How Much Should You Pay for Your Next New Car?

When our family car gave up its will to live, we were heartbroken. We loved that car! We were excited about the idea of shopping for another car, but we were also a bit wary because we hadn’t been car shopping in so long. We really had no clue what the best approach to buying a new car was.

How Much Should You Pay for Your Next New Car? 3

To get started, we decided to visit the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) website. They are a trusted member of the automobile community and we have always relied on KBB for looking up the retail price of a car. I bet you have heard of and even used the Kelley Blue Book as a reference when looking up the value of a car. My dad never bought a car until he researched what the KBB had to say!

What you may not know is the KBB website has numerous tools to help you with the car buying process. Their website is packed full of information and tools to make buying a new or used car smooth sailing! One tool we discovered was the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor. We knew the information from this tool would assure us the price we paid for a car would be the fair purchase price. According to the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor, this is the price that we should pay for a new car.

The Fair Purchase Price gives you a realistic view of what the car you have your eye on is selling for. This price will typically be in the middle of what is known as the Fair Market Range. This price is calculated on several factors and is updated weekly. The Fair Market Range includes data collected from thousands of car dealers, what the current supply and demand is for a particular vehicle as well as regional and seasonal factors. With 85 years of valuation experience, I am secure in trusting Kelley Blue Book for this information.

When we were looking for a new car, we knew we wanted a Ford. We had owned a Ford previously and we loved the brand. Because my brother sold cars for many years, he told us to never pay the MSRP, the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, for a new car. The MSRP is the price you would see on the sticker of a new car and reflects the price the company who made the car thinks the car should sell for. This is where using the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor was a key tool for us in the car buying process.

We knew we wanted a 2017 model and an SE. We also knew what our budget was. We had to decide between a Ford Focus, Fusion and Fiesta. I went to the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor and entered the information for those three vehicles. We clicked on the “See Details” for each, which gave us more detailed information on the pricing of each.

As you can see from the screenshots above, through the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor, we were able to see the Fair Purchase Price, the MSRP and the Dealer Invoice. We could also see what the long term cost (over 5 years) would be to own the car. When we clicked on the “Price With Options” button, we could see the pricing for things like the color of the car and the interior, floor mats, splash guards and more. I was also able to see cars for sale in our area in the “Cars For Sale” section of the KBB website.

We also looked at several articles from the KBB site about buying a car. One of the most helpful articles was the “10 Tips for First-time Car Buyers.” This broke the process down in simple terms including setting a realistic budget, locating a dealer and securing financing. It really helped lay out the entire car buying process – such a big purchase can be intimidating!

When you are looking at large investments, such as a car, it is crucial to research the purchase price of your car. With the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor, we were could clearly see what the fair purchase price was for the Ford Focus we were interested in. We were now confident in approaching a dealer, which we had not been in previous automobile purchases.

Because of the Kelley Blue Book site, and more specifically, their Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor, I felt more prepared for my car buying journey. I knew the Fair Purchase Price for a 2017 Ford Focus SE was $17,706. I also knew the MSRP was $19,050 and the dealer invoice was $18,232. With this information, we were able to visit a local dealer, tell them our budget and that we were not paying more than the Fair Purchase Price. We were able to walk out with the car of our dreams for slightly below what the Fair Purchase Price was!

If you are in the market for a car, either new or used, be sure to visit first and arm yourself with the information you need to make an informed purchase that is right for you!

How much should you pay for your next new car?

About Kelly

Kelly is a wife, mom of 5 (2 are furry), camera bug, tech lover, gadget grabber, travel enthusiast, music aficionado and TV junkie. Her goal is to share with you recipes, DIY ideas and crafts that are fun, easy to make and won’t break the bank.


  1. robin rue says:

    I feel like I got a good deal on my car, but I didn’t know about this when I bought it last year so now I am not quite sure. I will check before I buy my next one 🙂

  2. I think we got a great price on our car. We normally buy brand new, and do research on specific makes/models within our budget, before we step foot into a dealership.

  3. We do price comparisons between dealerships, reviews in auto trader magazines, when it comes to affordability. Research is key.

  4. I’ve never bought a car before or had one but it’s something we are thinking about for the near future. So, things like these posts are great. I’d have no idea where to even begin! Very helpful!

  5. I don’t drive. License coming bbaxk in progress. This is such valuable information. I will be sure to keep this in mind when the time does come

  6. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    Great advice for people looking to purchase a car. We recently got our son his first car in January. It took us 6 months prior to that to do all the research and price comparison before we finally decided the right size car and model for him.

  7. I consulted Kelly Blue Book and a number of other sources to sell a new car I won (I do not drive and I was trying for the grand prize which was cash but won the car instead), it is important to be armed with as much knowledge as possible before entering a dealership, especially as a woman!

  8. This is a really helpful guide! Bookmarking this for our next car.

  9. This is a good guide. I am actually looking for a new car so I will keep these tips in mind.

  10. Kelley Blue Book is such an awesome resource! I love that you can get so much information on any kind of car you’re looking for!

  11. Bernie Wallace says:

    I am hoping gto get a few more years out of my car before I have to buy a new one. I don’t mind driving an old car.

  12. Our Family World says:

    This is a very helpful article. Even though we are not in the market for a new car, the information you shared is going to be very useful when the time comes to purchase a new vehicle. I am sharing this with my friends at work.

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