Originally Posted by Jeeters
I recommend always negotiating the trade-in and the new vehicle completely separately from each other. Two separate 'transactions'. During negotiation of the new vehicle, they'll want to know if you're going to trade in or not because once they know the trade-in price, they know how much room they have to play with on the new car price and lets them play numbers games. I negotiate the new car first, then talk about the trade. Don't let the trade-in influence the new car price one way or the other. When they ask if I'm trading while we're talking about the new car, I tell them something like, "I haven't decided yet. It depends what kind of price you give me on this new car".
I disagree with the notion that they always make more money on the trade-in vehicle you give them than on the new car you buy. Perhaps that can happen with a late model trade in, but highly doubtful for an older model. I have an 8 year old Liberty with 135K miles on it. They'll likely not even resell it on their lot and will just dump it on an auto auction to be rid of it. Because they're not going to get anything close to retail at an auction I know they won't expect to make much money on it and so I know not to expect a great offer from them.
As for the question of 'negotiating' financing. You don't have to say *how* you're paying the day you place the order. You're just agreeing to a price. Then while you're waiting for the car to be built/delivered you can go look into auto loans or whatnot, and/or just wait until you walk in the day of delivery and say you want to finance from them. Their finance guy will just set you up.
I don't remember ever really being able to 'negotiate' interest rates with them. It's always been 'it is what it is' rate. Last time I bought, dealer gave me a choice of going through Chrysler Financing or whatever they call it, for one rate. Or going through local bank chain that dealership had worked out a loan program with for a better rate. I took the latter as it was significantly better than Chrysler's rate (and also better than what that same bank offered *me* when I called them earlier inquiring about a loan.)
You are right about them making more money on new vehicle when trading in old high milage trade in. I will be trading in low milage (19500) 4 year old in like new condition. I get the Tread Lightly discounted price on new Grand Cherokee, in this case they will offer lower than auction price for my trade in. Having a guaranteed offer from Carmax, who love to buy clean low milage cars, I am protected from their low ball offer.