Negotiate with help from Cash.CAR

Never tell the new car dealer that you’re going to trade your car. Once the new car dealer knows you are going to trade in your car, you will never receive the lowest price on your new car. Why? Trade-ins are risky and risky cars are expensive. If the dealer knows you are going to trade, he will hold more profit on the new car so that he can afford to take some risk on your trade.

When should I tell the dealer that I have a trade-in?

Great question!! This part is critical to understand if you want to get the best price on your new car and the most money for your trade. Two answers:

1) The first is never. This is because you no longer have a trade! You already sold it to Cash.CAR for top-dollar!

2) The second is to wait until you are at the closing table to show them your Cash.CAR offer and to ask them to make you their best offer.

Where do I start if I am looking to buy a new car?

Do research online, narrowing your search down to two or three models. Be careful not to put your personal information into these comparison sites. The sites are great tools but they make money by tracking what you clicked on and then selling that data to car dealers.

Once you have narrowed it down to two or three models, go the nearest dealership and test-drive the car. Your test drive will trigger the dealership’s selling process. To limit the craziness, do not give them more than one point of contact.

Once you have decided on the model and trim level, call or email (preferably email) at least three dealerships selling that same model. Tell them you have your own financing, that you do not have a trade, and that you are looking for their best “out the door price.”

Tell the dealership you plan on calling other dealers and that you will purchase from the dealership who offers the lowest price.

Why did the dealer tell me I had to trade?

Most banks and credit unions only approve borrowers for one car loan at a time. This means that if your current car is financed, you may not qualify for a new car loan until your old one is paid off.

CAR will provide proof of your trade-in and that your current loan is paid off. This will allow you to purchase your new car without worrying about your old one.

How do dealers allow for the risk associated with taking a trade-in?

From the dealer’s perspective, your trade-in poses a lot of risk. You know your car is a good car, but the dealer does not, and that is where the risk comes in. Trades are a potential way to turn a profitable sale into a loss if a mistake is made by the dealer.   Not all trade-ins are as they appear. Some customers bring trade-ins with all sorts of hidden problems. New car dealers only get to spend a couple of minutes reviewing your car. They assume customers are trading-in because the vehicle is starting to have problems or because a major repair will need to be completed in the near future. This unknown risk of future problems forces the dealer to try and make more money on your new car just in case they get stuck with a bad trade. Cash.CAR allows you to eliminate that risk for the new car dealer so that you can get the absolute best price on your new car. For more information on this read the section on the website titled “Why you should separate your trade-in from your new purchase”

Never give a dealership more than one way to contact you.

It is best to only provide an email address as your point of contact, because this is the easiest way for you to negotiate the best deal. Emails do not show emotion and they give you time to think about your best response. If the dealer already has your phone number, try to only communicate via text. Texts and emails give you the power to control the conversation.   It is easier to ignore prying questions, and less difficult to demand a better deal when you are communicating via text or email. DON’T FORGET …. never tell them about your trade. If they ask you about it because they saw it on your credit report then tell them you already have another buyer… Cash.CAR. You should separate your trade-in from your new purchase to get the best deal.

When should you tell the dealership, you want to hear their financing options?

After you are sure you have the lowest price you are going to get on your new car. Dealerships can make money on arranging the financing for your new car. Sometimes the dealership may make more money on the financing than they do on the car.

#1 tip to getting a better car loan: View the dealership as a middleman when it comes to financing. After you have picked out the car, but before you go back into the dealership you must shop around for financing. To make sure you are getting a good deal you must know what your best terms are from your current bank, credit union, Credit Card Company or Internet Loan Company.   Most lenders will approve you for the full amount needed to purchase the vehicle, leaving you free to concentrate on getting the lowest price on your new car.

Why you should separate your trade-in from your new purchase:

You will get a better deal on your new car if you tell the new car dealer that you do not have a trade. Here’s why…


Dealers think all trades have hidden problems. They are giving you less than they think it is worth because they are allowing for this unknown.


Look around the new car dealership. They do not have any cars that look like yours, and they have no plans to keep your trade.


We want your car and will give you a written offer that can be turned into cash, or that can be used as a bargaining tool to get a better deal on your new car.

