What Should I Do With My Old Car?

You had some great times together, including road trips and late-night drives around the city. But just like most relationships, all good things must come to an end, and it's time to replace your old car with a new one. 

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You've taken the plunge, searched the market and found a new love of your life. So what happens to your old flame? Do you consign it to the scrap heap or try and find it a new home? After all, it was good to you and just what you needed at that stage in your life. Here's what you should do with your old car. 

Part exchange 

Most people like to part exchange their vehicle when they move onto a new motor. Whether you're buying your new car with finance or outright, part-exchanging can significantly reduce the price, and dealerships are often only too keen to take in your old vehicle. 

Part exchanging involves selling your car to the same dealership where you buy the new one. They value your car and reduce that amount from the final sale price of your new vehicle. Part exchange is one of the most used methods for selling an older car. 

Return the car to the finance provider

If your previous vehicle was bought using a finance agreement with a dealership, you could return it before buying a new one. This is usually the case if the agreement is a personal contract hire (PCH), which means you're renting the car for the contract's set duration.

Other options include PCP (personal contract purchase) which involves a balloon payment to buy the car at the end of the contract. You can also hand the car back halfway through the contract with most PCP or HP finance agreements. 

Sell it privately

Another handy option involves selling your old car privately. There are several websites you can use, including Autotrader and Gumtree. While Autotrader charges a fee to list with them, online marketplaces like Gumtree are free of charge for basic adverts. 

A private sale means you can set the price and have more control over who you sell to. However, you should be careful, as private sales don't come with the same guarantees that you find with dealerships as you're selling to strangers. 

Use a car-buying service

Car-buying services like We Buy Any Car offer to take your vehicle off your hands for an agreed price. You simply pop your registration into their website, along with the mileage and condition, and they return a value they're willing to pay. 

These services can be hassle-free, but there are still some aspects worth noting. For example, your car is subject to an in-person check, and many people have complained about reduced valuations when taking to the car-buying service's local branch. 

You should also have an MOT lasting at least one month and two sets of keys. Your car valuation will decrease for each "preferred" item that is missing. So if you only have one set of keys, be prepared to lose some of the vehicle's value. 

Scrap it

Perhaps your old car isn't even worth selling. In that case, the best option involves sending it to the scrap heap. You'll need to send your car to an Authorised Treatment Facility, as all scrap yards need a licence issued by the Environment Agency. This is so old cars don't harm the environment and are recycled correctly. 

A handy Google search can help you find the local scrap yard if you go down the route of scrapping your vehicle. Just enter your registration, and the scrapyard should come back with a quote for the amount they're willing to pay to take the old car off your hands. 

Goodbye, old friend

Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to your old car. Other times, you can't wait to hand the keys to someone else. Whatever you think about your old vehicle, there are plenty of options should you wish to sell it or send it to the scrap heap. And once you've decided what to do with your old car, you can look forward to fresh adventures with your new one.