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Trade in experience/ advice of a ICE for your Tesla

fasteddie7

Member
Aug 12, 2016
868
1,099
uniontown PA
I searched the threads for information on trade ins but all I see were threads on trading in Teslas. Does anyone have any experience with trading in their internal combustion vehicle for a Tesla. I currently own a Nissan I have 11 months left on. How easy / fair is the process through Tesla. I only hope to break about even, but I don't see much information on the process (Other than the Tesla website) and I am very interested in others experiences with their trade and if they felt is was a fair deal, as I don't imagine much negotiation goes on when purchasing a Tesla, it just is what it is (which I really like).
 

Dwdnjck

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 11, 2013
645
2,456
Tesla doesn't have much interest in selling gasoline cars, so they will wholesale the car to some other dealer or a wholesaler. You might get a better offer at Carmax.
 
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wilheldp

Member
Jun 24, 2016
143
138
Louisville, KY
Another vote for CarMax. Tesla offered to match CarMax's price on my trade-in, but when they had their appraiser come take a look at my trade-in, Tesla lowered its offer by $2000. I just took it to CarMax the day after I picked up my Tesla, and CarMax honored their original quote (1.5 months old...they took another look at the vehicle before confirming the offer).

Your mileage may vary. There have been other reports of Tesla matching CarMax's offer. It sounds like your Nissan is relatively new (mine was 8 years old), so you may have a better experience getting Tesla to match another offer.
 

fasteddie7

Member
Aug 12, 2016
868
1,099
uniontown PA
Tesla doesn't have much interest in selling gasoline cars, so they will wholesale the car to some other dealer or a wholesaler. You might get a better offer at Carmax.
The closest carmax to me is apparently 4 hours away, lol. I wish I lived closer to one. I'd only care to break even or close, when I get an offer from Tesla should I consider that set in stone or has anyone had luck with getting them to budge a little?
 

wilheldp

Member
Jun 24, 2016
143
138
Louisville, KY
The closest carmax to me is apparently 4 hours away, lol. I wish I lived closer to one. I'd only care to break even or close, when I get an offer from Tesla should I consider that set in stone or has anyone had luck with getting them to budge a little?

There are other large, nationwide used car dealers. I think there is one based out of Texas that people have reported Tesla price-matching with.
 
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fallen888

Participant
Jul 27, 2016
808
631
Newtown, PA
From personal experience I can tell you the process is very simple and painless.

Pros:
  • No haggling
  • No frustration
  • No scumbag sales techniques
Cons:
  • No haggling/negotiations means you get what you're offered and either take it or leave it.
  • You'll be offered less than you could get in a private sale. But that holds true for most trade-ins when dealing with any company/dealership.
I've dealt with sales guys at the King of Prussia, PA store. They explained to me that they make no money on trade-ins. They work with ~30 dealers, buyers in the area. Tesla sales will get the specs of your vehicle and take some photos, then send it all out to those 30 dealers and see what offers come back. They'll take the highest offer and provide you that offer estimate.

At this point it's just an estimate. Next, Tesla will schedule an inspection of your vehicle with you. The inspection itself will likely take 30 - 60 minutes. Make sure to show to the inspector all the little things that will add value to your vehicle (e.g. manuals, dvd player with remote and headphones, etc). Having things like seat guards strapped onto the back of your front seats (protecting them from kids kicking and making dirty) also helps.

Within a day or two of the inspection you will receive the official trade-in offer. You'll have an opportunity to review and accept it on the My Tesla page.

Then you have to schedule the drop off of your car with your DS, which needs to happen within 14 days and 500 miles of the inspection/offer. At least that's what I was told. If you go over those numbers, Tesla will need to reinspect your vehicle again if you still want to trade it in. Keep in mind that time and miles will contribute to the depreciation.

The drop-off itself is pretty simple too. You just need to bring with you:
  • The car :D
  • The title (and if anyone else's name is on it, they need to come with you too, to sign some paperwork)
  • Registration info
  • All sets of keys
I should also add that I received exactly what I was hoping for (based on KBB) for my trade in (+/- $500).

I think that's about it.
 
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TSLATed

Member
Jun 22, 2016
51
66
Orlando
I traded a 2013 Infiniti G37 coupe with 68k miles for my new 2016 Model S. They offered $18.5k which was well below Black Book wholesale, but the tax savings on the deal amounted to over $1100, so if I were to sell myself (or to CarMax, etc.) I would need to get over $19.6k just to break-even. Since that number was very close to Black Book wholesale, I decided to let it go to Tesla for the $18.5k. Hope this info is helpful!
 

fallen888

Participant
Jul 27, 2016
808
631
Newtown, PA
Yes, that's another bonus I forgot to include in my previous post - take into consideration that your trade-in amount is subtracted from the taxable purchase amount. If you do not trade in with Tesla, you pay more in sales tax.
 

JPUConn

Active Member
Aug 11, 2014
1,300
663
CT
I must of been lucky as I traded in my SUV to Tesla when they actually beat Carmax. I saved a nice amount on taxes with my Model X too. The experience was excellent for me.

Similar experience with my Jeep Grand Cherokee trade for my Model S. Carmax and Jeep dealers offered $15k. Listed private (cars, Craigslist. and on eBay) for $17,5 but only got low ball offers peaking in the $16k range.

Tesla trade was $15,700 - factor in the sales tax, convenience, and they transferred my plates I have zero regrets on the trade and felt that it was very fair.
 
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bharned3

Member
Dec 13, 2016
112
24
Hickory Creek, TX
I searched the threads for information on trade ins but all I see were threads on trading in Teslas. Does anyone have any experience with trading in their internal combustion vehicle for a Tesla. I currently own a Nissan I have 11 months left on. How easy / fair is the process through Tesla. I only hope to break about even, but I don't see much information on the process (Other than the Tesla website) and I am very interested in others experiences with their trade and if they felt is was a fair deal, as I don't imagine much negotiation goes on when purchasing a Tesla, it just is what it is (which I really like).

I know this is an old Post but curious as to what your outcome was. I'm in the same boat and trying to keep my tesla dreams from falling through the cracks over being a little upside down on my current car.
 
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Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,088
Delaware
The closest carmax to me is apparently 4 hours away, lol. I wish I lived closer to one. I'd only care to break even or close, when I get an offer from Tesla should I consider that set in stone or has anyone had luck with getting them to budge a little?

Tesla doesn't negotiate. They do, however, change offers with new information.

Trading in my Volt, they sent a 3rd party inspector to look at the car who wrote a bunch of things that weren't right and led to a low ball offer from their bidding network.

So Tesla gave me that offer, but the DS suggested I take it to CarMax, who quoted just under twice that low ball - and Tesla willingly matched the CarMax price (pretty sure they took the offer and car straight to CarMax after I left.)
 

Sir Guacamolaf

The good kind of fat
Mar 15, 2016
1,150
1,918
Not in a Tesla
In my case the best offer I got was craigslist.
Second best carmax.
The worst offer was from Tesla - in fact it was so bad that it was clear to me that they didn't want the trade in. To give you an idea, they offered me less than HALF of what my final craigslist sale was. Also in my case Tesla would not change their offer at all. Zero negotiation.
 

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