Wholesale Auction Prices For Used Teslas As Low As $30K, Fiat 500e Only $4K


Fiat 500e - Auction prices starting at $4K

Fiat 500e – Auction prices starting at $4K

Tesla Model S - Auction prices starting at $30K

Tesla Model S – Auction prices starting at $30K

It turns out you may be able to acquire “off-lease” EVs at dirt cheap auction prices, depending on where you live, who you know, and how you play your cards. Auto writer, Bozi Tatarevic provided proof on Twitter recently.

While not a scam, you have to read between the lines a bit here. These cars are auctioned by Mannheim (one of the largest auction houses in the U.S.) to dealerships. So, if you don’t own a dealership, or know an inside source, you likely won’t get a Fiat 500e for $4,000.

However, when dealers get prices like these, they can turn around and sell low and still make huge profits. These are selling around $11,000, which is still crazy, since the cars are three years old and have about 20-40k miles on them. Someone paid over $30,000 new. It gets even better … because Fiat 500e’s aren’t the only cars that are seeing a similar situation. How about a Tesla Model S?

Wow! A 2013 Tesla Model S with 8,559 miles for $45,100. There must be something wrong with it right? They are also auctioning off the two at the top of the list, with many more miles, but $31,000? Very nice. There’s really no way to know for sure if the cars are in tip-top condition, or any other details. But regardless, this is proof that off-lease EVs are hitting major auction houses at basement prices.

If you are in the market for an EV, it would be nuts not to keep your eyes on this trend in the coming months. If dealers can buy this cheap, even at a ridiculous 100% markup, you still win. It’s high time for 2013 and soon 2014 models to come off lease or for people to be trading in and trading up. Let us know what you find.

Source: Jalopnik

Categories: Deals, Fiat, Tesla

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56 Comments on "Wholesale Auction Prices For Used Teslas As Low As $30K, Fiat 500e Only $4K"

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The truly affordable EV has arrived, in a way.

And with the simplicity of electric drive trains, these cars have the potential to be the most reliable used cars on the lot.

Beware of the exorbitant repair costs on a Fiat 500e. Some Fiat 500e owners had this to say about repair costs:

“I’m on my second 500e, the first one was totaled. I rear-ended a [Audi Q5 that didn’t have a trailer hitch], no aribags deployed, no injuries, the other party didn’t claim any damages to their car…but my car had $24k in damage, almost all of it parts costs. No one wanted to total the car (neither me nor my insurance company), but the parts were so ridiculously expensive we had no choice.

“My daughter and I both have [Fiat 500e’s], as well. 😉 Mine is silver and hers is periwinkle blue. Based on repair costs, a USED car out of warranty puts the entire purchase price at risk, however. I have convinced a few friends to get 500e’s. One was rear ended. Standard 500 repair estimate? $2500. Because it was an e and is a completely different car? $9500.”

On Cars.com there are several lemon law returns for the 500e. The battery packs and chargers were the main issues.

Isn’t the powertrain warranty cover the first 100K miles? And insurance cover you if you get into an accident?

Fiat offers no battery degradation warranty for the Fiat 500e. It’s specifically excluded from the battery warranty.



Insurance will pay for repairs up to 70% of the blue-book value of the car, after that they consider the car totaled and pay you its blue-book value. You also have to factor in the deductible that you have to pay. So a minor accident might total a Fiat 500e due to very expensive replacement parts.

Most/many people remove collision/theft insurance when a cars value falls under $10,000 to save money, because they think the additional yearly cost isn’t worth the small amount of coverage they get in return. The optional collision/theft coverage would come into play only in the following circumstances: you were at fault for the accident, your car was the victim in a hit and run, the other driver is at fault and has no insurance, or if someone steals your car.

Just to add to your last point, another good reason to carry full coverage even on cheap cars is if you let friends and/or family borrow your car.

That way if they get into a wreck that is their fault, they just owe you the deductible, and it won’t ruin a relationship over a $5K car.

For the Tesla’s, big question is, do they come with the lifetime SC access if the car was purchased with it originally?


here come tesla zealots

Unless it is salvage title.
Get familiar with repair & maintenance costs and if you are getting the 100,000 mile car though. If you are planning to work on it yourself, get familiar with factory repair manual availability and company policy to sell or not to sell spare parts, and their prices if available.

