.”
This value considers additional factors in addition to the make, model, and year of each vehicle “Blue Book Values reflect the automotive market, the season, and, especially, the part of the country where you might be located. Kelley Blue Book offers regionalized values and pricing for over 100 different areas of the US. Many of these differences may be subtle, but they help vehicle buyers and sellers come to consensus about what the car is worth. Transparency helps create consensus – and consensus is good.”
Furthermore, Kelly Blue Book is considered the first company to incorporate vehicle’s milage to their value calculations.
They also consider hidden prices like expected repairs and maintenance prices. For example, sometimes people might be fooled by the low price of a certain vehicle. However, they dont have an understanding of how much repairs and maintenance will this vehicle cost them.
In addition to cars values, KBB provides information related to financing and insurance to help customers predict their monthly payment and make sure it is within their capabilities to pay.
KBB has a partnership with tons of dealerships to help the customers eliminate the long negotiating process and reduce the waiting time wasted in reviewing paperwork at the dealership.
Thus, the whole goal of all KBB’s work is to provide the most information for customers to make car shopping hassle-free and more trusted.
CarGurus VS Kelly Blue Book – Customers Reviews
In this section, we highlight the top stories reported by real customers about their experience with both websites. We reviewed most available customers reviews from websites like ConsumerAffairs.com, dealerrater.com, trustpilot.com, and others.
What do people say about CarGurus?
Here are some of the top stories about people thoughts of CarGurus.com
- Customer #1
“I have bought 3 cars and sold 2 cars here. I most recently used their autopay system (when I sold my car) where CarGurus handled everything concerning the buying process. No concerns about fake cashier's checks or scams – they take care of checking the title, acting as the go-between with the money, paying off the lien (if there is one), and providing $75,000 worth of coverage (should anything go wrong). It went seamlessly and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And all of that is included in the $29.95 price to sell your car. That also includes a FedEx prepaid label (if needed, and my buyer was out-of-state) to send the title and bill of sale to the buyer. I've bought 2 cars from dealers using CarGurus, one was 400 miles away and the other was 60 miles away. Cars listed on here get great visibility too. I had a hard-to-find car (the one I just sold), and had 3 serious inquiries within an hour of my listing, and one of them ended up being the buyer.”
- Customer #2
“I already knew what make/model I wanted, then searched the CarGurus site to see available vehicles within a certain radius. I picked 3, and (on the CarGurus site) compared mileage, car fax, and other pertinent info. This process made me an informed and prepared consumer! Then, I made an appointment with the dealership where my #1 choice was located. The vehicle was exactly as described by CarGurus and I purchased/took home the vehicle the same day!”
- Customer #3
“Cargurus.com was so much easier to use than I had expected. I thought there would be a lot of hoops to jump through, and I expected to be hassled by people looking to buy my current vehicle; but there really weren't. I very much wish you could choose a manufacturer and see all models (Jeep, Volkswagen, Mazda, etc….) available in the area, as opposed to having to choose a specific one. Other than that, I really like a lot that you can search for the specific car you are looking for and choose the distance of the seller from your location, and I like the amount of detail provided for each vehicle listed.”
- Customer #4
“My experience was great when looking at vehicles on CarGurus. At first all the options seemed overwhelming but I soon realized that it very much helped me to find what I needed. They were user-friendly. The data stayed current as long as I was looking at the site. All of the vehicles had great pictures and details. The main features of this website that I liked was the ease with which I could move around on the site. Found that the data on the vehicles were more thorough than the other sites. They seemed to have covered everything that a customer needs to know. But sometimes the site would time out or something similar and I would have to key everything back in again.”
What do people say about the Kelly Blue Book?
Here are the top stories about what people think of Kelly Blue Book
- Customer #1
“I wanted to share my experience using the Kelly BB cash offer. I recently used the site and was very pleased. I had a 2007 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD with high mileage and non-working air conditioning. I submitted all the info that was asked via Kelly BB. I was very thorough, specific, and forthcoming regarding the condition of the van. I was the original owner. I immediately received 2 messages from dealerships. I took it to the closest dealership ( which was a very respectable Honda dealer) and received exactly what the “instant cash offer quote” had been. When I arrived at the dealership I had a check and was out the door in less than an hour. The person I dealt with at the Honda dealership was quite pleased with the accurate information I submitted. Using this method was perfect for me. I wasn't interested in the hassle of selling the car myself..the Kelly BB route saved me time and was super easy.”
- Customer #2
“Kelley Blue Book is perfect way to sell your car if you don`t want to deal with tire kickers, time wasters and no showers. Their process is fast, simple and easy to understand. Most of the reviews here are posted by people who tried to lie in their ICO statement about the condition of the vehicle and got mad because the damages that they tried to minimize or hide were discovered by the appraiser. I will give you a simple advice. Do not put false information and you will not get false numbers for your car! Be honest and your offer will be honest. If you hide something thinking that you can scam and lie the participating dealer be ready to realize that you lie yourself.”
- Customer #3
“Turned in a honest KBB cash back evaluation on our 2009 Ford Escape. Went to the dealer not expecting positive results. A 20 minute evaluation was done by the manager who came back and asked if we are willing to accept the KBB Instant Cash Offer. We came back in the evening when we were both available to sign over the title. A different manager took care of us and we were in and out in a short time period. The check was mailed to us and arrived 3 days later. Cochran VW and Infiniti in Wexford, PA was up front, attentive and professional. The experience was beyond expectations.”
- Customer #4
“So I had an offer from Carvana, which was higher than the insult I'd received from CarMax on my Mercedes. While waiting for my appointment with Carvana, I pulled up KBB because I had nothing to lose–if I didn’ like what they offered, I could keep my Carvana appointment.
KBB offered 19% more and I immediately had 2 dealerships contacting me. In less than 2 hours from getting the KBB online offer, I had a check-in hand and was on my way.
The people who have been saying negative things about dealerships low-balling them, well, if you had been honest in your assessment of your car's condition, then you would have gotten what KBB said the value of the car was.”
If you decide to buy a car replacement for your existing car or a new car, you need to make an informed decision about which car to choose.
Automotive experts suggest reviewing existing car guiding pricing websites like CarGurus and Kelly Blue Book. These websites use thorough approaches to develop current car ranges to give you an idea about what to expect.
This article helped you review which one is more accurate: CarGurus vs. Kelly Blue Book.
According to most customers’ reviews, both websites seem to have very similar prices, although there is a small difference in some cars’ prices.