The new car dealer doesn’t really want your car

Look around the dealer’s lot…their website…more than likely there are not any cars that look like yours. New car dealers typically will not sell cars with over 75,000 miles. New car dealers sell new cars and almost new cars that they can turn into Certified Preowned (CPO) opportunities. Your trade is the part of the transaction the dealer is essentially required to complete in order to sell you the newer car.  So why is your trade-in offer so low?

New car dealers are going to sell your trade to a used car dealer through an auction process.  That used car dealer does not know you or the history on your trade.  This uncertainty pushes the price down hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the make and model type, due to the fear that something may be wrong with the car. Add to that the cost of the auction process, which is at least $1,000 or double that in some circumstances, and the result is your low trade-in offer price.


Trade allowance on your BMW: $7000
Used car dealer knows that BMWs are expensive to repair and maintenance may be overdue, this lowers his offer by: $700
The new car dealer cleaned and hauled the car to auction: $250
The new car dealer paid to have the vehicle listed and sold at auction: $300
The used car dealer paid to purchase the vehicle at auction: $300
The used car dealer cleaned and hauled the car to their lot: $250

Total Transaction cost = $1,800

Amount the Dealer Offers for Your Trade: = $5,200

This $1800 are real dollars spent and they add no value to the dealer selling the car or the dealer buying your car. This transaction cost is present on every used car the new car dealers trade in. This transaction cost is why your trade in offer is so low. eliminates these transaction costs and passes those savings on to you by paying you more cash for your car. For more details on this or other reason why Cash.Car pays you more visit our blog which outlines dozens more reasons pays you more.


Trade Dollars Are Not Real Dollars

If the dealership is not willing to pay you cash for your trade, ask them why?

Use our cash offer to get more money

Look around at that new car dealership you just visited. You probably will not see cars that look like your trade on their lot for sale. This means the new car store is only offering to take your trade because they have to in order to sell you something else. The process almost guarantees you will not get the best cash offer for your trade at the dealership. Trades are risky, they may need major repairs that are not evident during the appraisal inspection. The check engine light may have been reset. The car may smoke after the motor gets hot. The trade may have been involved in a prior accident that the owner did not disclose. There are 1000s of reason why trading in a used car is risky transaction. If the dealer takes your trade and then later finds a problem, he could lose any profits they hoped to make on the newer car you just purchased. Cash.Car helps fix this problem.

Any time you are selling something it is best to have multiple buyers. The more potential buyers you have the more money you will get. Cash.Car will come to you on your schedule to provide a written appraisal. This appraisal can be turned into cash within 7 days of the offer date. We encourage our customers to get as many offers as they can. Once you have cash offers, not trade offers, then you can start the process of shopping for your new car. Click here to find out why “trade dollars are not real dollars.” Now that you have multiple cash offers start shopping for your new car.  Make sure you tell the dealer you do not have a trade. Trades cloudy the transaction for you and the dealer. Your goal when shopping for a new car is to get the best price. You should focus only on price until you are confident you have gotten the best bottom line price you can get. Bottom line pricing is hard to achieve face to face. It is fine to negotiate over the phone or email. Get bottom line prices from multiple dealers and then make them beat each other’s best offers. Only after you are confident you have the lowest price on your new car then tell them to give you an offer on your trade. Make them beat your offer if they want it? Show them your offer. Tell them beat it or I am going to sell it to

DON’T FORGET…never tell the dealership you are shopping for your new car or that you have a trade. This is critical.


NEVER tell them you have a trade

Never tell the dealer you have a trade until you are confident you have gotten their best bottom line price on your new car. Trades are the risky for car dealers. If the dealer thinks you are going to trade your car then he is going to build that risk into the price of your new car. That risk ensures that you are not getting the lowest price on your new car. To better understand why your trade offer form the dealer was low click here.

