Model S

Best way to sell/trade-in 2016 MS for new MX?

edited November -1 in Model S
I have a 2016 MS with low miles (19k). I'm considering trading it in for a new MX. We moved from CA to Park City, UT, and I think the form factor of the MX would suit us better.

If we did decide to do this, I'm wondering about the best way to make the transaction. I'm planning to lease the MX through my business.

I financed the MS with the 1.49% loan that Alliant Credit Union was offering at the time. I have about 21 months of payments left. According to Kelly Blue Book (no idea how reliable this is for Tesla values), the current private party sale value of the MS is about $15-$20k more than the outstanding loan amount.

So, should I try to sell the MS to a private party? Then pay off the loan, take whatever is left and use it for the $7,500 down for the MX lease?

Or does Tesla offer some kind of trade-in program?



  • edited November -1
    Also, I just remembered the Section 179 deduction for the MX. As an LLC owner, maybe buying the car and taking the deduction (which I understand has become even more favorable under the new tax laws) would be a better option?
  • edited November -1
    Tesla takes trade ins, but your offer will be depressingly low, possibly to the point of being upside down on the loan.
  • edited November -1
    You need to define your "best". If it means most money then private sale. If it means easiest then trade it in.
  • edited October 2019
    I thought that might be the case. I submitted a request for a quote, but it sounds like selling to a private party might be better.
  • edited November -1
    Use to get an idea of the value. They list both private party and dealer values. I'd expect you can get $3K to $5K or more via a private sale, but there is something to be said for the convenience of a trade-in. I've always done private sales. I put a sign in the car, parked it out front of my house (which is a slightly busy street at times), and sold it within a day.

    There are others that buy cars like CarMax, but I expect the Tesla trade-in will be very close to CarMax.
  • edited November -1
    I checked on KBB, and the trade-in value ranges from $48–$55k. They put it at $52k. Private party was $53-$60k.

    When I submitted the request for a quote from, they said they base it on KBB trade-in value. If I can get $52k, I'd come out about $16k ahead on the trade.
  • edited October 2019
    You can get a quick online quote from Carvana as well. I've never heard of anyone happy with a Tesla quote on an "older" model. They should be able to provide one rather quickly as well.
  • edited October 2019
    Another factor is the condition of the vehicle. While KBB will compensate for condition in the values, a trashed car is often hard to sell via private sale unless heavily discounted. On the flip side, a car in great condition gets very little extra in a trade-in. So that could factor in how you elect to sell it.
  • edited October 2019
    Don’t know how it works in UT, but in AZ when you buy a new car you only pay tax on the difference between your trade in and the total. So that complicates the math here.

    If UT is the same you can save a few $$ in taxes by trading in, if not then forget what I said.
  • edited November -1
    You can go over to and scroll down to the For Sale section. There's Tesla's there. This will let you compare your to those for sale to get a good idea. Tesla owners like selling to new Tesla owners, so lots of people are looking there daily. There's no cost to post yours. You also might find a new enough X there too.
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