So you want to buy a new car?
It will help you tremendously if you are planning to part exchange your car to do some preparation too. Take a look around the internet to get a feel for what your car maybe worth, bearing in mind these will be retail prices ie what someone or dealer expects to achieve for the car. If it’s from a dealer consider that they are likely to be including a warranty, a service (quite often just an oil change and kick the tyres) and a new MOT, all of which has to come out of their profit. Therefore what you get offered will be considerably less. I’m not saying you accept that: just be realistic about your expectations as it will depend on the condition of your car and how much the dealer really wants it.
Now to the condition of your car…if it’s worth more than a few hundred pounds its definitely worth giving it a quick wash and brush up before going shopping. If it looks loved the dealer is less likely to go over it with a fine tooth comb expecting the worst if it looks a “shed”. Don’t get me wrong they will still expect everything to be in working order and especially these days no warning lights on the dash.
If you have a chipped or damaged windscreen its worth getting it replaced or repaired through your insurance as the dealer certainly won’t want to stand the cost of that. If you have any bumps or scrapes on the bodywork it maybe worth getting these attended to also, someone like Chips Away do localised repairs and may add hundreds to your part exchange valuation.
Does the vehicle have full service history? If so they will want to know if it’s Main Dealer or otherwise. Depending on who the otherwise is may make a difference ie a professional local garage or DIY mechanic. The dealer will also want to see proof so make sure you take the stamped service book or receipts with you. They will also be keen to know if it’s due a service, especially if it’s a major one!. Does your car have an MOT and how long can make a difference too. Don’t worry about the paperwork as this is checked online now, which means they can also check for any advisories that may be a future cost to them too, particularly if they need to MOT the car to resell it.
Do you have a full set of keys or remote controls that would have originally come with the car? This can wipe a few hundred pounds off the value of your car these days as they are expensive to replace and often require main dealer programming.
If you have alloy wheels have you got the locking wheel nut key? It may seem trivial but the dealer will look at the expense and hassle involved in getting a replacement, more so if they need the wheels off to work on the car.
VERY IMPORTANT is have you got the V5 registration document. A dealer is unlikely to want the car without it as it’s proof of ownership and he can’t sell it on without one, and again there is a cost to getting a replacement.
Are you aware of any extras on the car that would have been an additional cost? Some are desirable some not but worth telling the person looking around your car as they don’t necessarily know all the specs of cars.
Don’t be worried about my pointers like I say some preparation can see you get more for your car, and just consider that if the dealer has to spend any money on it it’s worth less to you as he’s not going to fund it.
Some dealers will move cars on to other trade buyers or auctions but will still expect all of the above to be able to give you a fair price. Again I’m not saying its what you want or should accept but its a starting point for negotiations.
PS Take your Driving Licence too.