It is daunting to consider buying a car that can only be worked on by one vendor because they do not sell repair manuals on the open market. 100,000 miles should not be the “wall” of life for a Tesla. Apparently, in Canada there are some EV-centric repair shops who do work on used, off-warranty Teslas.

I see that the svengali is once again posting anti-Tesla FUD under another new username!

Get a clue, Get real. That’s not me. But “here come tesla zealots” was right about his/her screen name.

Tesla’s with salvage titles can indeed be supercharged. They just have to be inspected by Tesla first, to make sure any repairs that involved the charging or electrical system were done correctly.

That way some idiot doesn’t do something stupid like try to bypass a circuit by putting a penny in the wiring, and end up burning down a whole line of Tesla’s and all the SC’s they are charging at…

(yea, people actually used to do that with pennies in old houses. Lots of fires because of stupid people)

Do you think cheap stupid people should be allowed to test their backyard repair jobs of totaled Tesla’s by plugging in next to YOUR electric car, without Tesla stopping them and making sure they aren’t going to burn down YOUR car?

“here come tesla zealots” said:

[FUD deleted]

Here comes another member of the Tesla bashing FUDster cult.

Trollnonymous asked:

“For the Tesla’s, big question is, do they come with the lifetime SC access if the car was purchased with it originally?”

Good question, and one that I see is being argued over on the Tesla Motors Club forum. No clear answer from Tesla as yet, apparently.

But common sense suggests that Tesla would not offer a better deal to used car buyers than they will to new car buyers after, what is it, January 15 of this year? The last think any auto maker wants is to encourage someone to buy a used car rather than a new one.

AFAIK, this isn’t up to Tesla. When they announced the SC network, they promised free lifetime access, as in the lifetime of the car, and explicitly that this would apply to subsequent owners (who would be buying the car used). Therefore, any Tesla still on the road sold before the Jan. 15 (or whatever’s it’s been updated to) deadline should be eligible for charging for life.

wavelet — That has been the traditional read on the situation. But that transferability was there to protect the resale value of the car, so the car’s owner wouldn’t lose that pre-paid value of pre-paid lifetime supercharging.

So nobody thinks that private party used Model S’s will lose their lifetime status.

But when Tesla comes back into ownership of the car, they don’t have to guarantee their own resale value by continuing the lifetime pre-paid charging. It is their own value of their product they are reducing.

In theory they COULD simply sell it with the new limited yearly pre-paid charging.

I personally agree with you though, that I don’t think they would kill the pre-paid lifetime charging on CPO’s either. I just don’t think it will be because they somehow can’t do it. They can. I don’t think they will.

I don’t know the answer either. But we do know that Tesla took 60’s that didn’t have supercharging enabled, and enable supercharging when they sell them as CPO.

So the pattern has been to increase charging capability when they go for sale as CPO, not reduces capability.

They could have just as easily turned off supercharging on all their CPO 60’s, and required everybody to pay extra to enable supercharging.

They aren’t showing any signs of reducing charging capability in CPO units up until now. They have been increasing supercharging ability instead.

I’ve been watching the pre-owned prices on tesla.com, they have a 2013 S-60 with 31k miles for $48k. That’s not such a bad premium when you include the Tesla pre-owned warranty. Maybe in six months I’ll be able to get one. Once Model 3 is out I’d expect prices to drop even further.

I saw a CPO 2013 S60 with 55k miles that had rear facing seats and leather, and smart suspension for $40k May of last year, but I decided against pulling the trigger. Would have come with the CPO warranty too.

Yes, not only CPO warranty, but fully reconditioned, and Supercharger enabled (if it wasn’t originally Supercharger enabled).

Buying a car at auction without CPO warranty, without full reconditioning by Tesla, and without SC enabled would certainly explain the price gap (plus profits and auction fees, obviously).

Yes, the price listed for the used Tesla Model S is obviously not through Tesla’s CPO service. But I suppose some people do, perhaps foolishly, trade in their old Tesla to a gasmobile dealership, or sell it on ebay or Craigslist, so not really a surprise that a few would wind up on regular car auction lots.

The good news is that if you know the right person, he can get you into that auction lot where you can buy or bid on a Tesla. If you ask around, you can probably get someone to do that for you for a not terribly high fee or “gratuity”.

