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Negotiating a part exchange: top tips

To encourage you to buy from them, many dealerships offer discounts on their cars to anyone trading in an old one. This is known as part exchange and can be a great way to get a discount on a new vehicle while avoiding the advertising fees and hassle of selling your own car separately. Our part exchange advice will give you the information needed to make sure that you get the best deal available.

Valuing your car for a part exchange

In their desire for your custom some dealers will be willing to take a considerable chunk out of their profit margin to sell you a car, but some of the calculations they might use to tell you how good a deal you are getting can be confusing and part exchange will rarely give you a better price for your car than selling privately.

If you are considering a car part exchange, start by finding out how much your car might be worth, as well as the best deal available for the car you want to buy. You can value your car online and get a free part exchange quote from glass.co.uk. Showing that you know when you are not being offered a good deal will ensure that you get the best price possible from the dealership.

To prepare your car for part exchange, make sure you have the V5C registration and MOT certificates, as well as the service book to show how regularly it has been serviced. Consider fixing problems with the car if this would increase its part exchange value, but bear in mind that repairing a scratch to an old car is unlikely to make any difference. Washing the car will make it look more appealing and could get you a better deal.

Part exchange can be done online, but it is important that you accurately describe to state of the car, as failing to mention damage could result in the valuation being reduced or withdrawn. For more information see Which? magazine's tips to get the best part exchange deal.

Part exchanging your car

When you are at the dealership, remember to think about both the value of your car and the value of the car you are part exchanging for. If the dealer has valued your car generously and will not budge on the high price of the new car because of this, you are not getting the best deal. Instead of focussing on one car, think of the difference in price between them.

If the dealer is offering you a run-out model (one that the manufacturer will replace or update shortly), be sure that it is at a knock-down price. Second-hand buyers waiting for the new style mean that these older models, normally with design and engineering well-honed, sell at reduced prices.

By being clear that you know the value of both vehicles and are looking for the best deal available, no matter which dealership it is from, you show that you will simply go elsewhere if the dealer's best offer does not please you. They will normally be willing to improve on their first offer, and will be especially keen to do so for someone who knows a good deal and is willing to take their business to another car showroom.

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