How Does Tesla Value Trade-Ins? Car Retailer Comparison

Most used vehicle retailers in the US have their own vehicle calculation tools and the same applies to Tesla. Their prices do seem to be more accurate than other retailers when it comes to used Teslas because they obviously have more data to work with. So how exactly are Teslas Trade-in values determined?

Tesla uses two different appraisal models that are for Teslas and non-Teslas. Non-Tesla valuations are calculated with industry-standard tools and verified car history. Used Teslas are set on some of the same metrics and with Tesla’s vehicle configuration considered.

But there’s more to it and many questions that still need to be answered. I’ve made a list of the most important questions regarding this topic. Stick around and read further to stay informed.

Does CarMax Price Match Tesla’s Offer?

CarMax will often price match or even better Tesla’s trade-in offer. The first thing you should do is to get an appraisal from Tesla. Once you have the appraisal in hand you can go to CarMax and do the same appraisal. If the offer from CarMax is lower than Tesla’s, you can request a price match.

They will most likely come up with a better deal. It often happens that CarMax’s offer for Teslas isn’t quite on the same level as Tesla’s. They have different car valuation calculations and are often more accurate when it comes to ICE vehicles.

Tesla-Trade-In
It remains a mystery how exactly Tesla’s trade-in values are calculated. Many people feel hard done by when trading in their vehicles with Tesla, because of the low prices offered.

Do other Auto Retailers Match Tesla’s Trade-In Offer?

Other car retailers like Carvana and Vroom will also often price match trade-in offers from Tesla. They have the luxury of doing so because they own enormous retail lots. Here they can get retail prices for your used trade-in.

Does Tesla Price Match Trade-ins?

Tesla does not price-match trade-ins anymore. They used to price match non-Teslas but have stopped the practice since mid-2020. They will most often give you a good trade-in for a Tesla.

Does Tesla Value FSD on a Trade-in?

Tesla will not value FSD when trading in your Tesla. They will value your car based on it’s physical configuration ie. Long Range, Performance, Tri-Motor, Color, Model Year, etc. Tesla will most likely offer FSD again when selling it on their used car site. This is very contentious and unpopular.

It has even been discussed and adressed by Elon himself in this Twitter thread:


I also think that this practice is extremely unfair and borderline fraudulent. FSD as a product has not even been fully developed (in Beta), and yet Tesla sells it as if the cars can fully drive themselves on level 5 autonomy.

If they expect customers to fork up $12,000 for a product that doesn’t even exist, I think it is only fair to give that money back when they want to sell it.

It has also been reported that current on-board computers already have too much to handle. So, if you eventually could get the full FSD working package, you probably would have to retrofit your FSD chip for a newer model.

Does Other Car Retailers Value Tesla FSD on a Trade-in?

When a used Tesla is sold and auctioned off to a new owner, the Full-Self Driving (FSD) value will be lost and removed. Therefore all used car retailers cannot value or sell Tesla FSD on any trade-in. It does not transfer to a new owner if the vehicle was transferred through an auction.

You can quickly find the best general information and basics about Tesla Trade-ins, with this informative and helpful article that I wrote. Check it out!

Tesla-Trade-In-Basics

Can You Trade in More Than One Vehicle at a Time with Tesla?

You finally saw the light and let Tesla shine the light of truth in your life! Congratulations! We’ve all been there. We then proceeded to immediately get rid of all our polluting ICE cars in return for a non-polluting Tesla. But can you trade in multiple cars at once with Tesla?

You can only trade in one vehicle at a time as per Tesla’s Terms and Conditions stipulated in the contract. But you can trade in more than one vehicle when trading in for more than one Tesla; thus, one trade-in per Tesla. Otherwise, you can try to get an additional offer from Carmax, Vroom, or Carvana.

Sorry, bud! But do not fret. The abovementioned companies offer competitive prices as already mentioned in this article. It can make life a bit difficult not having to deal with the same company throughout this process, but it’s a decent alternative.

So, Are Tesla Trade-Ins Fair?

So, if Tesla often lowballs offers but also offers good prices, how can you know if Tesla will offer you a good price? Does Tesla Give You Good and Fair Trade-in Value?

Tesla trade-ins are a bit unfair generally speaking. Most people that buy Teslas are new Tesla owners, thus trading in non-Teslas. Tesla does tend to offer better trade-in deals for traded-in Teslas. Teslas are currently highly valued and wanted cars, and they can easily flip them at higher rates compared to other brands.

If you’d also like to find out if You Can Negotiate a Tesla Trade-In Price, check out all these options that I’ve explained in this related article.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.