Kelley Blue Book Semi Truck Values: Get Reliable Commercial Truck Pricing for Informed Decisions

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Arriving at a common ground regarding the price of any automobile is challenging because every vehicle is unique, and everyone has their own idea regarding what each automobile is worth.

Consequently, a third-party source like the Kelley Blue Book is essential. This importance stands firm even when estimating the cost of semi-trucks.

The Kelley Blue Book has been acting as an independent source of vehicle values, including the semi truck values, since its establishment in 1926. 

Moreover, the fact that it’s an unbiased information source is crucial because every vehicle’s value is vague.

In this guide, you will learn about the accuracy of the Kelley Blue Book, how to use it, and what separates it from other third-party used vehicle pricing guides!

How To Use The Kelley Blue Book For Your Semi-Truck?

The Kelley Blue Book claims that no other Blue Book pricing guide contains more experience regarding commercial truck value and pricing, and with good reason.

Hence, it enjoys the copyright over “blue book value” due to its longstanding history as an external data provider.

This blue book provides results based on many sales and pricing data points, including retail transactions. Then, it adjusts the value to suit local market conditions and seasonal trends.

You can use the Kelley Blue Book to estimate the value of your semi truck via the following:

  1. Heading to
  2. Navigating to the “Car Values” tab
  3. Clicking on “My Car’s Value”
  4. Inputting the required values like Year, Make, Model, Mileage, and Zip Code.
  5. Pressing “Go” to receive your truck’s trade-in and private party values.

Additionally, if you want a more accurate trade-in and private party value of your used truck, enter its 17-digit VIN or license plate details.

Upon pressing “Go,” the site will give you a brief questionnaire about your truck’s style, equipment, color, and condition to provide an appropriate range of trade-in values. Furthermore, to check the private party value of your truck, click on the adjacent tab.

As mentioned above, the Kelley Blue Book website generates various values for your truck, such as the trade-in, retail, and private party value.

Understanding the fundamental meaning of these terms is essential to strike a beneficial deal for both the buyer and the seller.

Below is a summarized version of the above values to help you better understand.

  • Suggested Retail Value

This value generated by the Kelley Blue Book represents a dealer’s asking price for a used truck, serving as the foundation for negotiations between dealers and consumers.

  • Trade-in Value

This value is more crucial because it suggests the price a dealership might offer if you trade your truck for another vehicle.

Effectively, the KBB describes it as “an estimate of what a consumer can expect to receive from a dealer for a trade-in vehicle assuming an accurate appraisal of condition.

This value will likely be less than the Private Party Value because the reselling dealer incurs the cost of safety inspections, reconditioning, and other business costs.”

Such a figure will be lower for trucks with higher-than-average mileage values than those with average and lower-than-average mileage counts.

However, this valuation could be more precise as it depends on various data and factors. This term is of utmost importance to dealerships.

  • Private Party Value

Although a bit confusing, this estimation reflects the price you’d have to pay if you purchased the commercial truck from an individual instead of a dealership.

It is also a starting point for negotiations between buyers and private individuals. Either way, it’s an “as-is” price exclusive to any warranty because the final figure depends on the used car’s condition and local market parameters.

  • Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Value

The CPO value equals the price you’d consider selling your vehicle. Also, the auto manufacturer’s CPO program covers it.

Typically, dealers command a figure more significant than the real value of the used automotive and lower than the MSRP of a new truck bearing the exact specifications.

Like other values, this figure is a starting point for negotiation and a gateway to the sale price.

How Are The Kelley Blue Book Values Calculated?

The KBB values are calculated by analyzing massive amounts of data encompassing auction prices and real-world sales transactions.

Further on, the data is processed to sync with seasonality and market trends before being analyzed.

Since the automobile industry has substantial regional dissimilarities, the collected data is pre-processed to account for local conditions in numerous geographical areas.

On top of that, the dataset is updated weekly to provide customers with the latest used vehicle information.

More importantly, KBB relies heavily on several sources to gather data for used automotive pricing. Listed below are a few such sources:

Besides, the critical valuation criteria used by the KBB to assess the value of your semi truck are the following:

Are Kelley Blue Book Values Accurate?

According to the pricing entity’s claims, the Kelley Blue Book values must be more precise to the penny.

They accept that it’s a guide and consists only of ranges founded upon well-curated analytical techniques, loads of data, and multiple levels of mastery in rounding off and approximating vehicle prices. 

In essence, it’s worth remembering that used semi-truck values can be approximate to be helpful for all the parties involved.

On the contrary, they give buyers and vendors an idea regarding the boundaries of the concerned financial transaction. 

In the words of the former president of this pricing entity, Paul Johnson, “One thing we know about each used car value is that it will be ‘wrong,’ but each value will be close enough to the ‘real’ value that it will facilitate the transaction.”

Kelley Blue Book Vs. NADA Guides

Like the Kelley Blue Book, the NADA Guide is a pricing guide for used automobiles. This guide was released less than a decade after the KBB was founded and was considered the National Auto Dealers Association’s answer to the same.

Although both the pricing entities carry out the same function, they have a few fundamental distinctions, such as the following.

FactorKelley Blue BookNADA Guide
Targeted DemographicBoth Consumers and RetailersOnly Retailors/Vendors
Specific ProcessesDriven by data intelligence, predictive analytics, and industry and field analysis for review purposesFactors in supply and demand and other macro- and micro-economic factors and the competitive landscape of vehicles
RegionalityProvides geographically relevant pricesDoesn’t provide geographically relevant prices


Lastly, the Kelley Blue Book Pricing Guide can be an essential reference for buying and selling a semi-truck at the right price.

When combined with other pricing tools, like eBay, and some semi truck performance knowledge, you can get a value that justifies your truck’s condition in the current market. 

Moreover, if you’re the consumer, you’ll understand what you should be willing to pay for the same. The goal of a semi-truck pricing source is to be inaccurate down to each decimal but to reflect the current market conditions.

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