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Buying a new car with trade in

I am looking at buying a new car and I have 2 cars, both 2001’s. Has any one traded in 2 cars when buying a new one? Or am I just going to get a bad deal? I have tried to sell one and have had no luck. Buick LaSabre & Oldsmobile Alero.

It’s best to sell your cars outright and apply the proceeds to your new purchase. Not know anything about the condition of your used cars, where you live or the demand for them, I’d guess you could get at least $1,000 more per car from an outright sale compared to trade-ins. List them on and If they don’t sell within a couple of weeks, then trade them in.


Thanks for the reply, I got another used car and had planned on selling the 2001 Buick and keeping the Oldsmobile for a 2 car family. I have tried to sell the Buick for the last 4 months (craigslist &, Local paper) and have had no luck. It is priced below book, has 97000 miles, and good shape for its age. Have only got a few calls with no real interest. I know I could get more outright if it would sell. So I thought if I traded both older cars in to reduce the cost. So, if trade in is worth about $3000 each, would they give me $6000? Or would they only offer me a lot less because there is 2 of them. Wondering if anyone has done this before?

You can trade two cars, or three, or four, on a new car, but you won’t get the best deal by doing so.

Purchasing a new car straight out, with no trade, usually results in the best price. When you trade it just gives the salespeople more numbers to juggle around and confuse you, and they’re very good at that.

Selling cars privately is often a pain, but if you’re persistent you can still make out better selling yourself than trading.

On the other hand, if you just want to get rid of a car, or two cars, and get a new one, by all means trade them both and be done with it.

Just pay very close attention to the bottom line. It’s the only number that matters.

If your two cars aren’t selling for $3000 each, it’s because they are overpriced - plain and simple.

Lower the price till they sell - they definitely will sell. Whatever price they end up selling at will be more profitable to you than trading them in on a new car purchase.

When you trade in a car at a new car dealer, there are two transactions: 1) you are buying a car from the dealer; 2) the dealer is buying a car from you. It is in the dealer’s interest to get the maximum dollar for the car he is selling to you and to pay the minimum price for the car he is buying from you. A new car dealership has several departments: 1) new car sales; 2) used car sales; 3) parts; 4) service and possible 5) body shop. Each department has its own manager each department is expected to show a profit.

Chances are that if you trade either or both of your cars, the dealer will just send them to the auction. After a car reaches a certain age, there is no loan value. A new car dealer won’t finance an older car. If you elect to sell your cars, first impressions count. Wash and wax the exterior, clean the interior, etc. It may even be worth investigating a detail shop if you don’t want to do this yourself. Think about what you would impress you if you were to purchase a used car and do the same for the cars you are selling.

I bought a 2010 Cobalt in February. I had a 2000 Blazer LT 4wd in good condition. One dealer offered $800 and the other $1300 for a trade. Book value was 3 to 3.5k, I’ve been doing business with the dealer that offered $1300 since 1988. As dealers go, this is one of the better ones so the $1300 is probably a reasonable offer.

Negotiate the price of the new car before mentioning a trade. This will prevent the dealer from inflating the price of the new car to give the appearance of a generous trade in.

You’re better dropping the price of the car and selling it privately and using that money as a down payment.

Ed B.

“Book Value” means NOTHING today. If you are an e-Bay member, you can use their advanced search to see what cars like yours ACTUALLY SOLD FOR AT AUCTION. That’s what they are REALLY worth…

Has any one traded in 2 cars when buying a new one? Or am I just going to get a bad deal?

What makes you think you’ll ever get a good deal on a trade in?

When people say they got a great deal on their trade, it was because the dealership played with the numbers on the new car and made them think they got a lot of money for the old car.

Typically, you’re lucky to get wholesale value on your trade. This is a business and they have to eventually make a profit. They need to pay less than half of the retail value because of the cost to clean it up, inventory it, sell the thing and still make a profit.

Two cars is simply two used car sales to the dealership’s used car lot. Same deal as above x 2. Assuming they are even interested in them. Often, they take trades only to complete the new car sale and immediately wholesale the “beater” to get rid of it.

Two different times, I have had a dealer sell his car to me at a cheaper price than what he wanted if I traded my old car in. The first time was in 1973 at a Dodge dealer. The dealer had a 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber and I had a 1965 Rambler. The dealer was asking $2495 for the Maverick. If I traded the Rambler, the price was $2200. If I bought the Maverick straight out, the price was $2000. I bought the Maverick straight out and sold the Rambler myself in one day for $250.

The second time was in December of 1995. A used car dealer that has been in business in my community since the 1920’s (was once the Hudson dealer) had a 1993 Oldsmobile 88 in great shape. I had a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass. The car was priced over $15,000. The dealer would trade for $14,700 or sell the car outright for $14,200. Most dealers don’t want older cars. Advertise your cars in strategic places and price them right. You will sell them.

As the others said.

Your best dollar deal will be to sell yours yourself.
Take that money and your other cash ( even getting a loan elsewhere ) to the dealer and make a ‘cash deal’ at the dealer.

My dad got his NEW 07 Focus with …NO MONEY ! ( out of pocket )
Sold his E150 van to the retirement complex he lives in,
Walked into the Ford dealer with cash on the table,
Drove away with new Focus. :slight_smile:

The last time we traded a good used car for a new one was an 05 for an 08. The dealer allowed the price that they could get at the auction plus $500 more to make a slightly better deal for us. Anything you can get over that in the private market is a bonus! NADA and KBB trade in values were not at all realistic. We bargained at two different dealers.

Perhaps you had no luck selling because your price was too high. Anything sells at the right price.

You don’t have to trade them. Take the cars to dealers (new and used) and ask them what they will give you for them. We sold a Windstar to Carmax in 2003 and I was pleased with the offer.