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What is part exchange?
In simple terms, part exchange involves you selling your old car to the dealer you are buying a new one from.
In reality, the dealer will take the money they are offering for your old car and offset the price of your new car with this - meaning you either have to transfer less cash if you're buying a car outright, or bringing the deposit and/or monthly repayments down if you're buying a new car on finance. Either way, you won't actually see the money the dealer is offering you for your old car - it will go straight towards the price of the new one.
Do note that because dealers have margins to make, in most circumstances selling your old car privately will get you more money for it - though this process can be a time-consuming hassle.
How does part exchange work with carwow?
carwow takes the hassle out of buying a car and so it’s no surprise we also take the hassle out of selling the car you want to part exchange.
Instead of just negotiating with the dealer you are buying from to part exchange your car, you tell us some information about your car, add some photos, and we'll advertise it for free to our network of thousands of trusted dealers in the UK.
You get to compare more offers from more buyers (who may be more interested in your car than the dealer you're buying from) meaning you could easily trade your car for free for a great price with a great experience.
So let us take the hassle out of selling your old car to trade, as carwow's trusted dealers will help you part exchange your old car in and get a fair trade-in value, while our part-exchange calculator will give you an indication of what you can expect before you begin the part exchange process.
How to sell your car to trade
1. Upload your vehicle
Just follow the simple instructions, which takes about 5 minutes, and upload details of your car including a few pictures. We will then advertise this, for free, to thousands of trusted buyers who will work out competitive trade prices to present to you.
2. Multiple offers come through
Once your details have been uploaded they are broadcast to our network of thousands of potential buyers. Any buyers who are interested in bidding will then offer their best prices, ensuring you can achieve the true part-exchange value of your car.
3. Choose the best offer
With multiple dealers bidding on your car, you’re sure to get a fair trade-in value for it, and the best trade deal you can. If you are happy with an offer, you can accept it, and the dealer will contact you on the phone number you provide. They will book an appointment with you to check and collect your vehicle.
Because the full appraisal of your car is done online, offers won't be haggled down when it comes to collection.
Once all is done, the dealer will send your payment directly.
You can then use all or part of that cash to buy your next new car
How much is my car worth for part exchange?
The trade-in value of your car, also known as the part-exchange value, depends on a number of factors. The specific model of your car will obviously be a huge factor - a Rolls-Royce is clearly worth more than a Ford Fiesta, while premium cars tend to depreciate less quickly than more mainstream models. Assuming you’re comparing like-for-like, though, the age, mileage and condition of your car will be the biggest determining factors for the trade-in value you get for it.
Lastly, have all your paperwork in order – a taxed car with a full service history and a valid MoT certificate is worth more than a similar car without. Make sure you also have your car’s registration certificate – called the V5C – to hand.
Why should I part exchange my car with carwow?
Using carwow to sell your old car broadens the market for it: instead of just being reliant on the dealer you're buying a new car from wanting your old one and offering you a good trade-in price, our comparison service will put your old vehicle in front of multiple dealers' eyes, meaning you get several bids, and can choose the best one.
Plus because the dealer who buys your old car will come and collect it from you at a time that's convenient, organising collection of your new car is a simple process, with none of the uncertainty surrounding timings that selling a car privately can bring.
Car trade and part ex FAQs
If a second-hand car you're looking to buy is marketed as being a part-exchange car, this means the dealer bought it from another customer who bought a car through them.
If you are selling your old car to the dealer when buying a new car, your old car will be known as a part-exchange car.
Yes: trading in and part exchanging are used synonymously, and mean the same thing.
At a bare minimum you will need the registration document, technically known as the V5C, but informally called the logbook. If you've lost this it is possible to get a replacement from the DVLA, but you should obtain this prior to trying to sell your car or part exchange it.
Additionally, the more paperwork you have to do with your car the better. You should have the owners manual and service book (which dealers will stamp when the car has been in for maintenance). In an ideal world you will also have invoices and printed service records from these maintenance sessions, while if you have recently had new tyres fitted, or had the wheel alignment checked and adjusted, you should also include these. MOT records can be checked online, though it doesn't hurt to include paper copies of these, if you have them.
If your car is still in manufacturer warranty, also include the policy documents for this, and you should also be able to hand over both sets of keys, as well as any security tags to do with the car's locks, alarm or immobiliser system.
In short, the more proof you have that you have looked after your car, the better, and a car with a full, meticulous and documented service history can be worth significantly more than a car with none.
For more information on what you need, check out our guide on what documents you need to sell your car.
Potentially, yes, assuming the dealer you are part exchanging it with is aware of and happy with any issues.
How broken the car is will have some bearing on things, however: if the timing chain has snapped and wrecked the engine, you are unlikely to get much money in part exchange, whereas if the car just needs a new headlight bulb fitted, you should fare better.
In any instance, you could consider getting a quote to fix any faults with your old car, and weigh these costs up with any deduction the dealer would make for the issues when taking the car in part exchange.
In theory this is entirely possible, though you would be best off having the conversation with an individual dealer. Assuming they are happy with this arrangement, they would sell you the new car, take your old car in part exchange, then transfer you the difference in price between the two cars in cash.
No, you cannot part exchange a leased car. Like renting a house, at no point during your leasing agreement will you actually own your car – it remains the property of the leasing company, even after your final payment. When your car leasing agreement has finished, you must return it to the leasing company.
Yes, you can part exchange a car on finance – provided there is no outstanding finance on the vehicle. Usually, you have the option to buy the car and own it outright when you reach the end of your PCP deal. But you don’t have to wait until the end of your contract to get into a new car. We can offer you a valuation based on the market value of the car and will settle the outstanding finance on the car for you.
It’s then up to you how much of your part-exchange cash to put down on a deposit – you have that flexibility.