Does Rivian Take Trade-ins? Everything You Need To Know

Ever wonder “Does Rivian take trade-ins?” Well, we want to share how to trade your car for a Rivian, and why trading is better than selling. Let’s do this!

Key Takeaways:

While most tires on fossil fuel vehicles last an average of 50k-60k miles (about 4 years), tires on electric vehicles don’t last nearly as long and you may need to change them as soon as 15-20K miles.
As a general rule, you should start shopping for new tires one the tread pattern has about 4/32″ of an inch remaining.
While many tires are warranted between 45k-60k miles, electric vehicles like Teslas wear out much faster, meaning replacement can come as soon as 15k miles.

Rivian electronic vehicles have gotten a lot of buzz lately. The sleek SUVs and pick-up trucks are just as energy-efficient as the Tesla, but they can be driven in poor weather conditions, on broken-down roads with potholes and cracked concrete, and even taken off-road.

So if you want an EV that you can drive anytime and anywhere, Rivian seems like a good choice. But does Rivian take trade-ins?

How does the trade-in work, and how easy is the process? And most of all, is it really worth all that work (plus the extra money you have to fork over for the new car)?

We answer all the frequently asked questions, so you can decide whether it’s a “fair trade” and if it’s right for you.

How do Rivian trade-in’s work?

When you reserve a Rivian on their website, or make any online inquiry, you have the option to trade in your vehicle. Just provide the VIN (vehicle identification number) and they will give an offer.

If you accept it, the value is used as credit towards your purchase.

Rivian explains how trade-ins work on their website

What kinds of cars does Rivian accept for trade-in?

Rivian accepts most types of models and makes, but in some cases they will need to do a manual review.

It also accepts some types of leased vehicles, depending on the manufacturer and the lease agreement.

I’m still making payments on my car—can I still trade it in?

Yes. Basically, Rivian will pay for your outstanding loan balance. The positive equity will be used as credit for your purchase. However, you need to settle any negative equity before your scheduled delivery.

How does Rivian estimate the value of my car?

This is based on usual industry standards such as the market value of the model, age, number of miles, condition, and other info regarding the vehicle’s history that they will collect.

When will Rivian get the trade-in vehicle?

The vehicle is collected the day your new Rivian is delivered—so you don’t have to worry about being stuck without a car.

As for how long that takes, it really depends on the availability of the model you reserved. When you make your purchase, they will give an estimated delivery date.

Who handles the trade-in process?

While Rivian’s official website keeps quiet about its internal logistics, the trade-in process is likely handled by COX Automotive.

COX, a global automative services company that owns 30 brands, invested $350 million in Rivian in 2019. When the partnership was announced, COX CEO RJ Scaringe said that they would be working together on service operations and logistics.

COX already handles the auctions of its other brands (which include Autotrader, RIdeKleen and Manheim), so it makes sense for them to handle the Rivian trade-in process too.

rivian r1s in the snow

Can I buy second-hand, traded-in cars from Rivian?

You may be thinking, “Now, Rivian’s got all these Teslas in their warehouse—can I buy one from them?”

Rivian will not be selling other brands directly. The traded-in vehicles will likely be auctioned off to another seller or wholesaler.

That probably means you’ll also see a lot of good second-hand EV cars in the market, which is good news for people who want to switch to clean fuel but can’t afford a new model.

Where will I get a better deal: trading in my car, or reselling it and using the money to pay for a Rivian?

You will definitely get a higher price for your car if you put it on the market and looked for an individual buyer.

If you sell it to a local car dealer, the offers are actually pretty close—Rivian uses the same system of evaluating the value of a car.

You can try shopping around after you get Rivian’s estimate, just to compare and see who will give you a better deal.    

However, bear in mind that trading in can reduce the state taxes that you will have to pay on your new EV.

It also takes a lot less time and effort. With Rivian, you can get a quote online, deal with one customer service rep, and you’re done.

How’s the customer experience — easy, or complicated?

Rivian customers are actually pretty happy with the way the trade-ins were handled. There are no angry comments on EV forums, and the general feedback is that it was easy to inquire, the offer was fair, and the customer service helped answer all of the questions.

So the Rivian trade-in is actually simple and straightforward: give your VIN, get the offer, apply the credit towards your Rivian purchase.

Of course, you still have to go through the same process of buying a new car, like looking for financing and gathering all the required documents. But you’d have to go through that even if you didn’t trade in your EV.

Why should I trade my car for a Rivian?

Rivian isn’t necessarily more powerful than other EVs, but it does have some features that make it a very good buy.

Because of its high torque and optimized traction, it has fantastic off-road capabilities—a must for people who like to go on weekend adventures, or drive a lot in rough terrain.

You can drive it on gravel, sand, rocks, or even muddy roads. It even has driving modes like Off-Road Rock Crawl, Off-Road Rally, or Sport.  

Rivian also has a comprehensive membership program. Aside from free unlimited charging at its network, you get “Charge Assurance”: if your car runs out of power, they will send someone to recharge it.

Rivian will also match every mile you drive with contributions to promoting sustainable energy, including wind and solar.

Final Thoughts

Not only does Rivian accepts trade-ins, but it’s made it very easy to do it. You just submit your VIN when you reserve a vehicle, and that starts a very clear process of getting an offer and then having it credited to your purchase.

Your vehicle is collected the same day they deliver your Rivian, so the trade-in won’t leave you in limbo.

The simple process—and the Rivian’s vehicle features and membership perks—definitely make the trade-in a tempting offer.