Tesla’s recent price reductions and the $7,500 Federal Clean Vehicle Credit are making new Teslas affordable to more EV adopters than ever. Right now, current Tesla owners who are looking to buy a new Tesla are in a great position to make the swap.

You might be wondering if you can use Tesla’s own Trade-In offer to bring those new Tesla numbers down even further.

So how does Tesla’s Trade-In offer compare to other methods of selling your Tesla?

In a previous blog post about Tesla Trade-Ins, we talked about general trade-ins and vehicle requirements. Today, we’re covering a little of the same ground, but this article is specifically focused on trading Teslas back to Tesla (instead of the trade-in program as a whole).

Let’s take a look at what Tesla might offer for your vehicle, what factors influence their offer, and how you can get the best price for your old Tesla when you want to buy a new one.

Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide or relied on for accounting, tax, or legal advice. We’re EV experts, not tax professionals; please consult your own accounting, tax, and legal advisors before engaging in any transaction.

Why Trade Your Tesla Back to Tesla?

First off, while Tesla isn’t in the resale business, they do expect to make a profit off of their used inventory (trade-ins and expired leases, for the most part). So while your 2019 Tesla Model 3 may fetch a premium on the private used market or a good return from a dealer, it’s less likely to get a great price from Tesla.

If you aren’t going to get the best price for your Tesla by trading it in, why bother? Well, there are a couple of potential advantages to trading in your Tesla that might make sense:

Sales Tax Reduction

For most states, car sales are subject to state and local sales tax. It basically breaks down into this formula:

Sales tax rate * (Sales Price + Destination Fee) = Sales Tax

In many states, you can reduce the amount of sales tax you pay by trading in an old car to reduce the cost of a new car.

Let’s say that sales tax number is around 7% (the actual number varies by location), and you’re looking to purchase a 2023 Model 3 Performance. With a base MSRP of $53,990 and destination fee of $1,390 (yeah, you typically include Tesla’s destination fee in these calculations), sales tax for your new Model 3 Performance might look something like this:

0.07 * ($53,990 + $1,390) = $3,876.60

If your old Tesla, let’s say it’s a 2014 Model S P85D, gets a trade-in value of $20,000 from Tesla, then you’d only be paying sales tax on part of your new Tesla’s purchase price:

Sales tax rate * ((Sales Price + Destination Fee) – Trade-in Value) = Sales Tax

0.07 * (($53,990 + $1,390) – $20,000) = $2,476.60

While this is only a difference of $1,400, it’s still money back in your pocket when you’re trying to figure out the best way to sell your used Tesla. However, in a few states this doesn’t matter: New Hampshire, Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and Alaska don’t charge sales tax on new vehicle sales. And New Jersey does, but not on EVs.

Note: some states handle this sales tax situation differently, so it’s best to ask your financial advisor and check out your local laws before making a trade-in to avoid surprises, and do your own due diligence here.

Let’s look at the other reason trading-in might be preferable to a private or dealership sale:

Straightforward Exchange (Low Hassle or No Hassle Car Sales)

If you trade-in to Tesla, they’ll take your old Tesla on your new Tesla’s Delivery Day, so you’ll always have a ride. The money is simpler, too; everything is handled within the same transaction flow, reflected on the same receipt, completed through the same bank, etc. This process makes the whole exchange relatively hassle-free.

The only exception to the Tesla trade-in process being simple has to do with a possible sudden change in value for your trade-in if delivery day gets delayed beyond your trade-in offer terms. But Tesla’s recent fast production times have made this situation a bit rarer than it was in previous years.

Does Tesla negotiate on trade-in values? The short answer is no. Low hassle really means that you will have no bargaining power with Tesla over their offer; what they offer is what you’ll get. That lack of negotiation can be a problem if you have any of the software or features described in the next section of this article.

While we won’t argue that it’s pretty straightforward, trading in your car to Tesla may not make the most financial sense. But before we talk about alternatives (you can skip to the last section of this article if you’re pressed for time), let’s talk Tesla trade-in values:

How Does Tesla Calculate Your Trade-In Value?

Tesla uses their own in-house calculation for trade-ins involving their own vehicles. The price is based on the configuration of your Tesla, model year, mileage, and condition. It’ worth noting that Tesla is less concerned with the cleanliness of your trade-in than places like CarMax and Carvana, though technically condition does affect your trade-in value.

A basic way to look at Tesla’s Trade-In policy is this: the closer to original “stock” condition and the newer your Tesla is, the higher the trade-in value it has. And while we can’t give you a direct price quote for each Model year, we can give you a general idea of what trade-in values to expect for each Tesla Model:

Note: to keep things simpler, we’re going to leave the original Tesla Roadster out of these estimates.

Estimated Tesla Trade-In values for the Model S

Trade-in values for a Model S can range anywhere from $10,000 to $76,000 depending on the condition of the car, mileage, and so on. Since the Model S goes all the way back to 2014, it has the widest range of potential trade-in values.

