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Should I Sell My Old Car or Part Exchange it?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 28 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Motoring Budget Car Selling A Car Old

When it comes to selling an old car, you have a choice between selling it or part exchanging it. Selling a car by your own means usually means selling it through a private sale (see our article on “Tips For Selling Your Car Privately” for more information on this mode of selling a car, whereas part exchanging it usually means going to a car dealer. This article offers advice on selling a car through both methods.

Part Exchanging Your Car

If you choose to part exchange your car, the car dealer will take your old car off your hands for a set price while you choose a new car from them. Instead of paying the full price of a new car, you pay the difference in value between your old car and the new car of your choice.

One major advantage of choosing this option is the lack of hassle. Once the deal has been set in motion, you only need to sign the paperwork, hand over the keys to your old car, and pick up the keys to your new car. This all happens at the same time. Unlike when selling your car, you don't need to advertise it and show your old car to prospective buyers.

Most of the time, you will receive a lesser price for your old car through a part exchange than you would through a private sale, so for those on a motoring budget, it is advisable to weigh up whether you want to cut out the act of selling the car and dealing with prospective buyers in exchange for this.

Selling Privately

Selling your old car privately usually means doing so through advertising. It often seems like the best option (particularly for those on a motoring budget) if you get a part exchange offer is significantly less than you paid for it. This leads many people to hold off for a private sale, but in doing so you run the risk of your old car's value dropping further and having to accept a private sale price that is lower than the part exchange offer.

For those on a motoring budget, there is no significant financial difference between the two selling methods. Buyers will often knock you down on the selling price of your old car if you decide to sell it through a private sale, but this can still be better than accepting a lesser price for your old car through a part exchange. For some people though, the fact that they don't have the hassle of advertising and dealing with prospective buyers makes part exchanging a more attractive option, despite the fact that you will usually not get back what you paid in the first place (although the same can be true in private sales, depending on the condition of the car and the negotiating skills of the buyer).

Ultimately, the choice is between convenience (a part exchange) or a good price ( a private sale), as it is rare to find both when selling an old car. Thus, you need to weigh up your situation and decide which option suits you best.

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