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Trade-in your car or conversion bonus: what's the best choice?

trade-in vs. conversion premium

In the electric age, your desire to acquire an electric car is only growing. However, with all the subsidies available to help you, you can end up getting lost! Can they all be combined? What conditions must I meet? What should I do with my old vehicle? Fortunately, Beev is here for you!

In this article, we're going to talk about trade-ins and the conversion premium. Between acquiring a new vehicle at a reduced price, and the opportunity to get rid of your old car, you'll find everything you need to know about trade-in and conversion incentives. After defining these two options and comparing them, we'll show you which option is best suited to your needs!

Table of contents

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What is a trade-in?

In most cases, buying a new car means selling your old one. But what if this sale could directly help you buy your next car? That's where the trade-in comes in.

How do you define it?

This is when an automotive professional (dealer, agent, broker, trader, etc.) offers to buy your vehicle. There are several types of trade-in: 

  • dry (or cash) trade-in, 
  • trade-in with purchase. 

Contrary to popular belief, a trade-in is not always correlated with the purchase of another vehicle. This is the case with a dry trade-in. For example, the dealer takes back your vehicle in exchange for a sum of money. However, you are under no obligation to buy another car, as the seller then collects the money (by cheque, bank transfer, etc.). 

Then there's the trade-in with purchase, the best-known option. This is based on the same principle, except that there is a commitment on your part to buy back a vehicle following the trade-in. In most cases, the value of your old vehicle is deducted from the price of your future purchase, unless your old car is worth more. 

Note that most professionals only offer trade-in with purchase at a discount. 

The trade-in amount depends on the market value of your vehicle. You can benefit from a free estimate by experts who will judge the value of your car according to several criteria (condition of tires, mechanical defects, etc.).

Beev offers you this service free of charge. All you have to do is fill in a form to obtain an expert estimate of your vehicle's value!

There's another factor to take into account when estimating the value of your car: the "argus" price.

What is argus?

L'argus lets you know the value of a car in real time, based on a specific calculation system. The database is regularly updated, so you can benefit from reliable estimates. All you have to do is enter the model, make and year of your vehicle!

Conditions for obtaining the trade-in

In fact, there are no special conditions regarding vehicle age, make, condition... Even the oldest vehicles can be taken back as part of a purchase. You can also buy a used vehicle through a trade-in, or take out a LOA.

What's more, you can take back your current LOA vehicle! In other words, you can pay off your LOA before the end of its term, with a clean bill of sale.

What is the conversion bonus?

In this case, it's the scrapping of your old vehicle that qualifies you for the conversion bonus. More specific than trade-in, but no less interesting, the conversion bonus is available to you!

The conversion bonus: how is it defined?

This financial aid is paid to motorists who purchase a low-emission vehicle, in return for scrapping their old one. 

You can get up to €6,000 for the purchase of an electric car. However, the amount of this subsidy is based on criteria such asrange, CO2 emissions, etc., unlike the trade-in. This conversion grant can be combined with the ecological bonus. The latter is a form of energy transition aid, which rewards the purchase or lease of a low-pollution vehicle. With the ecological bonus, you don't have to scrap your old car.

Bonus conditions

There are a number of conditions to be met before you can qualify for the conversion premium, concerning your income, the purchase of your vehicle... So we've listed these prerequisites for you.
You must :

  • be domiciled in France, 
  • have a reference tax income per unit of less than €14,089, or more than €14,089, 
  • buy or lease a vehicle from April 28, 2022. 

Please note that the applicable scale varies according to your reference tax income.

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Car trade-in vs. conversion premium: what are the similarities?

Often confused, these two options have similarities that make it difficult to distinguish which is which. That's why we've put together a list of their points of convergence, without forgetting to subtly point out that they're actually quite different!

Helping you make the energy transition

The trade-in, as much as the conversion premiumare solutions designed to help you with your energy transition. They encourage you to change your vehicle, thus removing the most polluting vehicles from the road and turning to more responsible mobility solutions. Admittedly, the conversion bonus places greater emphasis on this point, by imposing a specific scale for each vehicle according to its impact on the environment. However, taking back a vehicle that will either be used by another person (second-hand purchase), or used by dealers (parts recovery), is a process that participates in the circular economy.

