Buying a used car can be both exciting and frightening. The number of things that can go wrong with a deal can be more than enough to think about. That's why it's so important to appraise a used car using NADA. It pays to be smart about how you spend your money so you need to know the most up-to-date information about car values you can find.

What Is NADA?

NADA is an acronym for the National Automobile Dealers Association. They base their car values on what bankers are willing to lend on a particular vehicle. Whether you plan to trade in your old car or you're shopping for a new used one, the NADA is one of the most valuable resources you can turn to. Using the NADA before you make a purchase can give you a better chance of making a fair deal.

How To Do It:

It is very simple to appraise a used car using NADA. You can opt to head to the library for a printed copy but if you want the most recent values (it is updated weekly) then start by going to their website at On the homepage, click the "Start Here" button found next to the "Get New and Used Car Pricing."

It will take you to a web page where you can enter the actual ZIP code where the car you're interested in is located. Click "continue" to get a list of vehicles. Find the vehicle model year and click on that. It will then take you to another list of vehicle models. Find your model and select that to get to the next list where you will select the exact vehicle.

Once you've found the vehicle you want, enter the mileage and check off any optional equipment that may be included and hit the "continue" button. Finally, you will be directed to a page where you can choose whether you're considering a "Trade-in" or "Retail" purchase. Once you hit Enter on that page, you will be given the latest value of the car. You can take that figure into the dealership to negotiate a fair and reasonable price for your purchase.

Other Information:

The NADA Blue Book is not limited to valuing automobiles. Buyers and dealers alike can also use it for the purchase of other types of vehicles as well. Whether you're interested in motorcycles, boats, RVs, and even manufactured homes, finding their true market value can be as easy as checking out the book online.

When you appraise a used car using NADA you can be pretty sure that you are getting the most current price values to date. Because they update their list on a weekly basis, it is considered to be more accurate than the Kelley Blue Book, which updates monthly. Buying a used car is risky enough for the average consumer; so it is easier to put your mind at ease when you know what the real numbers are. Then as the buyer you can focus more attention on other matters relating to purchasing a used car.