How Do I Part Exchange My Car?

Man handing key to woman while they both shake hands

You can trade in your car for a newer, more economical or better looking car at Autostore, in just four easy steps:

  • Value Your Car
  • Accept the Valuation
  • Find Your Next Car
  • Make the Deal

At Autostore, we'll make the whole process simple and flexible. So, if you'd rather wait until you've found your next car before getting a valuation on your current car, that's up to you; or if you want to know how much you have to spend before starting the search for your ideal car, that's fine with us, too. Just be sure that we're here to help, every step of the way.

Online, at a franchised dealership or an independent car showroom, buying a car has never been easier. Whether you’re buying new or used, using cash or finance, or a combination of the two, the options are varied and there’s usually something to suit every driver and every budget. But what if, like 35 million of us Brits, you’ve already got a car?

Luckily, it’s not a case of having to stick with your existing motor until it’s only fit for scrap. Neither do you have to go through the stress of selling your car before you can think about buying a new(er) model. Thanks to part-exchange (PX), you can replace your car quickly and relatively hassle-free.

As conscientious automotive retailers, we’re eager to help you find your ideal, affordable car and this includes allowing you to get the best out of your current car. Here’s how the part-exchange process works...

How Do I Part-Exchange My Car?

Man handing car key to woman


Step One: Value Your Car.

Any car retailer offering part-exchange will happily provide you with a free, no-obligation quote on the value of your existing car. The quote will be based on current industry data so that you can be confident that figures are accurate and up-to-date. The valuation will take into account:

  • Brand - All cars (except vintage classics) lose value over time. However, the rate of depreciation varies from brand to brand. 
  • Mileage - Usually, lower mileage means less wear and tear on the car, therefore achieving a better price than an equivalent high mileage vehicle. 
  • Age - As a rule, the newer the car, the better the price offered.
  • Condition - Is your car regularly maintained and serviced? Are there any bumps, scratches or scrapes on the outside; or ripped or stained upholstery on the inside?
  • Presentation - This is usually not a factor when getting a valuation quote online but when you bring your car into the showroom or it’s collected for exchange, looks will play a part in clinching the final price, so make sure your car is cleaned and vacuumed. Remember any quote you get online is only an approximate value until the car is inspected by a representative of the purchaser. 
  • Colour - A vehicle in a more popular colour will often achieve a better price, especially if it’s well-maintained. Be warned that special effect paintwork might not necessarily add any premium to the valuation.


Step Two: Accept/Decline the Valuation.

Take a look at recent selling prices of similar used cars, to see whether you’ve been made a reasonable offer. Don’t forget that you’ll have to factor in the convenience aspect of the part-exchange quote, such as the cost of not having to advertise or invest time in selling your car privately, so a part-exchange valuation could be lower than prices advertised by private sellers.
If you like the look of the numbers, all you need to do is accept the quote. 


Step Three: Find Your Next Car.

Now that you know how much deposit you have coming from the vehicle you want to part-exchange, you can work out your budget for your next car or van. You’ll already know what you need from a car, whether that be space for a family, economy for city driving, comfort for the daily commute, or all three. 
Time to browse the Autostore range to find your ideal car.


Step Four: Making the Deal.

When you’ve found the vehicle you want to buy, all you’ll have to do is bring the car or van that you’re part-exchanging and its associated paperwork to the retailer who’ll give it all the once over to check its in the expected condition. You’ll need:

  • The VC5 (the ‘log book’)
  • MOT certificate
  • Vehicle keys
  • Car manual
  • Service book

Then seal the deal with a handshake and swap keys. Of course, there’ll be the usual signatures required and you’ll have to arrange payment of the balance on the asking price, if there is one. If this involves a finance agreement, you’ll also need to bring with you:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • A recent bank statement or utility bill

You should check with your sales advisor exactly which documents you’ll require.

Can I Part-Exchange My Car If I Have Outstanding Finance?

Woman and man discussing sale with advisor at desk

The simple answer is: Yes! You’ll just have to add a few more steps before the process that we’ve outlined above. 

If you’ve ended your HP agreement on your vehicle, it’s 100% yours and you can sell or part-exchange it without concern. 

At the end of a PCP agreement, you can make the final balloon payment to make the car or van yours, and then part-exchange, using the full value towards your new vehicle. Or, you can ask the car retailer to pay the balloon payment for you and, if the car is valued higher than the Guaranteed Future Value, they’ll use the balance as deposit on your new car.

If your HP or PCP contract hasn’t run its course, you can still part-exchange. You’ll have to request a settlement fee from your finance provider, which, on payment will allow you to close the contract early. Alternatively, the dealer can transfer the settlement fee to a new finance agreement to pay off both your old and new car simultaneously.

Then all you have to do is follow steps one to four above and, hey presto, you’ve secured your next car by part-exchange!

If you still aren’t clear on any of the part exchange process, pop into Autostore at Penrith or Lancaster for some free, no-obligation advice. We’ll chat through the options and set you on the road to owning your next car.

Get started by checking out the valuation on your car, here.


  • Penrith - 01768 890870
  • Lancaster - 01524 62939
  • Carlisle - 01228 522423
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