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When it comes to negotiating a new car price, leave your trade-in out of the picture. Trade-ins mean trade-offs when it comes to negotiating your best deal. The dealer may hold back on offering you the best price on the new car knowing that he has to offer you a certain amount for your trade-in. Alternately, if the dealer has given you his best price on the new car, you're likely to be given a lower trade-in allowance.
Your best defense is to negotiate the new car price first and then introduce the topic of the trade-in. You should also have your facts lined up as to what your existing car's trade-in value is by using online car pricing services or guides such as Kelley Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealer's Association's Guide to Used Car Prices.