The bad news… well, you’ve already detailed that, Nix, so no point in repeating it.

I picked up a 2013 S60 CPO with 38k miles for $42k a couple months ago. They do an amazing job on the reconditioning, including four new tires. There is no way you would think this car isn’t brand new.

In regards to the Tesla I think you can certainly say that it was not only driven by a little old lady to go to church on Sunday.

The latest upgrades also don’t apply to older Tesla’s

“Wow! A 2013 Tesla Model S with 8,559 miles for $45,100.”

Unique to Tesla. Many stretched $$ and then didn’t drive them, thinking about losing >$.50 in value for every mile driven. That, or it was an unreasonable amount of range anxiety that never left.

Getting images from Manheim is a serious violation of the used dealer bro-code.

Are you sugesting used car dealers have a code of ethics??
I never would have gussed…

The new features ate away at the old value. RWD 2013 even P-models are ignored when the new-shiny object is DWD, more speedy, different front-end, bio-weapon (hepa) air filter and so on.

It may even be considered “not cool enough” to be driving a dated older model in places where what you drive “defines you”.

I think it’s about auto-pilot. Some of the earlier models don’t support it.

AWD and Autopilot, introduced Q4 2014, are perhaps the two most distinguishing changes that happened. There’s the new tech hotness thing, but smart used buyers are advised to settle on which side of this fence they want (or need) to be.

What old ones do better:
-Front storage, “the Microwave”
-quieter, no front motor sound
-An old 85 can typically grab >100kw. Our new 75 won’t pull 85kw
-Old dash graphics are better, IMO
-Many have up to 80kw home charging (dual charger/60A), where newer ones top out a good 10+kw lower.

I agree there are actually advantages to the older cars, and for the most part you’re correct, except for your last bullet point.

“Many have up to 80kw home charging (dual charger/60A), where newer ones top out a good 10+kw lower.”

Many have up to 80A home charging (240V * 80A = 19.2kW), and newer ones are limited to 72A charging (240V * 72A = 17.28kW).

That said, most people are fine with 40A charging, which all Teslas are capable of. I put 105,000mi on mine in under 4yrs with a 40A charger. (10-20% of those miles were added via Supercharging, which bypass the onboard charger and charge at up to 120kW).

The last sale was at a TRA auction.

I wouldn’t buy any EV without DCFC, but if quickchargepower makes JDemo (or even JCCS) for Fiat 500e, that could be a sweet EV. *nudge-nudge* 🙂

A poster on a Leaf forum was realing those values the last one was several months ago 5500 for 2011 and 2012 Leaf SL at auction…


I am very seriously considering buying a 2013 or so Leaf. They are getting to be around $6000. For that price, I can use it as a runabout and save the toll on my other vehicle. The price is low enough to risk a complete loss.

How can dealerships ask $11k for a 2013 500e, when 2013 Leafs with quick-charge go for as little as $7k?
Do people not shop around?

…ok, I got my answer by looking up SF Bay Craigslist.

It’s not $11k, more like $6-9k, while 2013 Leafs are selling for $7-12k there.


No used car dealer makes $6 to $8K on a 500e. The article is definitely incorrect.

The Tesla information is a bit odd. First off, Tesla didn’t offer a lease in 2013, so these cannot be lease returns for the 2013’s listed. Tesla was just doing their “guaranteed resale value” program, which wasn’t a lease at all. So none of the Tesla’s are actually “off lease”. Second off, none of the data available from prior sales show whether these are 60’s (with or without supercharging enabled) or even 40’s. 1) The SF Tesla wasn’t a lease return, that was an “Open Sale” auction for a 2013 with 100K miles. If that’s a 60 or 40 without SC access, that isn’t too surprising. CPO 2013 60’s with SC enabled and fully reconditioned go in the $40K range with much fewer miles. 2) The 2 Riverside sales are also 2013’s, and this was a “Consignment” sale on these. Their search parameters left off this 2014 Performance RWD car: 2014 TESLA MOD S PERF 19,XXX $54,XXX So the gap indicates the 2013’s were likely 60’s, not 85’s. 3) Seattle and Southern California sales were “open sale” with cars back to the ’90s and we again can’t tell if these 2013’s were old battery, new battery, or what size, or… Read more »

As long as EVs are rapidly depreciating assets, they will remain niche performers in the market. My 12 Leaf lost 75% of its MSRP value when it went off lease and was resold in a second-hand lot.

