The Role of Part Exchanges in Online Car Buying

In today's era of digital convenience, where practically everything is just a few taps away on our screens, buying a vehicle online feels like the natural next step. However, our most recent study, which surveyed 1000 buyers of used vehicles, has revealed a potentially significant hurdle in this process: part exchanges.

Research Insights

Our findings show that less than half of consumers (44%) who tried to carry out a valuation on their part exchange as part of an online buying journey were able to do so. This presents a challenge for both vehicle retailers and consumers alike, as part exchanges have traditionally been a problem area for dealerships aiming to offer a seamless online car buying experience.

Additionally, just over half (51%) of the 1,000 recent car buyers surveyed expressed a desire to include their part exchange as part of a digital process. This demonstrates a clear demand for a streamlined solution that accommodates part exchanges within the online car buying journey.

Challenges & Opportunities

Part exchanges have historically posed significant challenges for vehicle retailers striving to deliver a seamless online car buying experience. Our research indicates that when online part exchange options are unavailable, consumers often encounter a roadblock, resulting in a notable 28% drop-out rate in purchases.

However, these challenges present valuable opportunities for vehicle retailers willing to innovate and adapt. Retailers that fail to offer online part exchange options risk alienating a significant portion of potential buyers. By recognising the importance of online part exchanges and implementing effective digital solutions, retailers can empower potential buyers to value their existing vehicles through a seamless digital process. This not only enhances the overall online car buying experience but also increases the likelihood of completing purchases successfully. Embracing these opportunities is essential for retailers to remain competitive in an evolving automotive market.


Part exchange presents a significant opportunity for vehicle retailers to gain substantial ground. The research shows that this is a dead end for many car buyers when it comes to their online journey, which is unnecessary because effective solutions are being used by many retailers. When more sales move online, the issue of providing part exchange facilities online will become harder to ignore. 

Richard Tavernor, COO


Other considerations

The implications of this research extend beyond the immediate challenge of part exchanges. With over 74% of consumers expecting to use some form of online process to buy their next car, vehicle retailers must adapt to meet changing consumer expectations. This involves embracing hybrid purchasing journeys that blend digital and showroom elements, as well as providing solutions that enable the entire car buying journey to be carried out online.

The iVendi white paper, "Driving future success: Five key trends in online vehicle retail," delves deeper into these trends and offers insights into navigating the evolving landscape of online car buying. It emphasises the importance of digital innovation in meeting consumer demands and staying competitive in the market.

As the automotive industry continues to evolve, vehicle retailers must recognise the pivotal role of online solutions in driving future success. By addressing challenges such as part exchanges head-on and embracing digital transformation, retailers can position themselves to thrive in an increasingly digital-centric market.

To learn more about the key trends shaping online motor retail, download the iVendi white paper for free now.

Download Now! Driving Future Success: Five Key Trends in Online Vehicle Retail