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What a thread. Why would any dealer want to help someone pay-off a car not even involved in the deal? Apparently you think man-hours and labor costs do not effect the sale at all. It would cost the dealer to help you do this and I am sure you never mentioned paying any and all fees (labor) to do this operation. Whether you realize it or not, the dealer is there to make money, just like you are in your job. Man, I am amazed. Been buying and selling cars for 50 years but this one is the best yet!
I think it just a matter of not understanding how the process works.
Most people don’t know you can separate the deals like I do, nor do people know that they can apply only part of that trade to the new car and receive the rest in a check.
Dealerships don’t like to do this of course they want all your money, but it can legally be done in most if not all states.
the OP can very well take the trade money and apply it to his other car, the dealer will not do it obviously and as he found out, but the dealer can/will buy his trade and he can split that money any way he wants, most people think a trade much go toward the new vehicle purchase which is not true. And yeah a dealership can charge fees for this, most do in some fashion, it’s the cost of doing business.