What Are Red Book Values?

March 16, 2021
Written by: Ray Shefska

Knowing the value of your vehicle is vital to ensuring that you receive a fair price for it, whether you seek out a private sale or a trade-in. Whichever way you plan to sell your car, you need to know what it’s worth. That’s why Red Book values were created:  To evaluate your car.

Even though our services cater to the market in the United States, today, we’re going to examine Australia’s main source for auto evaluations. Understanding how services that are similar to the Kelley Blue Book function in another country can help to form a well-rounded perception of the auto industry.

In today’s post, we’ll go over what Red Book is, how they reach their values, and whether those values are accurate.

What is Red Book?

Red Book serves Australia. It allows residents to evaluate their current vehicles or evaluate vehicles they’d like to buy. It functions in a similar way to Kelley Blue Book and other tools that are available in the United States. However, it will cost money to evaluate a vehicle using their services.

A Red Book Valuation Report, which costs $33, will provide an evaluation of the target car, including reports that will help with selling, trading-in, or buying. Even though it may feel strange to pay a fee for this service, if it saves you more than $33 on the value of your car, then it’s worth doing.

Red Book does provide a number of free tools that help Australians browse different cars so that they can make informed buying decisions. Red Book can also evaluate bikes, boats, and some commercial products. They’ll even help you to arrange to secure a pre-purchase inspection of any new car.

One of the main features marketed on the Red Book website is its “News & Advice” section. They have over 390 articles published that cover a wide range of topics. It’s clear that the goal of this section is to be a source of news and knowledge to Red Book customers.

Operating under the same name but on a different website, Red Book also serves the Asian Pacific. All of the same services that they provide to Australians carry directly over to their Asian Pacific website. Coverage includes countries such as Thailand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

How Does Red Book Reach Its Value?

Red Book uses many of the same criteria as other similar services:  Kilometers traveled, condition of the car, options and features included, and aftermarket features. They gather their data through a number of sources, including auction house sales data, car dealership, field research, and analysis of the major auto classified websites that serve Australia.

Red Book’s data is gathered and analyzed constantly, with their official numbers being updated and made available each month. Red Book does not publicly discuss their method for analyzing and parsing all of the data that they gather, so we’re assuming that they have a proprietary algorithm that does much of the heavy lifting.

Are Red Book Values Accurate?

Government departments and car dealerships throughout Australia recognize Red Book’s accuracy. The company has a reputation for providing quality price valuation services in both of these areas. Car dealerships and consumers often use Red Book evaluations in negotiations to determine the final price of a vehicle.

When Should I Use Red Book Values?

Australian car buyers should use Red Book before heading into any auto transaction. The data is invaluable for the Australian market and having a Red Book Valuation Report will help you to understand what you should be paying for a new car, as well as what you should receive for your old car. While it is upsetting that they charge for their valuation report, when compared to the potential savings, it’s worth the price.

Ultimately, Red Book values are accurate and they provide a great service to Australian consumers. The company constantly gathers data, analyzes it, and makes sure that they provide the most up-to-date information possible. 

On top of their auto valuations, they provide plenty of useful tools, services, and information to anyone that is looking to learn more about cars. Even if you’re not sure what kind of car you want, Red Book can help you to weigh your options and pick out your next vehicle.

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

Not sure where to begin?

Take a look at our curated 'Start Here' resources or explore and ask questions in the community forum

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