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Any Car trade-in tips with the dealer ?

savingprivatesavingprivate Posts: 9
edited December 2015 in General
I'm planning to buy a car, but wanted to trade in my old car as well.

During the car buying process do you recommend me to tell the sales
rep upfront that I will be trading in my old car ?

Or should i tell them at the end ?

Any other suggestions and tips are appreciated


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Personally I don't think such strategies matter. If you "surprise" the dealer with your trade after agreeing to what seems to be a good price for you without a trade in, he'll just offer you less for the trade to make it all work. One thing I do recommend though, is that you either bring an extra set of keys with you, so that your keys don't get "lost" by the used car manager (a tactic sometimes used to keep you longer at the dealer), or go WITH the used car manager when he evaluates your trade-in.

    What really matters to you is your target price--what you want to pay "out the door", with the trade, with the sales tax, with everything. Stay out of thinking "monthly payments" and don't get bogged down in details.

    Figure out beforehand what your trade might be worth (be realistic) and what incentives or rebates you might have coming. By all means use the Edmunds tools at to calculate a good target price.

    If you cannot walk away from the table at any moment, right out the door without waving, you cannot negotiate.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 133,886
    A couple of additional suggestions -

    If your town has a CarMax, take your car there for a trade estimate. The quote from them is good for 7 days, and it will give you a good idea what your dealer should give you.

    I did this earlier in the year with a trade for a new car for my wife. Took the car to CarMax in the morning and they were willing to offer $12,500 to buy the car outright. Went to the dealer that afternoon to strike a deal and they only offered me $10,500 in trade. I pulled out the written offer from CarMax and the dealer immediately bumped their trade offer to match.

    Second, use this discussion forum to get information as well:

    There are folks who monitor this discussion who have access to the same information dealers do; you'll get an honest valuation.

    It's all about information - the more you have, the better position you are in.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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