Get an EV-specific valuation and estimate

Our first recommendation for anyone selling any plug-in vehicle is to check out Recurrent’s valuation tool. We built the first car valuation that takes into account how your battery health contributes to the overall value of your car. 

Entry screen for Recurrent's Sell Your EV Tool

Alright, let's get started! The first thing to do is grab your VIN or license plate number and fire up your computer. Then, we work our magic using Recurrent's battery data and BlackBook's expert evaluations to give you a value specifically tailored for your electric vehicle.

Recurrent's EV Valuation Estimate

Once you've got an idea of what your EV is worth, you might want to check out some other tools like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Consumer Reports. These sites don't factor in the care you took of your battery, but they can still give you an idea of what the traditional auto valuations would look like.

Consumer Reports values for a 2020 Tesla Model Y

Another option is to get an online offer from big-name retailers such as TrueCar, CarMax, or Carvana. They'll ask you more detailed questions about your car's condition and you might need you to upload some photos. But, in return, you'll get a non-binding offer that's pending approval from both a dealer and yourself.

Like in the picture above from Consumer Reports, some of these evaluation sites show different prices depending on whether you want to trade in your car or sell it privately. Plus, there are tools like Edmunds that even let you in on how much a dealer might resell your car for.

Now, if you're thinking about selling your car privately or to a dealer without a trade-in, here's an idea: enroll your ride in Recurrent's monthly reporting. That way, you can show off a history of great battery care. It could give your vehicle a nice boost in value and make the new owner feel safe and secure.

How to get an Accurate Estimate

Some things that may help you get accurate evaluation are:

  • Being realistic about the condition of your car. Fun fact: less than 5% of used cars are truly in “outstanding” condition. 
  • Checking zip codes both close to and outside of a major metropolitan area
  • Including any after-market modifications or trim upgrades you purchased. If you spent money on them, other people will, too. With Teslas, it can be a whole can of worms to determine whether or not certain paid features will transfer with a sale. We try to untangle it all below. 
Options for a Tesla

Understand where Overall Market Trends Are

The used EV market is still pretty new, and enough of it is made up of Teslas that their price trends influence the overall market values. Plus, the past three years have seen truly unprecedented market volatility. All this means it can be hard to have an accurate sense of what your car is worth today, let alone what it may be worth next month. For instance, used Tesla prices have dropped around 15% since January 2023 and more than 30% since July 2023.

Chart of used Tesla prices since July 2023

What’s Special about a Tesla

If you’ve owned a Tesla, you know that they are different beasts than the Nissan LEAFs and Ioniq 5s. Starting with the Model S, Teslas were one of the earliest consumer EVs, so some models may skew older than the overall used electric car inventory. However, Tesla was also the first to use over the air (OTA) software updates to keep their cars fresh and cutting edge. Finally, there are a ton of options that any Tesla may have: from performance packages, to enhanced autopilot, to various hardware versions and unlimited supercharging - you need an expert, and a dictionary, to understand your car’s value. 

  1. Is your car’s main battery still under warranty? Since the LEAF came out in 2012, there are many model years that are approaching the limit of the 8 year warranty. In fact, any cars from before 2015 are already out of warranty and 2015 warranties are expiring this year. This means two things: if you’re selling an older LEAF, battery conditions matter way more, since there is no safety net for a replacement. If you’re unsure, you may be able to connect your car to Recurrent to vary this information. 
  2. Make sure you get the trim and configurations exactly right! More than any other car maker, Tesla prices vary based on their trims and specs. A Model S 100D and a P100D are different configurations. Remember - if you paid for an add-on, the customer (probably) will too. See below for more.  
  3. If you’ve already had your Tesla battery replaced under warranty, make sure to find a buyer who can add value to the price. Many generic evaluation tools will not ask or consider this information, especially if you’ve had a non-standard replacement, such as an unlocked 85 kWh pack.
  4. What hardware version do you have? Tesla just started rolling out hardware version 4 in its newest Model Ys, but it goes all the way back to HW Version 1 with the earliest Teslas - those sold before October 2016. The version of hardware on your Tesla may limit software and features that you - or a future owner - can use. For instance, anyone who wants to use full self-driving must have at least HW3, which is also known as the FSD computer. You can check your hardware version by going to controls > software > additional equipment. If the screen shows “full self-driving computer” without a version, you have HW3. 
  5. Check your Tesla battery health. There are tons of tools that Tesla drivers use to monitor battery health. Consider looking into Tessi, TeslaFi, or Recurrent to get – and share – an accurate understanding of your battery and range. 
Recurrent Range Score

FSD and Unlimited Supercharging

There are two more popular features that you may want to get some extra money for - full self-driving software and unlimited free supercharging. However, whether or not these features transfer to a new owner depends on how you sell your car, and some obscure decisions made by Tesla.

The tl;dr is this: if the car has ever been sold or transferred back to Tesla, either at lease-end or through a buy-back, these features likely won’t transfer to the next buyer. 

Here are our best guesses and current guidance:

Full self-drive? Full self-driving mode is one of the things that has helped make Tesla famous. But if you sprung for it when it cost $7000 or even $10,000 - can you make back that price when you sell? Sadly, it’s hard to say for sure. Tesla started removing FSD whenever a used car passed through Tesla for service or at least-end. Because of this policy, many dealerships won’t include the value of Full Self-Driving in their trade-in or cash offers. Even if the vehicle has changed hands and retained Full Self-Driving in the past, Tesla can (and often does) remove FSD from the car if it has ever been transferred back to the company or sold by Tesla in an auction. However, private party sales generally have more success transferring FSD, as do private party sales to third-party dealerships - so long as the car does not pass through Tesla. In either case, make sure you won’t be on the hook in case Tesla disables it. 

Do you have unlimited supercharging? Model Ss and Model Xs registered before April 2017 may have an awesome perk - unlimited, free supercharging! This sure would be a great perk to sell to the next owner, right? Well, again - it depends. If you sell your car through a dealership, it is likely to lose its supercharging powers. However, private party sales generally retain it, so you can command a higher asking price. The best way to check if unlimited supercharging will transfer to a new owner is to log in to your Tesla account and check for one of the following codes:

  1. SC01 - unlimited free supercharging will transfer to a new owner. This is for cars registered before April 2017
  2. SC04 - unlimited free supercharging will not transfer
  3. SC05 - unlimited free supercharging will not transfer
  4. SC06 - unlimited free supercharging will probably not transfer