When the time comes to change your car, you might be thinking about selling your current car before you even look at buying the next one. But you could be missing out on a good deal. Many car dealerships, especially those run by main agent dealers (e.g. Ford, Fiat, BMW etc.), will have special promotions running to encourage you to buy your new car from them. This could be additional value added to your part-exchange, or a bigger discount on the new car.

But what do you need to know before you part-exchange your car? Read our quick guide for all you need to know.

Collect together all the documents

If you decide to part-exchange your car, then it’s a good idea to ensure your vehicle has as much value as possible. To do this, you will need to be able to prove certain things about your car. Mainly that the mileage is genuine and that the car is looked after. The best way to do this is through the car’s service history. Each MOT certificate for your car will record the mileage. Even though this information is stored online, it’s a sign of a careful, considerate owner.

Copies of invoices from mechanics showing repairs and services will help increase the car’s value. Showing you have looked after a car will mean the value is higher. If you don’t already keep a record of any repairs, then this is a good step to take from now on.

Collect together all the documents so you can move on to the next item in our rundown.

Get a valuation

It’s a good idea to get a valuation of your car before you part-exchange.

Once you have a valuation, take this with you into any negotiation. See what the dealership values your car at first, then you can either decide to walk away if its lower, accept if its higher, or negotiate if you think there’s a chance they can be persuaded to give you a better deal. You can also take a look online to see how other cars of the same make, model and age are selling for.

Give it a clean

It’s a good idea to give your car a quick clean too. Even if it’s just yourself with a sponge and the vacuum cleaner, a cleaner car will give a better impression to the dealership. It will also help back up any claim that you are a careful driver who looks after their vehicle and so will deserve a higher valuation for your current car.

How the part-exchange works

Once you’ve agreed a part-exchange with the dealership, the value of the car will be listed as part of a discount on the vehicle you’re buying. If you’re financing your new car, then the value might be added to the deposit instead. Speak to the dealership and see which they would prefer. Some dealers might just want cash, so you would be advised to sell your car and not part-exchange. Have a conversation with the dealership and see what they prefer.

Don’t be afraid to walk away from any deal. You might think that once you’ve had a car valued by the dealership, that you are locked in to the deal. That’s simply not the case. If you feel they aren’t giving you the right amount of money, walk away.

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