This is probably the worst part of the deal for both customers and dealers. The truth is that it is the one place when the salesperson will be at the total other end of the spectrum when it comes to the valuation of the car. The reason being is that to you, the car is a fine piece of machinery that you have spent thousands of pounds in purchasing and maintaining over a number of years and now the car is being scrutinised by a car salesperson in a flash suit and they are looking at it like it is just a 15-year-old fiesta that is probably going to go to the auction. So, when they come back with a valuation of £200 it is no surprise if all hell breaks loose.
This valuation is not necessarily a reflection of the condition of your car, although it may feel like a gut-wrenching blow with it being a considerable amount less than you paid for it. However, the car dealership is a business that quite frankly does not care how much the suspension cost last year or how recently you changed the tyres. This information will only be relevant to them when they start to upsell you on products to go with the new one they are going to be selling you. So, you need to be prepared for the worst if your car is at an age where the average mileage would be close to or over 100k.
If you are the type that changes your car more often then you may think that you would be in a better situation, but the fact is that cars tend to lose most of their value in the earlier years when the mileage starts to get higher than average, the warranty starts running down or the new facelift has just been released on the latest plate change. So, it is actually more likely that you will be in for a bigger shock on the valuation that you receive when it’s time to part exchange the vehicle, especially if it leaves you in negative equity on a PCP or HP that you are trying to get out of early.
There are ways that you can prepare yourself for what the dealer will have to say about the value of your car and it all comes down to research and doing it with the mentality of a dealer and not a customer. The way most dealers buy cars now is by researching the sale prices of their competitors. So, for example if you have a 3-year-old Toyota Prius they will have a look similar models on a platform like Auto Trader to see what the competition is selling their cars for. They will then work out a likely selling price for your part exchange and work back from there to get the price they offer you for your car, taking into consideration the recon costs and the PROFIT margins. So instead of going onto an Auto Trader for instance and looking for the most expensive version of your car on there and then walk into the dealer expecting that figure as a part exchange value, you would be better off doing your research with a buyers head on (because that is essentially what a dealer is when looking at a part exchange) and looking at the cheapest version of your car and then deducting £1500 to £2000 depending on the age and condition of your vehicle to get a more realistic valuation. This may sound like a lot but it is what 90% of reputable dealerships will do when you get there and it will also arm you with some useful information if there are negotiations to be had.
Lastly, make sure your car is clean and presentable. This may seem like common sense but many people I have seen in the dealerships do not make sure their car is presentable when they bring them in. A full-blown valet is probably not needed but make sure it is clean. You can also get minor scuff and dents fixed for less than you think and it will give the dealer less room to knock you down.
If you need more tips or advice on what to do to get the best part exchange price possible, please get in touch and we will be glad to help or if you want to sell the car quickly and go into the dealership with cash then we will probably be able to offer you a price to buy your car.