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Trading in a car with Tesla - get a fair price?

Trading in a car with Tesla - get a fair price?

I'm wondering how the trade-in experience was for those of you with a Tesla. Did they give you a fair offer? My car has a Kelly Blue Book trade-in value of $20,000 but they only offered me $8,000 for a trade-in on a new Model S. They did not even look at my car, they just used the info I provided and the VIN. They said my only alternative was to get an offer from CarMax and, if higher, they would match the CarMax offer. However, if I'm not buying a car from CarMax, I assume they will only offer me the lower "cash value" rather than "trade-in value".

billdz.geo | September 18, 2016

Anybody have any thoughts? Did you get a good trade in on your car from Tesla? Is the trade in price negotiable?

Claudedohrn | September 18, 2016

I got what I considered a fair price on a trade-in Range Rover. A third party inspector came to my house and evaluated the car, Tesla made an offer, I accepted it, and Bob's your uncle. I have previously sold some cars privately. I have no interest in doing it again.

Pryoritiesinc | September 18, 2016

I would invest 30 minutes to go to carmax and get a quote, you might make a few thousand bucks

houstonviper1 | September 18, 2016

I traded 2 cars in for my X I'm waiting on. The came back with 2 bids that sucked. Then they came back a day later with a much better offer on one of my cars but other one was still low. In Houston they will match carmax and texas auto direct so I got a quote from them that was 6K better and they matched it.

billdz.geo | September 18, 2016

Thanks for the replies. I assume the trade in price is non-negotiable? They just look for bids from third parties (including CarMax) and the best bid is all that Tesla will pay?

georgehawley.fl.us | September 19, 2016

I have had two experiences with Tesla trade-ins:

1. 2012 Honda Oddysey for 2014 S85 demo: Was offered $22,000 by Tesla and $24,500 by Honda dealer. The Tesla deal was better in that case because the net sales tax benefit (tax discounted by .075x$22,000) plus Federal tax deduction came out slightly in Tesla's favor and Tesla made the trade painless.

2. 2014 MS for 2016 MX90D new: This time Tesla offered $55,000. The Honda dealer wrote me a check on the spot for $60,000. In this case, even though the trade would have netted lower sales tax by .075 X $55,000, the net was in favor of selling to Honda, after taking into account the deduction by $2,000. Sold the car to Honda who immediately sold it to someone on the east coast of FL.

Hope that helps.

makobill | September 20, 2016

Pryoritiesinc: +1 on below. Been there and done that 4 times. Beat dealer trade-in every time.

Pryoritiesinc | September 18, 2016
I would invest 30 minutes to go to carmax and get a quote, you might make a few thousand bucks

alnrench2 | September 20, 2016

I sold my Volt to CarMax....was in and out of there in 30 minutes....Tesla offered much less, which I think is closer to a wholesalers price.

Dithermaster | September 20, 2016

Tesla matched the CarMax offer on my Volt. It was surprisingly low, but so was Kelley Blue Book. I know I could have gotten a little more with a private sale but then there is the hassle of timing -- you're either without a car if it sells early, or have two if it sells late. Finally, there was a small tax savings since we can subtract the trade-in price from the new car price when paying state sales tax (not sure if that is everywhere).

Rocky_H | September 20, 2016

Tesla does not want to be a used car dealer, so that is why they don't try very hard to give good offers for trade-ins. They are just going to dump it as soon as they can anyway, which means they don't get a good price out of it when they sell it off either.

sp_tesla | September 20, 2016

Make them aware of what is your reasonable competitive price to consummate new purchase, wait & don't be surprise when they accommodate your reasonable demand.

Dithermaster | September 23, 2016

Especially right now, even without trade-in there are deals being made, until the end of the month.

makobill | September 24, 2016

Sometimes its hard to swallow that a car is about the worst place to put your personal money. Depreciation is horrid... I have never leased before, but strongly considering it going forward as EV's seem to suffer this quite a bit....

freemannjr | September 24, 2016

Traded in a 2013 BMW M3 Convertible, and received high Blue Book from Tesla for trade in MS70. Happy with the offer and Tesla. Also, I don't miss the weekly trips to the gas station where I dropped an average $45.00 per visit.

dmuzzarelli | September 25, 2016

I got an offer of $14k from Tesla and $17k from CarMax. Add in $1k for tax savings and hard to argue with.

One thing to be weary of is I was told my offer from CarMax wouldn't be accepted bc I uploaded it after it was expired (one day discrepancy). Seems kind of funny given that I still have zero timetable on delivery, but I digress. Just make sure to over communicate and as quickly as possible if you're negotiating a trade in based on price matching from a third party.

Rocky_H | September 26, 2016

@makobill Quote: "Sometimes its hard to swallow that a car is about the worst place to put your personal money. Depreciation is horrid... I have never leased before, but strongly considering it going forward"

Well, if you really want to avoid depreciation, you need to not do either one of those. Short term buy/sell or leasing are both horribly expensive ways to have a vehicle. Buying and keeping it for a really long time is far FAR better than either of those options.

makobill | September 26, 2016

@Rocky_H - Agree with your point, and own my current vehicle outright for that reason. (A cheap Chevy Sonic) That makes sense when the vehicle you want to be driving for the next 10-12 years is available today - for me, that's just not the case in the current EV models available. Model 3 might be the vehicle - the Bolt isn't for me personally - but too soon to tell on either front as of yet. Regardless, agree on the BEST option....

Rocky_H | September 26, 2016

@makobill, Quote: "That makes sense when the vehicle you want to be driving for the next 10-12 years is available today"

Yeah, we got into a bad timing situation. We were planning to replace one of our two cars (three, counting daughter's) with a Tesla Model 3 as one of the early reservers (reservationists? reservists?). Then, one of the cars died around the end of 2013, so we were accidentally in the market for a car about four years too early. Since I don't like short term buy/sell or lease, we just made the bigger commitment to the next really long term car buy and got a Model S. It was a much higher price than we wanted to do, but it was supporting the Tesla mission, so we decided to help out by being an early adopter.

TeslaE | September 26, 2016

Not competitive. Go elsewhere...anywhere...you will be better off. There was an 8k difference on a 50k trade for me.

makobill | September 27, 2016

@Rocky_H - If finances allowed, I'd own an S today. Just not in our budget at this time, but keeping options open over the next year if things change on that front.

chantellebiagioni | February 11, 2020

I feel I got low-balled for my trade in with Tesla. I am in BC Canada and looking to see if theres any auto traders out here that tesla recognizes to match prices

shinytop | February 11, 2020

When I bought last September Tesla matched the CarMax offer.

chantellebiagioni | February 11, 2020

and that was in BC?