Part exchange – also known as PX – is a hugely popular way for Brits to sell their car. It allows you to avoid the hassle of privately selling. Furthermore, you can use your current car to partially finance a new vehicle.

There are real benefits to part exchanging a car. As such, the best way to take advantage of these is to part exchange your car at the right time. That’s why we’ve outlined exactly when that is below, as well as detailing what to consider if you are thinking of embarking on a part exchange. 

What is a part exchange? 

Put simply, a part exchange is when you use your current car as partial collateral for a new one. You’re essentially trading your current car in for another – usually more expensive – vehicle and using it to finance that purchase. 

How does a part exchange work? 

Typically, a dealer will evaluate your current vehicle. Once this value has been confirmed and settled upon by both parties – that is, you, as the seller, and the dealer, as the buyer – then the dealer will take the value of your current car off the price of the new one.  

By part exchanging, you’re therefore partially covering the cost of your new vehicle with the total value of your old. The state of your current vehicle will inevitably impact its valuation by the dealer – as will the time of the year when you choose to part exchange. 

When is the best time to part exchange a car? 

New number plates are released in the UK twice a year. This happens in the months of March and September. One of the best times to part exchange a car can therefore be February and August – the months prior to these new release dates.  

That’s because buyers will tend to wait until these new releases, which can result in slow sales for dealers. Dealers may therefore be more willing to offer a good deal – or at least to negotiate – around these months. 

How to ensure your current car holds its value 

There are a number of factors that could impact the dealer’s evaluation of your car. 

Damage 

This is an obvious one, but any damage to your vehicle’s wheels, paintwork, or body can impact its value. Dents and scratches can deplete this by hundreds of pounds, so the condition of your vehicle is vital in securing a part exchange that is financially beneficial for you.  

If you’re time-strapped and haven’t managed to get your car in for a service, be sure to do your research and know how much the repair of a dent or scratch would cost. You can then ensure that any salesperson doesn’t deduct any higher than this number.  

Keep on top of your MOT and service  

A full service history adds value to a car, so keeping a record of this is essential. In fact, an incomplete service history can deplete your vehicle’s value by up to 10%.  

You also want to ensure that you have more than three months left on your MOT, and make sure you’ve kept hold of any spare keys. 

Low mileage 

Models with low mileage, exciting add-ons, or unusual colours may add value to your car. It’s worth bearing in mind what kind of car the dealership is after – there’s no point offering your Mini to a dealership that specialises in Range Rovers. 

Remember to negotiate 

Remember to go in with confidence but be prepared to haggle. Negotiations are always a component of a part exchange. That said, it’s important to feel that you’re being heard and not taken for a drive (pardon the pun).  

Walk away from the conversation if it’s not going anywhere and re-evaluate your options. Dealers are there to make money and get the best deal possible, which may end up with you feeling short-changed. Remember that it’s always an option to sell your car privately – although this will require more effort on your part. 

Financing your purchase 

Part exchange will cover some of the cost of your new car. You can maximise how much it covers by knowing the best time to part exchange a car. But for the rest, you’ll usually need to call on car finance. 

That’s where My Car Credit can help. Our friendly team can advise on car finance eligibility, before finding a great deal to help you spread the cost of your purchase. Contact us today on enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk to find out more. 

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Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

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