This is how the KBB value tracker works:
The vehicle value tracker is not a single use calculator, so it’s not necessary to input your information again and again. Once the information is entered into the tracker, it will update once a week on either Thursday night or Friday morning based on the current values provided by KBB.
KBB Valued Used
Mint users will see the “Private Party – Very Good” vehicle price. In doing so, it uses the information and attributes the user enters into the tracker (Year, Make, Model, Trim, and Mileage). Since car prices can vary quite a bit from region to region, there is also a regional adjustment made to the car’s value using the user’s zip code given when they created their Mint account.
When using the new tool, users will have the option of entering the mileage on their vehicle. Entering the correct mileage will give the most accurate valuation at this moment, but currently won’t over time. If the user enters the mileage, the current version of the tool will not allow the mileage to be updated over time, although there are plans to allow this in future versions. In its current form, Mint assumes that the mileage of the vehicle will never change when manually entering it into the tracker.
If the user decides not to enter the current mileage, the value of the car is calculated using “zero point mileage.” KBB uses their base tables to find a value where the miles on the car don’t require an up-or-down adjustment to its value. It’s important to note that zero point mileage will likely vary among car models. Typical family and commuter vehicles will lose their value at a different rate than sports or luxury cars. That is, you can expect a Ferrari will lose its value much more quickly than the commuter Honda. This makes it impossible to know the exact implied mileage for each vehicle since that number will vary depending on the vehicle. A Mint spokesperson noted “that it revolves around 15,000 miles per year for everyday passenger cars, but it’s not solid.”
Keeping Historical Net Worth Balances
Those who have been manually tracking their car’s value before the tracker’s introduction will find that there isn’t a simple way to put the vehicles they have been inputting into the new tracker. They will have to either delete the old account or set it to zero. Deleting the account will impact their historical net worth data, so those who don’t want to mess with those numbers should value out the car to zero, then add it again into the new tracker.
How useful this feature will be will depend a lot on how you view your car in relation to your net worth. If you’re the type that drives your car into the ground once you have purchased it with no intent to ever sell, then it probably won’t be a feature that gets you too excited. On the other hand, if you have a loan on the car, or you plan to sell the car in the future, it can be handy to know an approximate value of the vehicle. It can also be an excellent way to see how a vehicle depreciates over time, which might convince you to purchase an economical car that meets your needs rather than a bigger and fancier one with all the extras the next time you need to go car shopping.