Every so often, it can happen that you’ve accidentally chipped the windscreen, or that your Tesla has inexplicably been keyed (as it sometimes happens). If you’ve applied for a trade-in before the fact, this might worry you. So, will Tesla inspect your car during the trade-in process?

If the car is the correct one to be traded, the Delivery Specialist will usually not look at your trade-in. Tesla might inspect your trade-in on a completely random basis. Be sure that your paperwork is correct. You might even get lucky after an inspection and receive a better offer.

This answer might leave you with a few other questions. Feel free to read the rest of the article. We’ve gone into detail and looked at every aspect of this question. We’ve also prepared some helpful images to help you before you trade in your car.

When does Tesla Check Trade-in Cars During Delivery?

Overall, Tesla doesn’t rely on the resale of traded-in vehicles. They aren’t like dealers that depend on every penny made on every deal. That is why checking the quality of each trade-in car is not as important to them. So, when will Tesla actually inspect your car during the trade-in process?

Tesla is likely to inspect your car when there are obvious and noticeable faults with your car. When applying for the trade-in you will have sent pictures of your car together with some basic information. If the data you sent doesn’t match the actual car, chances are good that the Tesla rep is going to notice it and do some further inspection.

By the way, if you’d like to know How Tesla Values Trade-Ins, check out this related article that I wrote. I compared the major auto retailers and covered some additional questions.


But, if you’ve come this far in the trade-in process, everything should be a breeze. Just double-check that you have all the necessary papers beforehand and that your car is as described during the application process.

If something happens to your car after you’ve made the application, just be sure to contact your delivery advisor (and beg for mercy) to notify them. Chances are good that your initial offer will not be canceled you lowered.

Always be sure to double-check with your Delivery Specialist that the car is marked as Delivered in their system. If that is not the case you might have trouble registering, logging in, and operating your new Tesla.

Is Tesla More Likely to Check My Car If I Trade In A non-Tesla?

The only real difference between trading in a Tesla and a non-Tesla is that the Tesla will be sold on their website as a used car. Non-Teslas are transported to the nearest auction house and sold at whatever price is bid. So, would Tesla rather inspect a Tesla as opposed to a non-Tesla?

Tesla is logically more likely to check your car at the trade-in process if your car is a Tesla. Although Tesla rarely inspects any vehicles during the trade-in, it does happen from time to time. Tesla has more value in a traded in Tesla as opposed to a non-Tesla because they re-sell them as used Teslas on the Tesla website.

If you want to get a good idea about Tesla Service in general, check out this detailed article that I wrote. I took a detailed approach regarding all the branches of Tesla Service.


What to Double Check Before Trading in Your Tesla

  • Make sure that you have the means to remove your number plates from your old car.
  • Before uploading your images (during the trade-in application) make sure that the last one uploaded is of the registration/title to prove your ownership of the car.
  • If you take a picture of the odometer, make sure that the whole number is taken in the frame, otherwise, the whole process can take a whole lot longer.
  • If you’ve received any offers from other car retailers beforehand, include the image of the amount with all the images uploaded. You never know what Tesla might come up with. You don’t really have anything to lose!
  • Make sure that your registration papers are up to date. I wouldn’t be driving an unregistered vehicle anyway, but I’m just making sure. Either way, Tesla may not accept the trade-in if it’s not currently registered.
  • Tesla will probably communicate this with you but be sure to provide a copy of your insurance at the swop.
  • The same counts for any payments you’ve made. Provide them with a printout of your proof of down payment with the payment details.

Approximately 36% of Tesla owners try to upsell their used Teslas to traditional vehicle retailers to get better-priced quotes.

What Will Tesla Inspect if They Decide to Look at Your Trade-In?

If you are trading in a Tesla, they might decide to inspect it. But the chances of inspection are low. If on the odd occasion they do decide to thoroughly check everything they might double-check the following:

  • Pre-delivery car records.
  • Exterior inspection
  • Driver seat
  • Interior inspection
  • Connectivity inspection
  • Lighting inspection
  • Charging ability

Other than the above points, you can look at the detailed visuals that we’ve created for you. This delivery checklist will make it easier to get a better overview of what you can double-check before the trade-in.

Tesla Car Inspection Infographic Top
Tesla Car Inspection Infographic Side
Tesla Car Inspection Infographic Back
Tesla Car Inspection Infographic Front

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Tesla Reject My Trade-in Car at Delivery?

Tesla may reject your trade-in if certain agreements have been violated. Make sure that your trade-in doesn’t exceed 1 000 miles on the odometer as specified in the application.

Can Tesla Change your Trade-In Offer While Delivery Takes Place?

Tesla will not change your trade-in offer during the trade-in itself. As a rule, Tesla rarely changes any offers, and they are unlikely going to change the offer. If anything, you will be notified beforehand.

EV Speedy’s Take

If it does happen that your car got some unreported damage after you’ve received the initial offer, be sure to let Tesla know. Otherwise, the whole deal might be canceled.

You can leave everything in the capable hands of the Tesla Delivery Specialist. They have lots of experience and know-how to handle almost any situation.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

Contact Us if you have any questions or queries.

Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.