Sell your car Get offers from multiple dealers

What does part exchange mean?

October 29, 2021 by

Part exchanging is a good option if you don’t want to go through the rigmarole of selling your car privately before getting your hands on a shiny new model. You can get a part exchange quote through carwow by clicking the button below.

How does part exchange work?

Think of part exchanging as selling your car to a dealer, only instead of getting hard cash you get money off your new car.

The vast majority of dealers will accept part exchange. If you aren’t sure, tell the salesperson that you have a car you’d like to part exchange.

The amount you’ll save on a new car by part-exchanging your old car will depend on how much the dealer thinks it’s worth.

Let’s say you go into a showroom to look at a car for £20,000, and the salesperson has valued your car at £5000. Choose to part-exchange your old car with them and you’ll only need to pay £15,000 for the new model.

If you think the dealer’s valuation is too low, there’s no harm in haggling. If you’d rather not go through this process, you can also sell your car directly through carwow.

How is a car’s part exchange value calculated?

Most dealers will have a checklist that they’ll use to calculate the value of your car. They’ll look at things such as:

  • The make and model
  • What colour it is
  • Service and MOT history
  • Mileage
  • Any damage to the bodywork, wheels or interior
  • The mechanical health of your car
  • Any optional extras your car has

The dealer will then have a database to enter this information into, which will generate a price for your car based on the current market value.

If you want to get the best part exchange value, it’s best to take all the paperwork you have for the service history and MOTs.

It’s a good idea to give it a clean inside and out to make sure it looks its best.

What happens to part-exchanged cars?

You’ve done the deal and picked up your shiny new car. As you leave the dealer you pass your old car parked up around the back of the forecourt. So what happens to it now?

Well this depends on a lot of things, including where you’ve part exchanged it and the age and condition of the car.

If the dealer thinks your car will fit in with their existing stock, they’ll put it back up for sale. Main dealers tend to stock cars up to a certain age and mileage but independent garages will often sell older cars, too.

If your car has higher mileage or in poor condition, it may go straight to an auction. This is easier for the dealer as they can sell it straight away, meaning it doesn’t sit on their forecourt for ages.

The last resort if the car is in a terminal state, is it will go to the scrap yard or be broken for parts. If this is the case, you’ll be lucky to get more than £200 for it if you choose to part-exchange it.

Should I part exchange my car?

There are a few advantages to part exchanging your car, the most notable being the convenience. You don’t have to worry about writing an advert or waiting around for people to come and view it. You just pick up your new car and leave the old one with the dealer, simple as that.

This also means you don’t have to wait for your car to sell before buying a new one, or go without a car in between.

A disadvantage is that you won’t get as much for your car on part exchange as you would selling it privately. Car dealers need to leave some room in the price to make a profit when they sell it on, and so will offer you less than what they’ll advertise it for.

You might also be able to negotiate a better deal on your new car if you plan to buy it in cash without part exchanging an older model because it’s less hassle for the dealer.

If you want to get the best price for your car with the least hassle, you can do so through carwow from the comfort of your own home.

Simply put in your reg number, answer a few simple questions and you’ll get offers back from our trusted dealers.

If you choose to accept an offer, the dealer will arrange to inspect and collect your car from your home at a time to suit you. Click the button below to get your quote today.


Can I part exchange a car that’s not in my name?

Yes you can, but only if you have the permission of the actual owner. They’ll need to be available to sign the vehicle’s transfer documents with the dealer, too.

Can I part exchange a car with outstanding finance?

This will depend on the dealer you’re buying from, but in most cases yes. The only caveat to this is that you need to owe less on the finance than the car’s value.

The dealer will pay off the finance and give you the difference as a discount off your new car. So let’s say they value your car at £10,000, but you still owe £7,000 on the finance. The dealer will pay off the finance and you’ll get £3,000 off your new car.

What documents do I need when part exchanging a car?

You’ll need your vehicle’s V5C logbook when part exchanging as the dealer won’t be able to sell the car on without it.

Beyond this, it’s beneficial to both you and the dealer to have the service and MOT history, the owner’s handbook and invoices for any work you’ve had done. While these aren’t essential, having this paperwork can help you get a better price for your car.

How should I prepare my car to be part exchanged?

The best thing you can do is give it a good clean. Rolling up in a shiny car gives a good impression and makes the car look well cared for, which could increase the valuation.

You’ll also want to clear out any clutter from the interior and run a vacuum over the carpets. Not only so it looks good to the appraiser, but also so you don’t accidentally leave your Ray-Ban’s in the glovebox.

Will I get more money by selling my car privately?

It’s more than likely that yes, you will get more for your car by selling it privately. This is because the dealer will need to leave some room to make a profit when they sell it on.

If you want the best price for your car, but don’t want the hassle of listing it privately, you can do just that with carwow.

Just enter your reg number, answer some questions then sit back, relax and wait for the offers to roll in from our trusted dealers.