This will result in people continuing to lease more than buy, and leased cars are notoriously viewed as disposable problems.

EV resale value is directly tied to battery degradation, for which the Leaf is notorious. I – for one – am not happy about cheap used EVs, but perhaps longer-range batteries will reduce degradation because they deep cycle less. This seems to help Tesla values, generally.

But I’ll be revisiting used EV prices when it comes time to proceed further with my Model 3 reservation. I’m not interested in taking a bath on it.

You know what else is a rapidly-depreciating asset?


Smart phones.

Most people don’t spend $35k on a computer or smart phone, and most people can’t afford $800/month in depreciation alone on a vehicle.

All this glee about cheap second-hand EVs is misplaced.

As for Tesla, I already said they tend to have decent resale. But it’s the wholesale price that indicates the actual depreciation floor for *somebody*, so I find a $45k Model S with low miles alarming.

You’re talking about Nissan Leafs, certainly not Teslas. Deduct the tax-credit before calculating depreciation, and Teslas rule their price bracket.

How can I get in on one of these auctions? I want to pick up a Fiat 500e!

Find a good licensed auto broker, and have them bid on one. Chrysler Capital/Santander has a bunch of these in the pipeline for auction. There must have been a huge deal for 500e leases in 2013?

Of course those numbers are not what you would actually pay. There are auction fees, and broker fees and other costs on top of the actual gavel price.

Those Fiat’s could be Lemon Law Buyback’s. Cars.com has a couple for sale for $5990.

Not likely. buybacks typically go through TRA auctions. I checked the California auctions, and those were not TRA’s.

Bozi is actually showing the first page of a number of pages of sales, sorted by lowest price first. There are also quite a few sales going up in price from there, but the large number of 500e sales makes it look like they are all that low. These prices reflect these being the lowest priced of the 500e’s, meaning they likely have the most in reconditioning and the least popular colors and options.

Better options/colors/conditions/etc are going for more, but just aren’t shown.

Prices go up from what is shown in this screen shot.

Late last Spring I found a 2013 Volt (delivered in late 2012) with about 6,000 miles on it (owner was an “environmental consultant” who travelled frequently, taken as a trade-in on a 2nd-gen Volt, believe it or not). Leather and all options, CPO at a Chevy dealership; posted at $19.6k, purchased for just over $18k. The car “stickered” at over $40k new. Taking into account ITC + state rebate and probable discounts, he effectively paid a little over $30k after tax. I’m guessing the trade-in value was about $16k or so based on typical CPO gross profit. The car is perfect. Nary a ding or scuff and everything worked (and still works) perfectly. In ambient temps that don’t require cabin heat I regularly get 40+ AER without hypermile behavior in suburban driving, and 36mpg on flat/slightly hilly Midwestern highways at 75mph in “Hold”. It’s a jewel. Mind you, the car doesn’t make economic sense for me as I could’ve bought a CPO Civic of the same vintage in similar near-new shape and full options for $5-6k less, so even at 8 cents/kWh the only reason I have it is because I really enjoy the electric driving experience. So far, >6k… Read more »

Jokes on you when you show up to pick up your “Tesla Model S”.

BTW, there’s a really nice CPO ’14 red ELR at Don Massey Cadillac in Detroit with <8k miles for $33k. I'll bet you could get it for under $32k.

There are a lot of cars for sale at Manheim auctions this week directly from Tesla. Most seem to be higher mileage cars ( > 50K miles).

I bought a 2014 model S – 85 for 53,000 from Tesla. The car had 31,000 miles, and when delivered to me it was a like new plus a four year 50,000 mile warranty bumper-to-bumper and the remainder of the eight year unlimited warranty. Nicest car I’ve ever owned. And Assurant improvement over my 2012 Nissan leaf. No more range anxiety.

I find it a bit ironic for Teslas to be sold at an auction “only to dealers”, having spent so much time and effort staying away from Dealers. Seems like they won by going round the back!

I would never buy a used Tesla for any price. Too many have been drag raced – which this website likes to glorify.

just avoid the “P” performance versions and you should be just as fine as buying a regular 3-Series instead of an M3.

Can anyone please post me a screenshot of any currently auctioned Teslas at mayheim auctions Please please please!!!