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How to Trade In Your Car to Tesla

Blue Tesla Model S in a Tesla Showroom

By: Otaiba Ahsan

If you’ve purchased a vehicle directly from Tesla, then you know it’s quite a unique experience from the traditional dealership process. Essentially, you configure the car to your liking and place an order for it from their site, a model that many electric vehicle (EV) automakers are now adopting. This is quite a new experience for many, and there are often questions about common things that are done during the purchasing of a new vehicle, such as trading in a car. Continue for steps on how to trade in your car to Tesla.

Trading In Your Car

Tesla accepts trade-ins of passenger cars, trucks, vans and SUVs which can be used for the purchase of a new or used Tesla vehicle. There are two scenarios for most buyers, which include:

1) For Those Thinking About Buying a Tesla

If you’re on the fence about purchasing one, but would like to know what value you would get for your car, then you can use Tesla’s Trade-In Estimate tool. Follow the steps and enter any information it asks you such as the VIN, mileage, and more. You’ll receive an email typically within 24 hours with an estimate on what Tesla will pay for your car.

2) For Those Who Are Buying a Tesla

If you’re certain that you’re purchasing a Tesla and would like to trade in a vehicle as well, then follow these steps:

  1. Order: Place an order for the new or used Tesla you’d like from their site directly and create an account with them.
  2. Provide Trade-In Details: Once you’ve ordered, you’ll have the option to provide information about the car you’re trading in.
  3. Provide Photos of the Car: In most cases, you’ll be required to provide photos of the vehicle to Tesla online so that they can verify the condition of the car.
  4. Receive Concrete Estimate: Once that’s all complete, you’ll get a dollar amount for the vehicle. The estimate remains valid for 30 days and then can change based on how much mileage has been added as well as the state of the market.

What to Expect on Delivery Day

When it’s time to take delivery of your car, the most recent trade-in estimate will be the one that’s valid. There are three scenarios that will then happen:

  1. If the car is paid off, then the full trade-in value will go towards the purchase of the Tesla.
  2. For trade-in vehicles that were being financed, if the value you’re getting is greater than the amount owing, then the difference will go towards the purchase of the Tesla.
  3. If the car is in negative equity, then the remaining amount after what Tesla gives you, will be added to the purchase price.

Once you agree to all the terms, Tesla will then take the car off your hands, and you can then leave with your new vehicle.

The Bottom Line

The steps on how to trade in your car to Tesla are straightforward. You can get an estimate before placing an order or after, and then you’ll have to provide photos of the car to get a final dollar amount from Tesla. This resets every 30 days until your delivery day.

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