Tesla Starts Taking Trade-Ins Against Purchase of New, Used EVs as Gas Prices Remain Sky-High

LA, CA, USA4/12/2022White Model 3 Tesla driving on the road.
Brandon Woyshnis / Getty Images

You can now trade in your current vehicle for a new Tesla. Just “enter your VIN (vehicle identification number) to receive an estimate for your trade-in,” and you’ll be just one click away from a price, according to the electric vehicle (EV) carmaker’s website.

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Tesla accepts passenger cars, trucks, vans and SUVs for trade-in toward the purchase of a new or used Tesla. Prior to delivery, you can enter trade-in details in your Tesla Account, then receive a final offer that can be applied toward your order.

Prices of trade-ins for non-Tesla vehicles are based on market data (utilizing industry standard tools and resources), while those for Tesla vehicles are determined based on vehicle configuration, history, mileage and age, Tesla said.

The company also explained that once an order is placed and a VIN has been assigned, customers will be contacted by an advisor to start the trade-in process.

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“Any applicable positive equity can be applied towards the purchase of your new or used Tesla. If you have negative equity, it must be paid either at delivery or rolled into your purchase agreement (pending credit approval),” according to the website.

Analysts Suggest This Move is Good News for Tesla

Barron’s reports that this service can be beneficial for Tesla, most notably because it can increase broad interest in their EVs.

“This could be a boost to [other sales] into 2023 given used car market dynamics,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Barron’s.

According to The Manheim Used Vehicle Index, compared to last year, retail used sales pace declined in June.

“We estimate that used retail sales increased 5% in June from May. However, the Dealertrack estimates indicate that used retail sales were down 13% year over year. Compared to 2019, sales were down 11%, which was the best comp against 2019 so far this year,” the report indicated.

And in May, total used-vehicle sales totaled 3.18 million units, down 16% from May 2021, according to Cox Automotive. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), or sales pace, is estimated to be near 36.8 million, down from last May’s 44.0 million level but above April’s revised 34.7 million pace.

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“Higher interest rates, coupled with high gasoline prices and high vehicle prices, is slowing sales in the used market. And, unlike last year, there are no stimulus checks to provide some help,” Charles Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, said in a report.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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