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Thread: Trade-in experience (AutoNation, CarMax, Private Party, etc.)

  1. #1
    Roadster 537, Sig P85 ggr's Avatar
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    Trade-in experience (AutoNation, CarMax, Private Party, etc.)

    I just thought I'd post a data point about the (non-tesla) trade-in program. This is a deal whereby the delivery specialist can pick up your old car and take it away when delivering your new Model S. It's done with a deal with Autonation Direct. I believe it's only in California, but I'm not sure about that.

    I just got rid of a Mercedes CLK 63 AMG convertible. Wonderful car, but for some reason I almost never drive it, since the Roadster is just too much fun. I wanted to do the trade-in thing. So a week before the (scheduled) delivery of the Model S, I went on the Autonation Direct web site and in about 10 minutes, supplying the VIN and options and answering questions, then waiting a day or so, I got a certificate saying they'd buy it for $27.5k. This was conditional on someone checking that the car matched the description, but I believe that's what they are trusting the Tesla delivery specialist to do. The certificate was good for 10 days and no more than 250 miles different than described. We were going to drive up to Fremont to take factory delivery, so I had to guess the miles.

    I also tried AutoTrader.com, as the Kelly Blue Book website led to them. The offer was a bit less, $26.5k IIRC. (Blue Book was about $36k.)

    (Un)fortunately delivery was delayed, and the certificate expired unused. But in the meantime I was getting lots of phone calls from the headquarters of Autonation in Florida, wanting to get their hands on the car. I figured it must be worth more than they were offering. Well, of course, since they have to make a profit, but you know what I mean.

    So when delivery was again getting close, I got another certificate from Autonation Direct, but told Peter (our Delivery Specialist) that I was going to look around a bit more. He said "Gee, I'd hate to have to change the delivery contract again, it might delay delivery", and since paying for the Model S was not contingent on getting the trade-in, I said "OK, forget the trade-in then." Peter said "You might also try CarMax."

    So I found the local CarMax, and made an appointment to go in and have the car appraised. I was running early for the appointment, and the Merc dealer I bought the car from 5 years ago was just down the road, so I dropped in. The guy there was mumbling something about "absolute maximum $28k, but we probably have to fix the brakes, that's about $5k, but maybe not, make an appointment to leave the car with us for a day for us to check everything out."

    I went up to CarMax, and in about 20 minutes had a certificate in hand for $31k. Went back later that evening (they're open until 9pm!) and swapped the car for a bank draft. That took another 20 minutes or so. Very painless, and a much better price. Got a call from the Mercedes guy later, and when I said I'd been to CarMax, he said "Good for you... go with them."

    Someone is getting a great deal on a fantastic used Mercedes. .

  2. #2
    Model Sig 304, VIN 542 Arnold Panz's Avatar
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    ggr,

    Thanks for the info. I've been planning CarMax for my trade-in, unless Tesla can get a good enough trade-in price to make up for the difference through paying less taxes. I'm glad to hear your experience there. I've heard nothing but good things.

    For anyone interested, there's a CarMax about 10 minutes from the Dania store in Florida.

  3. #3
    I know people who have bought from them and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mayhap I'll give them a try

  4. #4
    Roadster #1144 + Sig 114 dsm363's Avatar
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    Good to know they are an option. Thanks.
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    mod squad NigelM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnold Panz View Post
    ggr,

    Thanks for the info. I've been planning CarMax for my trade-in, unless Tesla can get a good enough trade-in price to make up for the difference through paying less taxes. I'm glad to hear your experience there. I've heard nothing but good things.

    For anyone interested, there's a CarMax about 10 minutes from the Dania store in Florida.
    Tesla are not offering trade-ins in FL right now. They are advising that you should sell your car yourself for the best price.

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    Senior Member Grendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggr View Post
    I went up to CarMax, and in about 20 minutes had a certificate in hand for $31k. Went back later that evening (they're open until 9pm!) and swapped the car for a bank draft. That took another 20 minutes or so.
    Nice. A little leg work and you made an extra $3,500. Congratulations. If BlueBook said it was worth $36K then you did excellent.

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    Bummer, no CarMax in Oregon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckessel View Post
    Bummer, no CarMax in Oregon.
    Same here in Washington. Though, we both benefit from no sales tax on the purchase of the car (WA exempts EVs from sales tax), so we don't have the extra issue of sales tax reduction on direct dealer trade-ins to sway our decision on where to get rid of a car.

    I've heard nothing but good things from friends who sold to CarMax.
    Model S VIN 03278 1/17/13. P85, Black, Black leather, 21" greys, carbon trim, sound, tech, pano, jump seats.
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  9. #9
    Happy Model S Owner
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    Just to clarify (not that it affects me personally, it doesn't); am I to understand that Tesla only offers to do trade-ins through an outside dealer?
    Does this apply to people who trade in Tesla Roadsters, which I suspect Tesla knows how to resell?
    I take "Electro", my amazing Model S, to the train station: yes, it's a station wagon

  10. #10
    S P3112 ~ X P6117 mulder1231's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnold Panz View Post
    I've been planning CarMax for my trade-in, unless Tesla can get a good enough trade-in price to make up for the difference through paying less taxes.
    On my MVPA, a trade-in value is treated as a downpayment--it's subtracted at the very end and won't lower the amount of sales taxes you pay on the car. At least, this is how it is in California.

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