RAC Cars News


Earning More From Your Part Exchange

By raccars Published

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It's gutting when you have your eye on a shiny new motor and think that, with your savings and your old car as part exchange, you can actually afford it - only to be told your old car's value is just about enough to exchange it for a pint and a Scotch egg. Whether you're going for a part exchange or selling privately, you're likely to be offered a lower price than you want or expect for your car. However, apart from the obvious, such as giving it a good clean, there are a few things you can do to make sure you extract the maximum value for your vehicle, whether it's an old banger or nearly new and still under warranty.

Know your market

If you have researched the market value of your car, you are less likely to be disappointed by a low offer. If the market is saturated with similar models and yours has dents in the side and no service history, you will be looking at the bottom end of market value. Know what to expect, so that you don't accidentally turn down what could turn out to be the best offer you'll get.

Keep your paperwork

Maintaining resale value is a project that starts from the day you buy your car. Keep all paperwork relating to work on it, such as bills, service records and MOT certificates. Make sure, too, that the garage stamps your service book - if you haven't done this or bought the car without a history but know where it has been serviced, the garage may be happy to update your service book, if you ask nicely. A full service history and good maintenance records can be worth hundreds, or even thousands, at resale time.

Have registration documents to hand

Use your V5C document, also known as the log book, to prove that you are the registered keeper, and also prove roadworthiness with an MOT certificate. You cannot sell the car without these documents and a sensible buyer will want to see any relevant paperwork before making an offer. If you have lost your registration document, a replacement V5 is available from the DVLA for £25 and MOT certificates can be replaced by the testing centre for £10.

Along with documents, make sure any accessories and spare bits and pieces, such as tow bars, owner's manuals, parcel shelves, spare wheels etc., and particularly the spare keys, are made available. Any offer will be lower if the buyer can't be sure you can provide items, even if you promise that you have them.

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