17 July 2023 by Curtis Hutchinson

Owners prefer to trade-in at car dealerships but will use specialist online buying services if the price is right.

When it comes to trading-in time, most owners say they will use the main dealer they plan to buy their next car from to get a part-exchange valuation but in practice many end up selling to specialist buying platforms if they find a better price online.

New research by JudgeService, the franchised dealer customer reviews platform, polled the views of 6,524 car buyers to identify consumer trends.

When asked where they are most likely to get part-exchange valuations from, nearly two-thirds (62%) of owners cited the dealer they are planning to buy from, with only 15% planning to use a specialist online car buying platform.

However, when asked where they would look online for a part-exchange value, nearly half (46%) named WeBuyAnyCar, followed by Auto Trader (26%) and Motorway (14%). Dealer websites came fourth on the list with just 13% of owners saying they would visit one for a valuation.

The data also revealed a steep rise in car purchasing transactions at showrooms without part-exchanges, increasing from 42% in May 2018 to 58% in March 2023.

“Our research reveals just how big an impact specialist online car buying services are having on dealer part-exchange transactions, at a time when used cars are in short supply,” said Neil Addley, managing director of JudgeService.

“While it’s clear that most owners want to use the franchised dealer they’re buying from to take their part-exchange, in a single convenient transaction, they are often in reality turning to online buyers instead to get better prices.

“This suggests many dealers risk scoring own goals by subconsciously undervaluing part-exchanges in the hope of boosting margin. These tactics have been negated by the emergence of digital disruptors with deep marketing pockets who have become household names, making them attractive and easy to find alternatives.

“When pricing part-exchanges, showroom sales staff need to factor in the best possible outcomes for their customers, especially when it comes to valuing cars that would be desirable for them to re-sell on their forecourts,” said Addley.

JudgeService also believes franchised dealers have opportunities to retain more part-exchanges by making it easier and more convenient for customers by offering online trade-in tools and by actively marketing their buying services through social and digital channels.

Further details and comments available from Neil Addley on 07795 665927 or neil@judgeservice.com.

About JudgeService

Launched in 2011 by Neil Addley, JudgeService is the UK’s only customer review platform developed exclusively for the car retailing sector. By ensuring all reviews are verified and genuine, JudgeService builds a solid foundation of trust and respect between customers and sellers enabling car retailers to actively manage their online reputations.

JudgeService shares granular insight reports with dealers to help them identify opportunities to improve customer satisfaction levels, with many achieving 100% recommendation scores.

Based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, JudgeService has published over 1 million customer reviews and is used by over 1,000 franchised, independent and car supermarket sites across the UK.

Issued by Curtis Hutchinson Communications

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