This economic model enables us to move from a wasteful, disposable system to a more responsible way of consuming and producing. By giving your vehicle a second life, trade-in improves waste management and recycling, the main pillar of the circular economy, by reinjecting materials from waste (your old car) into the economic cycle. 

These two offers, which are often confused, certainly contribute to the ecological transition, but they cannot be combined.

Help with financing your vehicle

In addition, the trade-in or conversion bonus are payment aids for motorists wishing to acquire a new vehicle. In both cases, you benefit from a price reduction on your new car, either in the form of a sum of money (conversion bonus and dry trade-in), or in the form of a reduction in the base price of your new vehicle (trade-in with purchase).

For example, you want to buy a Peugeot e-208which costs an average of €34,800. If you opt for the conversion bonus, you can get up to €6,000 in assistance for this vehicle, which would bring the price down to €28,800, plus with the ecological bonus you can benefit from a further €5,000 in assistance. Finally, your electric car with an initial price of €34,800 will cost you €23,800, not to mention the special discounts available through the Beev network.

Be sure to check all the eligibility conditions beforehand, as this amount of assistance does not apply to all households, nor to all vehicles! 

In the case of a trade-in, everything depends on the condition of your current vehicle. No amount is fixed beforehand, so you can claim a greater reduction in the initial price than the amount of both grants combined!

Car trade-in vs. conversion premium: what are the differences?

This section will help you distinguish between the two options available to you when you want to buy a new vehicle and get rid of your old one at the same time! 

Terms and conditions

When it comes to the conditions you need to meet in order to benefit from the trade-in scheme or the conversion bonus, there are a number of similarities. We've listed them for you for each option!

Concerning the conversion premium :

  • reference tax income: this criterion is used to determine the amount of assistance you are eligible for. 
  • type of vehicle: some vehicles are not eligible for this allowance. For example, for internal combustion vehicles, only those with Crit'Air 1 certification are eligible. Indeed, since the changes made in 2021, all thermal vehicles Crit'Air 2 and above (diesel before 2011 and gasoline before 2006), are excluded for this subsidy.

On the trade-in level:

  • all vehicles are eligible for trade-in, even the oldest, most polluting ones...
  • no income requirements, 
  • no domiciliation requirements either.

Procedures

One of the main advantages of a trade-in is that it reduces the administrative burden for the seller of the vehicle, unlike the conversion bonus.

For the conversion premium :

You have to apply yourself: if the professional has not advanced you the premium, you have to apply for this aid yourself. The procedure is online, and you need to provide documents such as :

  • the registration document for your old vehicle, 
  • the registration document for your new car, 
  • your bank details. 

As far as the trade-in is concerned, the formalities involved in selling your old vehicle are the responsibility of the professional. Unlike a sale between private individuals, where you have to complete all the necessary paperwork, in this case you don't have to worry about a thing!

How much can I get?

Lastly, the amount of aid between the conversion premium and the trade-in. One is fixed, the other depends on the condition of your vehicle. In the case of the conversion premium, the amounts are fixed.

From January 1, 2023, aid is capped at €6,000 for an electric car, if you have a reference tax income of less than €14,089 and meet the mileage criterion of more than 12,000 km driven per year and a home-work distance of at least 30 km.

On the subject of trade-in, the amount of the subsidy varies according to the condition of your vehicle, which means you'll have to take good care of it. The better the condition, the higher the trade-in price.

Read also: Everything you need to know about the conversion bonus in 2023

In conclusion

Trade-in and the conversion premium are two alternatives that can help you with your energy transition. Although the two options are similar, there are some notable differences. So, if you're looking to change your vehicle, you need to decide which is best for you.

Our advice: the trade-in would be preferable for the following reasons:

  • you don't have to worry about a thing: all the formalities involved in the sale and purchase are taken care of by the professional,
  • you can stop your car insurance quickly, so you don't have to keep paying for it while you wait for your car to be sold, 
  • it offers the possibility of taking back older vehicles, thus removing the most polluting vehicles from the roads, 
  • Even some cars that are no longer in good condition can be traded in, because the professionals recover the parts - everything is salvageable!
  • if your vehicle is worth more than the conversion bonus you are entitled to (€2,500 or €6,000).

So, are you ready for a change of vehicles? Don't hesitate to ask us all your questions!

Picture of Ilona Soulage
Ilona Soulage

Let's enter the world of electric vehicles and charging stations together. Passionate about innovation, I'm here to help you make the transition to a greener world.

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