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September 03, 2018 at 7:43 PM

Trading in your old van for a new one can help you to save considerable amounts of money off one of the biggest purchases for your business.

By deciding to sell your van to a dealership, you need to accept that you won't get as much money as if you sold it privately. The main reason for this is because the dealership has to sell that vehicle on themselves and have their own margins to consider.

This doesn't mean that you can't get a fair price for your van. Moreover, selling to a dealership takes away the stress and time consuming process of selling privately.

There are a number of things that you can do to ensure you get the best trade-in price possible for your van.

KEEP A FULL SERVICE HISTORY

The manufacturer's recommended servicing schedule will outline when you should have your van serviced. Usually, this will be every 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.

Keeping a full service history shows the dealership that the van has been well looked after and shouldn't need any mechanical work before they sell it on.

It's also a strong selling point for them to tell potential customers. A missing service history can reduce a vehicle's value by as much as 10%. That reduction will be passed onto you rather than being swallowed by the dealership.

Similarly, having more than three months remaining on the MOT adds more value. Ideally, you want to have more than six months left for a stronger trade-in position.

GENERAL CONDITION OF THE VAN

Turning up to the dealership with a van covered in mud and bird poo, with rubbish lining the base of the windscreen and a dirty load area doesn't give a good impression.

You should look after the van from the moment your drive it off the forecourt to keep its resale value as high as possible for when you eventually come to sell it.

Throughout ownership the van is likely to receive scratches, dents and other minor flaws no matter how carefully you drive it. When they happen, it's important to fix them as soon as possible.

The least you can do is have it professionally cleaned inside and out to give it the maximum kerb appeal when you drive into the dealership.

REMOVE CUSTOMISATIONS 

Even though it's important to sign write your van with your company information and branding, it's something that is completely personal to you and your business, and would make it almost impossible for a dealership to sell without removing it themselves - the costs for which will be taken out of the price of the van given to you.

If you have your company name plastered over the side of the vehicle, or if you have had it kitted out with leopard print seats and a tiger print exterior, the trade-in price will be severely affected.

Buyers tend to prefer vehicles that offer them a 'blank canvas' that they can make their own. Replace jazzy interiors with a more neutral design and remove any loud patterns or personalised logos on the side of the van.

Similarly, if you've made any technical modifications, like a special amplifier for extra loud revs, it's best to take it off before having the van appraised. 

You can always offer modifications like this as optional extras that you can add on for more cash - or you could save them for the next van you buy for yourself.

KNOW HOW MUCH YOUR VAN IS WORTH

Although this doesn't directly impact the trade-in value you'll be offered, knowing how much your van is worth gives you a stronger position in the negotiation with the dealer.

Using online valuation tools and marketplaces (e.g. AutoTrader), you can get a sense for how much you will be offered to trade-in and how much it is likely to be sold for. Remember that trade-in prices will be less than private or retail sale prices.

Once you have a ballpark figure of what similar cars are worth, do an honest assessment of your own vehicle taking into consideration its age, mileage and condition.

Formulating the minimum amount that you will accept as a trade-in price will ensure that you're getting a value that works for you.

PAY ATTENTION TO SEASON AND LOCATION

Vehicle buying and selling has a range of complexities that most of us don't consider. For example, Dealer 1 might offer you a lower price for your van because they already have something similar in stock. Dealer 2 on the other hand has just sold a similar model after only one week on their forecourt making it highly desirable. As a result, Dealer 2 is likely to offer you more money than Dealer 1.

In certain areas, you might find that your van is more desirable, so you're able to command a higher trade-in value. Similarly, there are certain months (i.e January) where buyers are more willing to splash their cash on a new van compared to others (December, for example).

Get to know the market in your area so you can approach the right dealerships at the perfect time of the year to get the highest trade-in value for your van.

If you want to know how much we'll pay for your van, enter your personal details and the details of your van on our part exchange page. We'll provide you with a free, no-obligation quote based on the information you give us.


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Category: The "Expert Advice"