Getting the lowest price on your new car

The first thing you must do is determine which new make and model you want. Go to your local dealer and test drive them all. Try not to give them your phone number or email. If they insist on one give them your email. Be honest with them and tell them that you are comparing models and do not want to get on an email blast or put into an automated sales process that will text, call and/or email you every day. Once you have picked the exact make and model you want then you can start the shopping process.  The best way to get the lowest price on your new car is to get the best out the door price from three dealers. Then tell the higher offers that you have a better offer and ask them if you could beat your best other. This can go on for days as your price keeps getting lower and lower. This is hard to do in person because it feels shady sometimes so it is best to do it thru email or text. Negotiating is hard so try not to ever talk to them face to face or over the phone. Texting and email are best because they allow you to keep the emotions out of the process.

Now that you have the lowest price on your new car it is time to get the most cash for your old car. Cash.Car can help this this part. Over half of all car transactions include a trade. will come to you at a time and place that is convenient for you and provide you with a written cash offer for you trade. This cash offer can be used in negotiation with the new car dealer over cash value of your old car.

Dealing with Negative Equity on your Trade

“Negative equity” or “being upside down,” describes a situation where you owe more on your car than it is worth.  Negative equity can be resolved, but you must be careful not to make the situation worse with your next purchase.  If you have negative equity, you are not alone.  Cash.Car estimates that a significant portion of trades in 2017 will have negative equity rolled into the new purchase.  Here are three key scenarios to be aware of when you are working with negative equity:

1. Being pushed to certain cars by the car dealership.

This is the worst possible scenario.  Dealers push certain cars because those cars will allow them to roll over the highest amount of negative equity and make the highest profits for the dealership.  If you know you have negative equity, shop for your new car as if it does not exist.  Tell the dealership you will not be trading, because you already have a buyer lined up for your old vehicle.  If you make a buying decision based on your negative equity, it is almost guaranteed to be a costly one.

  2. Negative equity could eliminate your best financing options.

Low interest rates apply to loans for those with good credit and a good deal structure. If you add negative equity to your car deal, the lowest rates may not be available.  We recommend shopping around for your financing as if the negative equity does not exist.  As stated in scenario #1, tell the dealership that you have a buyer for your old car.  This will allow you an opportunity to obtain the best financing terms possible.  Then, if you do end up rolling over the negative, you will at least then be able to understand the true cost of that decision

 3. Being upside down changes your negotiating position. 

When you are buying a new car, you want the best deal. Dealers love negative equity deals because it gives them all of the control.  Customers who would normally never sign up for a 7-year car loan, a low mileage lease, a full priced model year hold-over, or an overpriced Certified Pre-Owned, are now considering it.  This only makes your situation worse.  DON’T DO IT.

If you are in a negative equity situation, the best solution is to keep your current car longer.  The cure for negative equity is time.  The more time that passes, the lower the car loan balance becomes. If you simply cannot wait any longer, get your Cash.Car offer and then get creative on paying off the negative.  Here are some solutions for alleviating negative equity:

– Refinance the remaining balance on a credit card

– Obtain a personal loan from a bank

– Trade-in an asset you own outright, such as a motorcycle, along with the car

– Sell another asset such as your old baseball card collection

Why do dealer trade in offers vary so much?

Dealer #1 pointing out that stain on the back seat where those car seats use to be.  He also said the tires would not pass their inspection.

Dealer #2 said you had unusual wear and tear on your inside of your vehicle and that the aftermarket radio hurt the value of your car.

Dealer #3 said nothing at about the condition of the car.  In fact, he hardly looked at it and only test drove it around the lot

Dealer #4 said he loved your trade and would be lucky to get it.

Who is telling the truth.  Why did dealer #1 and #2 offer you less the online valuation said it was worth?  Why did the offer from Dealer #3 match the online valuations?  Why did dealer number #4 offer more than the online valuation guide and more than all three of the others?

Dealer #4 could be giving you more money because he was making a fortune on the car you were going to purchase from him.

Dealer #3 could have giving you an average number because you had not decided which car you liked on their lot and thus he was playing it safe.

Dealer #2 and #1 could have gave you a low price for your trade because they really did not want the trade after they had given you such a super low internet price on the new car you wanted.

Large discrepancies in trade-in values are often driven by what you are paying for your new car. Remember’s Rule #1.  Never tell the dealer you have a trade until you are 100% sure you have the lowest price on the car you are interested in purchasing. Remember, trade dollars are not real dollars.