KBB App: Better, Smarter, Faster

2004 Toyota Highlander

2004 Toyota Highlander

“Nobody tell me nuthin’.”

At least that’s what I tell myself when I miss the obvious. In this case, the obvious is the fact that Kelly Blue Book came out with an app for my iPhone last year and I missed it. They also have apps for Android and Windows mobile devices.

You probably know Kelly Blue Book as an industry leader for valuing pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs. It doesn’t matter if you’re trading in, selling privately, or buying from a dealer, KBB will provide a value based on recent sales in your area. This is invaluable information that has changed how we buy and sell vehicles.

KBB also provides new car information, from MSRP and invoice prices, to available factory incentives, to what you should actually be paying for your new car based on recent sales in your area.

I love this app

I just took the app for a test drive and compared its ease-of-use and speed against the online version at kbb.com. First, I opened the app on my iPhone and did a search for the three primary values of a 2004 Toyota Highlander base model with leather and third-row seating. I based my search on a four-wheel-drive model with 66,000 miles and in excellent condition. I also gave it permission to use my current location to make sure I received accurate, local valuations.

What are the three primary values I was interested in? When I value a pre-owned vehicle I like to look at all three, regardless of the specific use of a given search:

  • Retail Value: A dealer’s initial selling price before negotiations and mark downs.
  • Private Party Value: The expected selling price between two private parties.
  • Trade-in Value: The expected value when trading in with a dealer.

Next, I went to my computer and loaded kbb.com. I clicked on the Used Car section and inputted the above information until I had all three values for the Highlander. Interestingly, the iPhone app was faster than using my computer. In fact, it was 25 percent faster. I’ve used kbb.com for years, and this was literally the first time I tried their iPhone app. This tells me that using the app will only get faster as I become better acquainted with it.

New car info, too

KBB’s app was not only fast, but the screens were clear, easy to read, simple to navigate, and self-explanatory.

Next, I checked out the New Car section. I was amazed at the volume of useful information that flowed from screen to screen. Once I isolated a given new car model, I was offered a 360-degree revolving view of the car itself. Then: MSRP, invoice, and fair purchase price values. This was followed by more pictures, then a written review of the car, a list of current manufacturer incentives, and finally, who the local dealers are—name, address, and phone number—along with the ability to get a quote from each one, and even direction to the dealerships.

The great thing about this KBB app is how useful it will be when I’m out in the field buying a used car privately, or shopping for a new or pre-owned vehicle at a dealership. Simply open the app and get all the information you need to find the right car and negotiate the best price. Having this information at your fingertips is priceless and should keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

The best news of all is the cost of this KBB mobile device app: it's free.

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