Can I part exchange a car for a van?

Does a change of direction mean you need a different kind of transport? Chopping your car in for a van is easy.


People’s circumstances change in all walks of life and that’s certainly the case in motoring. It’s quite common that when a driver has a family, for example, his or her beloved two-seater sports car has to be sold to make way for a more sensible estate or SUV utility vehicle.

And the same can be said for businesspeople or tradesmen and women – there will be times when their current wheels are no longer useful for the work they are now doing and something new has to be found.

Not everyone has the space, the money nor the desire to run a car and a van. For many it will have to be a choice of one or the other and thousands of people have made their own way in self-employed business, helped by a wide choice of commercial vehicles (CVs)  which double as private transport too.

Many of the motor manufacturers operating in the UK now offer pick-ups for example, which bridge that gap between workhorse and family lifestyle vehicle. But even drivers who don’t need a ‘family’ or lifestyle vehicle will still find a great choice of comfortable, efficient and versatile vans that can double as private and professional daily transport.

So has that moment arrived for you and, if so, can you part exchange your car for a van?

The answer is ‘yes’ and many automotive traders and dealerships will happily take a good quality car as part of the value against a new or used van.

What is part exchange?

Part exchanging any vehicle is simply using its current value as a portion of the payment you will need to make towards your next vehicle. Van dealerships have knowledge, experience and a range of clever technology to work out a price for every individual vehicle and can quickly come up with a figure for yours.

They use algorithms and valuation guides that take into account a number of factors before declaring a value including make, model, age, mileage and general condition. The number of optional features or equipment, and even colour can come into the equation.

If you agree with the valuation and want to go ahead, the dealership then takes off the quoted value from the list price they are asking for their van, leaving you to pay only the outstanding amount. So if you are looking at a £20,000 van and can offer a £15,000 used car as part exchange, you’ll only have to find an extra £5,000 to seal the deal.

What do you need?

You will have to prove that the car you are offering for part exchange is legally yours first and you can do this by producing a V5C ‘log book’. This is something you should always have in any case, and if haven’t got one you can apply for a duplicate from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), at a cost of £25.

The person or dealership buying your car will also expect to see a current MOT certificate (if your vehicle is more than three years old) and a spare set of keys is always a bonus rather than handing over just one. The car’s manual or instruction book should also be available, along with any important garage receipts and, if you have been sensible and kept the car fully serviced, show them the record book too.

To make the part exchange as attractive as possible to potential buyers, give your car a good clean inside and out before presenting it to anyone.

You can usually part exchange vehicles that have outstanding finance on them as long as their value is greater than the amount you actually owe. The dealer can advise on this.

After that, it’s goodbye car and hello van as you start a new motoring journey.

Tom Johnston
Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.

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