10 Tips To Maximise Your Part Exchange Valuation

Servicefy Co-Founder Shares industry knowledge And App To Maximise The Value Of Your Vehicle

Can you imagine finding out that your car was worth more than the dealer bought it for? The feeling of losing out makes you feel enraged. Many motorists experience that, and their unpleasant encounter leaves a bitter taste in their mouth. But can you blame the dealer? Afterall, they’re in business to look after their interest. Not yours.

In this article, I am going to share top 10 tips that will help you to achieve a better margin when you trade-in your car.

What makes me qualified to share these tips I hear you ask. Well, I have been in the motor trade for over 15 years. I am an Ex-Dealer Principle at one of UK leading car supermarkets. I have been at the forefront of it all. In a typical week, my team would buy over 100 trade-in cars. Before I dive into my top 10 tips, I want to demystify the perception dealers portray to many motorists.


Don’t be fooled by what the dealers say about “we don’t even want your car”. What they don’t want is an eight-owner car with 200,000 miles and an insurance write-off. What dealers crave are the majority of customers out there who have cared for their vehicle and serviced it on time. Carried out MOT as required every year and maintained their car as needed; this is their dream customer!

Their plan is to retail this vehicle on their forecourt. Doing this will save the time to travel to auctions and paying add-on fees. And most importantly have the car straight away to advertise. It is vital to do your research before visiting any dealership. Use car buying services to get an idea of what your car is worth. Having this ammunition will assist you to judge if the dealer is genuinely trying to do business with you.

My 10 top tips below is going to give you a step by step guide to maximising the value of your vehicle should you wish to part exchange it.

Top 10 things to do before taking your car for a trade-in:

Service and maintenance record

Ensure to take all service and maintenance documents with you. There is no good leaving it at home and expect the dealer to take your word for it; “it comes with full-service history”. Is that so!? Indeed, there will be genuine cases. However, you can prevent this mishap by using an app such as Servicefy to organise your service and maintenance records chronologically.

MOT, please?

Make sure your car has minimum six months MOT remaining. The general perception is that there is a fault with your vehicle (if there are only a few weeks left on the MOT) that will cause it to fail the impending MOT. Hence why you want to get rid of the car. Vehicles with less than six month MOT will be valued lower. Depending on the value of your car, this can cost you hundreds of pounds.

Lights out

Make sure there are no warning lights on the dash. Otherwise, you will get stung hard. For example, if there is an airbag light or an engine management light on, they will knock hundreds if not £1000’s off because it may be a £50 or £1000 fix. If in doubt, get it checked out with a garage- you have nothing to lose, but £1000’s to gain. You wouldn’t buy a car with warning lights on. So why expect to get a favourable price for your vehicle with a warning light on?


Knowledge is power (I’m sure you’ve heard that before). Check on classified websites such as Autotrader, Motors or Autovolo to see what your car is selling for. Visit car buying services website like Motorway.co.uk and webuyanycar.co.uk also to get an indication of what they will pay for it. You will be amazed how many motorists don’t have a clue what their car is worth. On the other hand, you can use the Servicefy app to track the retail guide value of your vehicle.

Wash your car

If you’re busy like me (more like lazy) take it to a £15 hand car wash where they will give a good clean and tyre-shine your tyres. Hoover the whole inside and polish up all the tired looking plastic bits- you will also get a smelly magic tree. You won’t believe it, but I have seen trade-in cars bear a resemblance to a tip.

Scratches and scuffs

If it’s a minor damage that touch-up pen can deal with- do it. You can pick one up from Halfords. The vehicle appraiser will assess your car with a toothcomb. If it’s significant damage to the vehicle, and the cost to fix overweights the financial benefit, then it might be worth leaving it. And hope that the other tips will help to get more for your car.

Replace aftermarket products

If you’re one of those motorists that enjoy to spruce up your ride with aftermarket products such as entertainment head units, wheels, etc.- bad news! Not everyone will have the same taste as you. Some of us just like to keep things simple. Hopefully, you kept the original products.

Know the background history

Find out as much as possible about your car and its history. How many previous owners? Lady owner?Previously used for private hire? Was it previously stolen? A vehicle history check service such as HPI Check can assist you. When you buy a car, they try to sell it to you. So why not try to sell your car to the dealer?

Shout about the features

Make a list of all the standout features that your vehicle may have, e.g. Sat Nav, Heated Seats, Sunroof, Metallic paint, the list is endless. When you buy a car new you have to pay extra for them and trust me; the salesman will always try and justify the sticker price with all the extras. So now it’s your turn to do the same when you are selling yours.

Build a relationship

Lastly, have fun. Form a relationship with the salesperson. Get them to like you, so they feel compelled to give you a better value. I know from experience relationships always work.

Co-Founder and CCO of Servicefy. Ex-Dealer Principle at one of UK’s leading car supermarket. Over 15 years in the motor trade. Enjoy building “REAL” relationships with people. Family guy- married with two lovely children.

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