"book value"

Hurricane Floyd did a number on my car and the garage said it would be totaled, and that they would probably want to give me the book value. What book is that? I see a half dozen books, guides, and magazines, at the newstand and book stores and they all differ? Do they have different versions of the same? Do they have insurance company only or car dealer only versions? How do I know they are giving ‘the book price’ and is that what they should be giving me anyway?

Your public library should have a copy of the NADA “Bluebook” (it’s actually yellow) which gives values for used cars. Or, NADA has a website where you can look it up online. Use a search engine, I’m sure it’s easy to find.

Try this:

It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Normally an insurance company will pay you what your car is actually worth. This is usually listed in the Kelley Blue Book (the standard for the West Coast) as “wholesale price.” There is also a “Retail Price” but since you are not a used car dealer, most likely you won’t be getting that price.
The NADA guide (which is standard in the other 3 time zones) has a similar setup.

If you check the Kelley Blue Book on the web, you usually get a price in between wholesale and retail.