Tips on part-exchanging your car

To get the best deal if you choose to part-exchange your car, here are a few tips that could help you.

Much like with any other aspect of our everyday lives, there comes a time when we feel that it is time for a change. Our choice of car is no different.

Yet with the cost of owning a car becoming all the more demanding, the prospect of upgrading your vehicle can prove daunting.

Part-exchanging can therefore prove to be an attractive option, purely because the process is often very straightforward when compared to the option of selling privately.

The latter can be a lengthy process, with potential buyers coming in to view the car before making a decision not to complete the purchase. Alternatively, sellers may come across more knowledgeable buyers, which can harm confidence when it comes to negotiating price.

Of course, if you are comfortable with overcoming such considerations, and are prepared to invest the time needed, a private sale may yield a higher financial return.

Unsurprisingly this is mainly down to the simple fact that dealers involved in any part exchange deal will always offer a price that will be in their best interest.

However, the level of convenience that comes with part-exchanging understandably makes it the preferred choice for many, as it means they can quickly begin the search for a replacement model.

What to consider

Before you even get to the stage where you are ready to listen to offers and start picking out your next car though, there are a few considerations that have to be made.

Firstly, it is vital that you ensure all of the paperwork for your old model is in order, as any hitches in this area could lead to delays further down the line.

Important documents include the V5C document (logbook), current MOT certificate and invoices for any work that has been carried out on the car.

It is also important to check the service history of your vehicle. If it has been serviced regularly and in-line with the manufacturer's service schedule, there is a strong possibility that its value may be increased. In the event that such checks have not taken place, or you are unable to find the service records of your car, then pay a visit to your local garage for advice.

The garage could be a handy place to visit anyway, due to the fact that any damage to your vehicle will need to be addressed in order to get the best deal. You should always bear in mind though that the cost of repairing any issues may outweigh the amount you would recoup through a higher part-exchange value. It is therefore perhaps worth ensuring that repairs are carried out on newer models.

There is also the obvious yet crucial tip of making sure you bring along every key, including any spares.

Finally, although not the most important aspect of the preparation process, clean your car by giving it a quick wash and vacuum. This will make the car appear fresher, which will give off the impression of it being well cared for.

A car that has been well looked after often holds a greater level of appeal to a potential buyer.


Appearance is very important for getting the best price, so when it comes to negotiating a price for your old vehicle you should never accept an offer made by dealer that is yet to see the car.

Dealers may otherwise offer a good price on your old car, but then stop short of knocking anything off from your new car. This can also work the other way too, so try not to get bogged down by price, as it is the price to change that is the most important consideration.

According to consumer watchdog Which? it is always important to do your research when looking at the price of your new car.

Always try to get a good idea as to the correct prices for certain models, while you should always be on the lookout for any special offers.

The internet is always a good place to look for the best deals. If you do happen to find a good deal then it is often a good idea to print out the prices so that you can take them along to your local showroom. This will put you in a better position in terms of negotiation.

  • On: 16 July 2014
  • By: CarShop

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