The best tool to determine the value of your car


Thinking of selling your used car or truck this year? Perhaps you are considering an exchange at a dealership? In order to be sure of getting the fair value for your vehicle, there are several tools and references, both on paper and on the Internet.

In Canada, there are 3 major vehicle evaluation resources: the Black Book , the Red Book and the Sanford Evans Gold Book . They are your best ally in determining the value of your automobile.

Note: The Kelley Blue Book site only rates vehicles sold in the United States.

This is the only one that costs nothing and is offered in both French and English. It first allows you to determine the amount of money the dealer will offer you for a vehicle, called the trade-in value. The Black Book considers the model, its year, options and mileage, not to mention its location (via your zip code), to provide a price range – from minimum value to maximum value. The more it is in good condition, the higher its price will be and vice versa.

You can even get an idea of ​​how much a vehicle will depreciate over the next 5 years – in other words, its future value. This way, you will have a glimpse of the perfect time to part with it.

Finally, the Black Book can provide you with the average asking market price in real time, based on thousands of classified ads. You can then check this information yourself on sites like

The Canadian Red Book also provides information on a vehicle’s wholesale and retail values ​​based on model, year, mileage and options. Two paper publications are available to you; they cost $ 31.95 for a single issue or $ 115 for an annual subscription with 4 issues.

The first contains information on vehicles 5 years of age or younger. The second, called “Older Car & Light Duty Truck”, groups together older vehicles and could therefore prove particularly useful if you are looking for the value of a 10 or 12 year old vehicle. Otherwise, it would be better to use the Black Book and save your money.

In addition, we offer an online version of the Red Book for $ 249.99. Its high price obviously makes it unattractive for an individual, but a dealer or an organization carrying out several transactions could find its account.

The Sanford Evans Gold Book offers 2 publications in English, which contain much the same information as the previous ones.

The first, called “Used”, is published monthly at a price of $ 27 (or $ 94 per year) and dates back to the 2009 model year. The second, called “Older”, is published quarterly at priced at $ 31 (or $ 89 per year) and covers vehicles from 1999 to 2008. These two books combine 17 model years, a little more than with the Black or the Red Book.

If you want an evaluation of a vehicle aged 17 to 22, your best option will undoubtedly be their online portal (Value Guide Online), accessible for one year for $ 149.


No matter which tool you choose, all information is approximate and does not take certain elements into account. For example, a convertible will be in much more demand in the spring and summer, a factor that can artificially increase its value during this time.

In addition, the interior, exterior and mechanical condition are also points that no reference book, no matter how good, can integrate.

Consequently, for a health check of your vehicle, ask a competent mechanic if repairs need to be made, so you can take the costs into consideration before any negotiation.

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