Should I be charged an extra fee for my part-exchange car? 

A reader questions an unusually named fee he is being charged to trade his part-exchange for a new car...

Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD front right tracking low angle

I am in the process of buying a new Golf from a Volkswagen dealership in the York area. I am being charged a Provenance Check Fee on my part-exchange. This is the first time I have ever heard of such a fee. Is it legitimate?

I told the dealership they should already know all about the provenance of the car because I bought it from them five years ago and have had it serviced there every year since. 

N L Young

What Car? says…

We believe this is a different name for a car history check, which verifies the car’s mileage, the fact that it doesn't have any outstanding finance and hasn’t been previously stolen or written off. So it is a legitimate check, and it is something the dealership will need to obtain in order to sell the car on, whether to another individual or by auction, to provide official confirmation that the car has a clear ownership and finance history.

However, we've not heard of customers being asked to pay it for their own part-exchange vehicles. We would expect the dealership to pay the fee and recoup it themselves from the sale of the car. After all, if you were buying a used car privately, you’d be advised to pay for a history check on it, and that’s effectively what the dealership is doing: buying from you as a private seller. 

Our advice would be to ask them to remove the fee from your invoice.

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Best family cars 2020

Many people who once would have chosen a traditional 'family hatchback' are now buying SUVs and MPVs instead.

However, that doesn’t mean the family hatchback market is dead; it still accounts for a huge number of sales and is very competitive, so there are some great buys out there.

Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the models that are best to steer clear of.

10. Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra cornering front three quarters

If you're looking for a spacious family car with low company car tax bills, the Astra is hugely compelling, while big discounts are available for private buyers, too. Just bear in mind that the best rivals now offer better ride comfort and more standard safety kit.

9. Seat Leon

2019 Seat Leon front

Like its sister car, the Volkswagen Golf, the Leon handles well, has a strong range of engines and features a practical and user-friendly interior. True, some of the plastics feel rather cheap, but this is easier to forgive when you consider how well priced the Leon is.

Next: more of our favourite family cars >>


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