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What do I need to part exchange my car?

17 April 2023
Getting attached to your car is a thing, and deciding to part with your old car is a big decision. When they go from charming your socks off on every drive to unreliable Ronnies, it might be time to say goodbye and look to trade in.

Financially and emotionally, deciding to wave goodbye to your four-wheeled friend can take a while. For the simple reason that, for many, buying a car is one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. So, how do car part exchanges work, and what do you need to part exchange your car?

If you have a car on finance and want to do a part exchange deal to replace your old car with a new car, this is the blog for you.


How do car part exchanges work?

Part exchanging a car means putting the value of your old car towards payment for a new car. It’s a popular method, with industry data reporting a 35% increase in part exchanges in the last year alone.

(Source - Motortrader


Here we’ll investigate whether part-exchanging your old car is a good idea and if you take the plunge, find out what you need to part-exchange your car. 


Is part exchanging a car a good idea?

If a new car is on the agenda, the option to part-exchange your existing vehicle might be attractive. Selling a used car to lower the cost of your new car is a route many decide to take. Our sister site, Available Car offers guaranteed part exchange valuations that are valid for four days. When you part exchange your vehicle with us, it will be hassle-free and convenient.

Wondering where is the best place to sell your car? Check out our handy guide here


Is it better to part exchange a car or sell privately?

Deciding whether it’s better to sell or part exchange a car depends on your situation and whether you need to change car quickly. Car dealers are often happy to part-exchange your current car if you buy a new vehicle with them. Part exchanging a car can be a good idea if you want a swift sale to make way for your next car.

Alternatively, a private sale might mean you get more money for your car. This comes at a price, with a private sale often taking longer to complete, and expenses can build up through online advertising. 

Selling your car to an online car buying service is often the quickest, most straightforward way to complete a sale. We are always checking our prices with industry standard guidelines so you can be sure you are getting the best price for your car at IsYourCarAvailable.

Do you get more for your car part exchange?

Compared to selling your car privately, part exchanging a car offers a hassle-free way to sell your car.

To get the best price on a car part exchange, follow these steps: 

  • Have a professional valet company clean your car inside and out. It might sound simple, but having a clean, fresh-smelling car can make a huge difference to the amount a dealer will offer you for the car
  • Take some time to consider the car’s condition. There might be some affordable fixes you can make to damaged tyres, alloys, body panels and interiors to get more money for your car. Be careful not to go wild, be confident that whatever you invest in sorting bumps and scratches will improve the current value
  • Take all the relevant paperwork with you, including a recent utility bill to prove your current address
  • It’s highly likely the dealer will ask what price you want for your old car. Negotiating your car’s current value with the dealer is part and parcel of part exchange. Going prepared to haggle will help you get a fair trade-in price. Do research before arriving at the garage to know you’re being offered the best price. This way you can also be sure that the part exchange value they’re offering for the trade-in is fair
  • Having a spare key for your current car will help you get more in a part exchange deal
  • Information about your car’s service history is important, and proof of this could boost its current value.   
We want your car! Part exchange or sell your car to us – getting an online valuation takes two minutes and you can sell your car to us on the same day – find out more

What do I need when part exchanging my car?

When part exchanging your car, a car dealer will want to see all the paperwork and items listed below:

  • MOT certificate 
  • V5C logbook
  • Full-service history
  • Main car keys and spare keys
  • A bank statement
  • A form of photo ID such as driving license or passport
  • Documents showing a few details, such as your name and current address, to match the information on the V5C logbook. Documents accepted include (but are not limited to) a utility bill, credit card or council tax statements. 

Be in the know! Find out what documents you need to sell your car


Do I need to clean my car for part exchange?

Should I clean my car before part exchange is a question our vehicle appraisers often get asked. While it's not a requirement, a clean and tidy car helps us perform a quick vehicle appraisal, and we all know first impressions count! So we encourage owners to give their existing car a once over inside and out.

Can I part exchange a financed car?

Part exchanging a car on finance is doable because often, the dealer will pay off the remaining finance using the value from the car’s part exchange. Buying a car on finance means there is a credit agreement between you and a lender. So if your car is on a PCP finance deal, before you start looking at a new car, it’s worth knowing if the equity you have in your current car is positive or negative and whether you’ll be penalised for leaving the finance agreement early. 

