What documents do I need to part exchange my car?

Andy Newbound

By: Andy Newbound

When it comes to getting a great deal on your next car, negotiating the best possible price for your current car is essential. Before you do anything though, the first question you should ask is ‘what documents do I need to part exchange my car?’

At this stage, you might wonder why we’re talking about documents. After all, the age, mileage and condition of the car are what’s going to sell it for the top price, right?

Naturally, all those factors are important, but if you want to give would-be buyers, especially professional car dealers, confidence in your vehicle it’s important that you provide as much office official paperwork as possible. This includes a wide range of car documents.

Think about it; if you’re buying a car you want to know everything is in order. It’s a major purchase, even for an established dealership, and as much as your car might look fantastic, buyers need to know that it’s fantastic under the bonnet and mechanically sound too. Official car documents and paperwork help to establish a degree of trust and reassurance: The more part-exchange car paperwork you have, the better.

So, what documents do you need to part exchange your car? Let’s begin with the obvious paperwork first:

Your Car’s V5C

This is also known as your car’s Log Book. Yet it’s hardly a book. It’s a single, folded, four sided document that is your official certificate of registration. Although it doesn’t prove that you are the owner of the vehicle (we’ll come to that in a moment) it does show potential buyers that you are the registered keeper.

It also shows when the car was first registered; how many previous owners it has had; plus key facts such as the original colour, engine size, number of doors, vehicle identification number (VIN), etc. The V5C helps you and the buyer confirm that the car is as described and as originally manufactured (any modifications should also be listed on the V5C).

Remember, once you have sold the car, the V5C takes on extra importance as you and the new buyer need to complete the relevant ‘transfer’ sections and make sure the DVLA are notified correctly.

What do you do if the V5C is lost?

As you can see, the V5C is an important document and if yours is lost, stolen, damaged or even defaced, it’s important that you get a replacement as soon as possible. We certainly don’t advise you to sell the vehicle without one.

Fortunately, obtaining a replacement V5C is quite straightforward. Apply by post using a V62 ‘Application for a Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)’ which you should be able to pick up from the Post Office.

Your Original Purchase Receipt

Whether you buy a new or used car, you’re likely to be given a purchase receipt. (If you’re not offered one, always ask – we recommend you never buy a car without one.)

Being able to provide the receipt will naturally confirm that you own the car. It should also confirm important details such as the car’s mileage when you bought it, the date you bought it (this helps your buyer work out how many miles you’ve driven in the vehicle since), the price you bought it for, etc. Here’s a list of what most sales receipts contain, and what potential buyers will expect to see:

- Car description (make/model)

- Colour

- Registration number

- Year of registration

- VIN number

- Mileage

- Buyer’s name and address

- Date of the sale

- Sale price

- Whether ‘sold as seen’

Remember, if you don’t have a receipt or information is missing from the receipt, this could be used by the buyer as a tool to help negotiate a more ‘competitive’ price for your car. Of course, if you have all this information, you can do the same.

MOT Certificates

Once your car reaches the third anniversary of its registration, it needs a valid MOT certificate. This is the law. If you are selling your car, providing a valid MOT certificate within your pack of essential part-exchange documents is essential.

As you’d expect, the more recent your MOT certificate is, the better. Buyers prefer to have a longer MOT than a short one; longer MOTs potentially add value.

It’s also important that you include past MOT certificates too. This will show the frequency that each MOT was carried out, and any advisories that were identified at the time (your service and maintenance documents will show if these were addressed.)

Service History

Being able to show car documentation showing a full or even a part service history is vitally important if you want to attract the best part-exchange price. So make sure you’ve retained the car’s original service handbook and that you have stamps from an authorised dealer or approved garage, showing your car was serviced at the correct intervals.

This naturally demonstrates that you and any previous owners have looked after the car and had any essential maintenance carried out by expert and reputable mechanics. If you have them, also provide any receipts showing when the work was carried out and the cost; this shows you have invested in the car.

You should also keep and show any car documentation, invoices and receipts for any additional ad-hoc work you had carried out, including new exhausts, tyres, windscreen wipers, etc.

Original Owner’s Manual

Finally, you should include the original owner’s manual for the car in your part-exchange documentation pack. If it’s housed in the bound wallet often provided when you buy a car, then that’s even better.

Often, this will also include booklets and information for the car’s entertainment system, alarm, etc. Plus any details relating to the car’s manufacturer’s warranty. The more authentic car documentation you can provide, the better.

If you have misplaced the original owner’s manual, it can often be worth trying to obtain one of these from a dealer or even the manufacturer directly. Alternatively, you might be able to find one for sale in a popular online auction site, such as ebay. These usually aren’t too expensive and when it comes to providing part-exchange documents for your car, it can be a great advantage.

We hope this information answers your question ‘What documents do I need to part exchange my car?’ And remember, you can always get a quick, accurate and no-obligation part-exchange quote from Stoneacre here. You only need to give a few details and you’ll have your initial valuation in moments.

If you’ve enjoyed this article and find yourself wondering how to get the most amount of money for your car, make sure you read: Preparing a car for sale – how to get the most from your part exchange.

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