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The pros and cons of part exchanging your car

We identify the pros and cons of part exchanging a car so you can make an informed decision.

Part exchanging your car can be an attractive option when you're considering the future of your motor and car finance repayments.

In theory, it's a pretty smooth turn of events whereby you take your car to a dealer and drive away with a brand new car.

It also saves you the hassle of putting the car up for sale and trying to sell it yourself, which can be a real pain and take up valuable time.

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However, the ease of part exchanging may actually not work out for the best financially. 

It's important that you take some time out to understand what it is exactly you are doing and work out the various options you have.

What does part exchange mean?

If you go to a car dealership and find a new car that you like, you may have the option of trading your current car in for the new one - receiving a discount in the process of the value of your vehicle.

It's very much dependent on what you are trading in, its depreciation value, and the cost of the car you are wanting to buy.

It's very easy to get ahead of yourself, though, so we have put together some pros and cons so you can make a smart decision based on your situation.

Pros of part exchanging

The obvious one that we've already partially covered is the time and hassle saved from selling it yourself. 

It can take a long time to find a buyer and in the meantime, you have to ensure it's kept in tip-top condition and repair any issues before advertising.

Once you have taken care of all of that, you then have to deal with enquiries over the phone and online, meet with people to allow them to inspect and test drive, and the potential prospect of the buyer trying to haggle down your price, which can be uncomfortable, especially in person.

So from that perspective, part exchanging your car is definitely the easier and preferred method to avoid all of that.

Cons of part exchanging

The main negative is that you may lose out on a bit of money if you go through a dealer rather than trying to sell it yourself.

Ultimately, a car dealer is a salesperson, and they will have sales targets to meet to keep them in the job.

The likelihood is the dealer will probably offer you the most basic trade value for your car, whereas if you sold privately, you could bump the figure up.

Once the dealer buys the car off of you, it will be passed on to a second-hand dealer for an even cheaper price, so the person you are dealing with will want to make some profit at least.

How to part exchange

Although part exchange may be considered the easier option, you should be prepared to do some research into exactly what to expect, to get the most out of it.

You should find out exactly how much your car is worth before going to the dealer so you know whether they are giving you a good deal or not.

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You can do that by visiting our Deal Checker, entering your car finance deal and we will show you your car's value using our algorithm.

It's then worth comparing your car with other similar models with similar specifications - especially mileage - just to see how much they are selling for so you get an idea of what to expect for yours.

Ensure your car is in the best condition it can be by getting it professionally cleaned inside and out; little touches like this will make it that more attractive to the dealer.

One of the most important things to remember is the paperwork, including full MOT and service records. Try to give as much accurate information about the car as possible; it's very easy these days to run checks on number plates to find out if what you are telling them is legitimate.

Selling it privately

There are so many options these days when it comes to selling a car yourself so it's definitely something to take into consideration.

With the number of people that use social media, it's not too hard to list a car and for your post to be shared with others.

There are numerous buy and sell groups as well that are localised, so it's worth giving those a go too if you have the time and patience.

Keep track and monitor your car finance deal on a monthly basis by signing up to Car Credible for free. Follow the banner below to stay on top of your deal and know exactly when your car gets into positive equity.

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Then of course you have the likes of Auto Trader, eBay, Gumtree, and other similar places where it's relatively simple to sell items.

So definitely don't rule out the selling option, but do take some time to research and work out what could benefit you most.

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