We’re going to assume that the Model S you’re trading in is in average condition with average mileage for that model year. Tesla’s trade-in value for the Model S should typically fall somewhere between the low offer (assuming a smaller battery pack and base options) and the high offer (the best trade-in price, likely only for the largest battery pack and with the highest performance option):

Model S Year








Low End Offer $10,000 $14,000 $24,000 $32,000 $39,000 $51,000 $55,000
High End Offer $22,000 $29,000 $35,000 $39,000 $55,000 $62,000 $76,000

Tesla Model 3 Trade-In Value

Model 3 trade-in values from Tesla range from $14,000 to $37,000 depending on mileage, condition, etc.

Assuming the Model 3 is in average condition with average mileage for that model year, let’s look at the low and high range prices that Tesla might offer for your Model 3:

Model 3 Year








Low End Offer $14,000 $16,000 $18,000 $19,000 $21,000 $23,000 $24,000
High End Offer $20,000 $21,000 $22,000 $26,000 $28,000 $31,000 $37,000

How Much Is a Model X Worth for Trade-In?

While Model X prices have stayed relatively high, Model X trade-in values from Tesla can range anywhere from $19,000 to $82,000 depending on the car’s condition, mileage, etc. The first two years of the Model X (2016 and 2017) may tend towards a lower offer price thanks to some of the early design issues related to the gull wing doors (with a high likelihood of needing repairs).

Here’s an estimated Tesla trade-in value chart for the Model X, arranged by model year with lowest and highest likely offers (lower will be for a base model with the smallest battery, and higher will likely be only for performance models with the larger battery pack):

Model X Year








Low End Offer $19,000 $24,000 $29,000 $36,000 $41,000 $52,000 $59,000
High End Offer $30,000 $32,000 $44,000 $45,000 $47,000 $71,000 $82,000

Tesla Model Y Trade-In Value

Trade-in values from Tesla for the Model Y range from $25,000 to $41,000. That price is dependent on mileage, model year, condition, market trends, etc.

For a 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023 Model Y in average condition with average mileage for its model year, you might expect trade-in offers from Tesla between the high and low values on the following chart:

Model Y Year





Low End Offer $25,000 $24,000 $31,000 $34,000
High End Offer $28,000 $31,000 $36,000 $41,000

The best way to find out how much Tesla will offer you for your used Tesla? Log in to the app and ask!

Tesla’s Trade-In Estimate is available to any current owner and Tesla account holder. All you need to do is provide your VIN and some info. Tesla’s trade-in value calculator only gives an estimate, not an actual offer, so there’s no need to worry about it being binding.

Known Factors that Reduce Your Tesla Trade-In Offer

We do know of two additional factors (other than the usual age, condition, and mileage) that make a Tesla trade-in offer lower than the offer at a reputable EV dealer or on the private market.

First, Tesla doesn’t give you any value for your Full Self-Driving (FSD) or Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) software, even if you recently paid full price. If you have purchased FSD for the used Tesla you’re hoping to trade, it’s almost a guarantee that Tesla’s trade-in offer will be thousands less than a private offer (or the offer of an EV informed dealership).

Next, even though you may have spent thousands on aftermarket improvements to your vehicle, Tesla wants the cars they buy back to be as close to the original sales condition as possible (otherwise known as stock condition). Aftermarket mods aren’t just worthless to Tesla; they’re a negative for any trade-in. Expect to see your trade-in offer drop when you tell Tesla your vehicle has mods like aftermarket wheels, paint wraps, and suspension upgrades.

What’s a Better Low-Hassle Way to Sell Your Tesla?

So does Tesla give good trade-in values? If convenience is your biggest priority and money doesn’t matter all that much, Tesla’s offer might not be too bad.

However, Tesla’s offer is typically significantly lower than the offer you might get from a knowledgeable EV dealer or private sale. Worse, the sales tax benefit from a trade-in doesn’t typically come close to covering that difference.

The good news is that a great offer and convenience aren’t mutually exclusive. That’s why we created our EV Cash Offer program: to help you get the best of both worlds when selling your used Tesla.

Our dealership partners are EV experts who are ready to make you a real offer on your Tesla with just about the same amount of information as you’d have to provide for Tesla’s trade-in program. And unlike Tesla, our Dealer Partners do appreciate the value of your vehicle’s software and aftermarket mods.

Just like Tesla’s trade-in estimate, the cash offer our trusted dealerships make isn’t binding. There’s no obligation to accept, but if you do like what you see, the offer is real and ready to go. Even the inspection is convenient; whenever possible, inspections are done virtually so you can get your car inspected from the comfort of your own home.

Check out our EV Cash Offer to see what our trusted Dealer Partners can offer for your Tesla!

Not interested in dealerships, but want to try your hand at selling your used Tesla yourself?

Create a listing for your Tesla and sell it on Find My Electric! We are the #1 used EV marketplace in the US, with thousands of buyers looking for their next EV each day!