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Your trade-in will usually cause the most haggling during your new car purchase.

  • Remember to tell the salesperson that the negotiating is over until you get your keys back. Some dealerships will appraise your vehicle and then keep the keys locked in the sales manager's office. This is an intimidating trick to keep you from leaving when you want to. Simply tell the salesperson that the negotiating is over until you get your keys back.
  • Keep in mind that during this transaction, you are also a salesperson. Call it a trade-in, but you are selling a vehicle while trying to buy another.
  • Clean your car so that itís spotless. Be assured that the appraiser will go through the glove box looking for any personal financial information. Keep brochures from other dealerships in there, letting them know that you've been shopping around.
  • Put any maintenance receipts for tune-ups and oil changes in the glove box. They will impress the appraiser and they will be found.
  • Keep the price of the new vehicle and the price you want for your trade-in separate. Don't allow one dollar amount to depend on the other. If you don't get what you want for your trade-in, the new car salesperson wonít lower the price on the new car to make up the difference.