A tool used by both consumers and automotive dealers in the process of buying and selling new and used vehicles. Consumers can use the KBB to find out how much their car or truck is worth in trade on a different vehicle from a dealer. Dealers use the KBB to price both new and used cars for sale prior to putting them in the showroom or on the dealer lot.

The idea for the Blue Book originated in the early 1920s, when dealer Les Kelley began appraising both new and used cars for purposes of acquiring inventory and for banks to grant car loans. Many dealers and banks began requesting Kelley's price lists, so in 1926, Les Kelley published the first Kelley Blue Book.

The Blue Book became mandatory for all auto dealers during WWII when prices for used cars skyrocketed. The US Government mandated that the maximum value that can be charged for a used car is what was listed in the Blue Book.

By 1962, the Kelley family was out of the automotive business entirely, focusing mainly on maintaining the Blue Book. Since then, Blue Books were published for pricing RVs, motorcycles, and for pricing older models (such as the '57 Chevy Bel Air).

In 1993, the consumer edition of the Blue Book was published, marking the entry of the Blue Book into the consumer market. Today, the Blue Book is available in online form and the Kelly Blue Book company has focused in expanding consumer empowerment by providing services for calculating insurance cost and financing payments.

source: Kelley Blue Book website (www.kbb.com)

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