What Are Galves Values?

March 16, 2021
Written by: Ray Shefska

Understanding the value of your car is vital when you’re thinking about trading it in or selling it privately. This can help you to know that you’re not asking for an overinflated price, but also need to be aware when someone is offering you too little. That where things like Galves values can be helpful.

While there are many price books out there, today, we’re going to take a look at Galves. Dealers and financial institutions use Galves to determine how much to offer you for your vehicle. While you won’t be likely to use Galves directly, it’s worth learning about the tools that the dealerships are using.

What is Galves?

Galves began in the 1920s as an automotive wholesale company that sold hundreds of cars per month. In the 1950s, they saw that there was a gap in the market for an auto evaluation tool that would assist dealers in streamlining their operations. They filled this gap by publishing the first edition of a printed book designed to address vehicle pricing.

Today, Galves operates a service that helps dealerships in the same ways that their physical books used to. Galves calculates the price of any given vehicle. This price is often used to justify quotes that are lower than the customer might be expecting.

How Does Galves Reach its Value?

Galves does not publicly discuss exactly how it reaches its values, but we know that a vehicle’s sales history is a primary factor in the way that they perform their calculations. Other factors include the make, model, miles, and condition of a given vehicle. All of this data is processed by their proprietary algorithms to determine the value of the car.

Galves uses their data to power a platform called Accu-Trade. This platform uses vehicle-specific information and historical sales data to generate an estimate of much should be offered for trade-ins. Dealers consider this data to be accurate and have confidence in basing their offers on Accu-Trade’s valuations.

Are Galves Values Accurate?

Galves is believed to give lower estimates than other auto evaluators. The theory is that they “lowball” customers by using Galves’ evaluations to guide their quotes. Some dealerships do use multiple price books and use the lowest value out of all of the books to craft their offer to the customer.

However, dealerships believe that Galves gives them accurate information. This is why it’s become one of the standard price books for thousands of dealerships around the country. It’s a trusted resource, has been used for decades, and helps car dealers to make as much money as possible.

When Should I Use Galves Values?

Galves does not make their data available to the general public for free. Instead, dealerships, auctioneers, financial institutions, and sales managers have access to their platform. A consumer could subscribe to Galves, but it’s not usually worth the price when you only want to buy a car once every few years.

Instead of relying on Galves values, we recommend using the YAA trade-in valuation tool. We partnered with Black Book (another book valuation company that dealers use) to allow our members to access trade-in, private party, and retail estimates for any VIN they enter.

Be aware that many dealerships will use Galves values as their justification for quoting you a low price. At the same time, most online price evaluators will quote a value that’s more than your car is worth to a dealer. 

Car dealerships have to factor in the price of performing any maintenance or repairs on your car before it can be sold (oftentimes referred to as reconditioning). With many cars, dealerships have to consider that it will cost up to $2,000 to make an average trade-in vehicle retail-ready.

It’s wise to secure quotes from other dealerships that you can leverage in your favor. Carvana, Vroom, and CarMax all offer easy-to-obtain quotes for your car. Since the dealerships know you already have these quotes, they’ll be more likely to offer you a fair value in order to make the sale. That way, you’ll know you’re getting a good deal.

While you may not use Galves, you can trust that it’s a source that dealerships will use to get some of their information. Other price books that dealerships often use are vAuto and the Black Book. They’ll often use all three to determine the price to give you for your trade-in.

Interested in learning how people come up with car values? You can learn more about other evaluation books here.

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