Positive equity is when the car's value at the end of the finance agreement is higher than the value the car finance provider estimated. This position means you can put the extra money towards a new car.

Negative equity is when the car is worth less than the calculated future value of the car. This value was determined when the finance deal was agreed upon. This is also known as a balloon payment.

Reasons why you would part exchange a car on finance:

  1. If you want to get a new car quickly
  2. Your car is on PCP finance, and you never intended to take full ownership of the car at the end of the finance contract
  3. You have positive equity in the car
  4. You have been offered a fair price for part exchanging.


Reasons not to part exchange a car on finance:

  1. You have no desire to get a new car and are happy to wait until the current finance agreement comes to an end before you decide about a new vehicle
  2. If you’re unsure your financial situation will allow for a new finance agreement 
  3. Negative equity means you’ll get less for the car on part exchange
  4. You’re happy to make the final payment as you’ll get more money selling your car elsewhere compared to part exchanging. 

At IsYourCarAvailable we don’t charge any admin fees when you sell your car to us and we can also settle your car’s current finance contract. 

You can part-exchange cars that have a finance agreement. At our sister company Available Car, you can part exchange your car if it is on finance and we can settle any outstanding finance on a financed car. Speak to your finance company to get an accurate settlement figure, and a member of our team can take you through the process. 

Can I part-exchange my car with negative equity?

You can part exchange a car with negative equity if you can afford a new finance deal. The equity owed on your previous vehicle will be added to the new finance agreement when you trade-in for a different car. This means on your new vehicle, you will be borrowing more than the cars value. 


What do dealerships do with part exchange?

Part exchanging a car on finance is straightforward. The dealership will do a lot of the work for you.

The dealership will ask:

- To see the current finance agreement

- For an up-to-date settlement figure to pay back the car finance early.

Contact your finance company to obtain a copy of your current finance agreement and a final payment figure. This will be the amount of finance agreed when you initially agreed to the new car finance deal minus the deposit paid and the amount covered by monthly payments.

How does part exchange work – FAQs: 


What happens if I part exchange a faulty car?

When you sell a car to a dealer, it’s a private sale. This means the car has been sold as seen, and the dealer will have no comeback if you have part exchanged a faulty car. The question is more of a moral one – it’s advisable to tell the dealer about any issues before the part exchange deal has been completed. 


Can you swap a car on finance for another car on finance?

Unfortunately not. All car finance deals are unique to you, and the vehicle you have financed so they cannot be swapped for another car. You need to negotiate a new finance deal to get another car on finance. 


Can I part-exchange my car with outstanding finance?

You can part exchange your car with outstanding finance. You’ll need to bring the current settlement figure and information on the original finance deal. As the owner, get to know how much the car is worth for potential negotiations with the dealer.


Can I get my car back after part exchange?

Once the deal has been done, and you trade in your car, you cannot get your car back. The dealership now owns your car, and you will get money off a new purchase.


Do you still need a deposit with part exchange? 

Whether you still need a deposit for your new purchase depends on your situation. If you’re in negative equity and part exchange your car, you’ll have to pay the difference and the deposit for your next car. If you have positive equity, this acts as the deposit and can be brought forward against the next car.

By selling your car quickly to IsYourCarAvailable, you will have cash available for your next car, whether you buy one outright or through finance.

Find your next car - over 3,000 used cars available to drive away today


How do you negotiate with part exchange?

Part exchanging your car isn’t the only option. If you’re unhappy with the price offered and want more money for your car, consider selling privately or using online car-buying services.  

IsYourCarAvailable can buy your car following an online valuation and a quick vehicle appraisal. We transfer the funds into your bank account which you can put towards a new vehicle. It’s a simple process and will help you sell your car quickly. We’re known for offering customers the best deal, and we can settle any existing finance on your current car.

Deciding whether to part exchange or sell your car depends on your situation. Whatever route you take, we hope this article has helped equip you with knowledge on what you need to part exchange your car. Our team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have, we can be contacted online or by phone at 0800 093 4240.