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Trade-in experience (AutoNation, CarMax, Private Party, etc.)

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by ggr, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    I just thought I'd post a data point about the (non-tesla) trade-in program. This is a deal whereby the delivery specialist can pick up your old car and take it away when delivering your new Model S. It's done with a deal with Autonation Direct. I believe it's only in California, but I'm not sure about that.

    I just got rid of a Mercedes CLK 63 AMG convertible. Wonderful car, but for some reason I almost never drive it, since the Roadster is just too much fun. I wanted to do the trade-in thing. So a week before the (scheduled) delivery of the Model S, I went on the Autonation Direct web site and in about 10 minutes, supplying the VIN and options and answering questions, then waiting a day or so, I got a certificate saying they'd buy it for $27.5k. This was conditional on someone checking that the car matched the description, but I believe that's what they are trusting the Tesla delivery specialist to do. The certificate was good for 10 days and no more than 250 miles different than described. We were going to drive up to Fremont to take factory delivery, so I had to guess the miles.

    I also tried AutoTrader.com, as the Kelly Blue Book website led to them. The offer was a bit less, $26.5k IIRC. (Blue Book was about $36k.)

    (Un)fortunately delivery was delayed, and the certificate expired unused. But in the meantime I was getting lots of phone calls from the headquarters of Autonation in Florida, wanting to get their hands on the car. I figured it must be worth more than they were offering. Well, of course, since they have to make a profit, but you know what I mean.

    So when delivery was again getting close, I got another certificate from Autonation Direct, but told Peter (our Delivery Specialist) that I was going to look around a bit more. He said "Gee, I'd hate to have to change the delivery contract again, it might delay delivery", and since paying for the Model S was not contingent on getting the trade-in, I said "OK, forget the trade-in then." Peter said "You might also try CarMax."

    So I found the local CarMax, and made an appointment to go in and have the car appraised. I was running early for the appointment, and the Merc dealer I bought the car from 5 years ago was just down the road, so I dropped in. The guy there was mumbling something about "absolute maximum $28k, but we probably have to fix the brakes, that's about $5k, but maybe not, make an appointment to leave the car with us for a day for us to check everything out."

    I went up to CarMax, and in about 20 minutes had a certificate in hand for $31k. Went back later that evening (they're open until 9pm!) and swapped the car for a bank draft. That took another 20 minutes or so. Very painless, and a much better price. Got a call from the Mercedes guy later, and when I said I'd been to CarMax, he said "Good for you... go with them."

    Someone is getting a great deal on a fantastic used Mercedes. :-(.
     
  2. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    ggr,

    Thanks for the info. I've been planning CarMax for my trade-in, unless Tesla can get a good enough trade-in price to make up for the difference through paying less taxes. I'm glad to hear your experience there. I've heard nothing but good things.

    For anyone interested, there's a CarMax about 10 minutes from the Dania store in Florida.
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I know people who have bought from them and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mayhap I'll give them a try
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Good to know they are an option. Thanks.
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Tesla are not offering trade-ins in FL right now. They are advising that you should sell your car yourself for the best price.
     
  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Nice. A little leg work and you made an extra $3,500. Congratulations. If BlueBook said it was worth $36K then you did excellent.
     
  7. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Bummer, no CarMax in Oregon.
     
  8. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Same here in Washington. Though, we both benefit from no sales tax on the purchase of the car (WA exempts EVs from sales tax), so we don't have the extra issue of sales tax reduction on direct dealer trade-ins to sway our decision on where to get rid of a car.

    I've heard nothing but good things from friends who sold to CarMax.
     
  9. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Just to clarify (not that it affects me personally, it doesn't); am I to understand that Tesla only offers to do trade-ins through an outside dealer?
    Does this apply to people who trade in Tesla Roadsters, which I suspect Tesla knows how to resell? :wink:
     
  10. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    On my MVPA, a trade-in value is treated as a downpayment--it's subtracted at the very end and won't lower the amount of sales taxes you pay on the car. At least, this is how it is in California.
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    According to CarMax this offset treatment is not universal. CarMax states that the following states allow the offset (oddly, they don't list California):
    Alabama
    Arizona
    Colorado
    Connecticut
    Florida
    Georgia
    Illinois

    Indiana
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Maryland
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Nebraska

    Nevada
    New Mexico
    North Carolina
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Wisconsin
     
  12. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Tesla is taking a fair number of Roadster trade-ins for the Model S; there's no third party involved. They've also staffed up the Menlo Park store here in CA to have a "certified, pre-owned Roadster sales" program with my favorite Tesla rep, Arielle Bosch, at the helm! Last Saturday, I spotted atleast 4 Roadsters that were traded in - one a beautiful sky blue one (resembled NigelM's), another a racing green (a 2008 one, quoted by Arielle at $82k), a third, red one and a fourth, gray one that someone took out for a test drive as we were watching. There were several Roadsters in the service bay, some of which may indeed be for sale.
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Resembled mine. Wasn't mine. Keeping mine. :smile:
     
  14. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    The numbers I have for trading in my Roadster are ... quite disappointing. A several-hour-long inspection must also be performed prior to determining the final price.
    I'm going to Carmax tomorrow to see what they'll offer. If that doesn't pan out, my yearly service is due (awful timing!) so I'm scheduled to head to NYC Saturday for the maintenance as well as the inspection. We'll see how that goes.
    The trade-in number is non-negotiable (I tried).

    BTW Mass. has a trade-in allowance, too. And even factoring that in, it still makes me cringe to go with the trade-in program. :crying:
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Actually not oddly. If you look closely at mulder1231's original post he said that CA doesn't lower the tax. I think you might have been fooled by a sort of double-negative description in his post.
     
  16. beck.christopher

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    What is the Mass trade-in allowance?
     
  17. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    For non-Tesla vehicles, you are on your own in MA. Until Tesla gets its license in order, we can't offset any of the tax liability through trade-in.
     
  18. NeedToDrive

    NeedToDrive Member

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    ggr, thanks for posting; good food for thought. When I got my MVPA I wondered how the TESLA program worked. I haven't really thought through what I'm going to do but now I'm certainly going to entertain carmax. I actually have two options: 1) sell my 2002 Sequoia (47K miles), or 2) sell my wife's 2003 Odyssey (130K miles) & give her the Sequoia. Keeping the Sequoia is my first choice but we both like the way the Odyssey drives better and we're thinking the Sequoia will have a better cash value (it's in much better shape). The decision will be easier if I get two quotes for the two options. Thanks.
     
  19. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Has anyone tried to do a "courtesy trade" where you provide the buyer (CarMax) and Tesla assigns the title?
     
  20. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Is it safe to assume the same is true in Texas?
     

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