How Much Does A Used Tesla Cost?

How Much Does A Used Tesla Cost?

In less than two decades, Tesla has evolved from a plucky startup to one of the world’s most valuable companies, in the process changing how we think about electric vehicles. Once exclusively bought by committed environmentalists who cared more about their carbon footprint than sheer horsepower, EVs now rival their gas or diesel-burning rivals in terms of range, performance, and features.

But there’s one stereotype they’ve been unable to shake, with many convinced that electric cars (and, by extension, Teslas) are unaffordable. Another common concern hinges on convenience, with would-be buyers concerned about range and the availability of charging stations. The reality is somewhere in the middle:

Truths and Myths About Tesla Models

  • Myth: Tesla cars are expensive

How much is a Tesla? The answer varies depending on the model, with the 2021 Tesla Model 3 starting at roughly $30,000 with all subsidies and incentives factored in. The most expensive Tesla, the 2021 Model X, retails for $83,190. Though the best bang-for-your-buck is always going to come from a used Tesla. 

In practice, Teslas are priced competitively, with the Model 3 roughly in line with what you’d expect to pay for a midsize family car like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry (both starting at roughly $25,000). The Model X compares favorably against other competing luxury cars, like the 2021 Audi A8 and Lexus LS (starting at $85,600 and $76,000 respectively).

Although it’s possible to get an affordable Tesla on the used market, it’s worth noting they tend to hold up well against the forces of depreciation. While you can expect a luxury vehicle to lose over half of its value after three years, for Tesla cars it’s closer to 35 percent. This trend is indicative of the strength of the Tesla brand, and the prestige that comes with owning one.

  • Truth: Tesla insurance is expensive

While owning a Tesla will save you money at the gas pump, one major downside is that insurance tends to be expensive, with Tesla Model S owners paying as much as 50 percent more according to analysis by Nerdwallet. Average annual prices vary from state-to-state, with Tesla owners in Vermont paying the least at $1,245 on average, with those in Louisiana facing the highest insurance costs at $3,436.

There are a few reasons for this. The Tesla Model S is a luxury car, and those cost more to insure. Additionally, the use of expensive parts — like aluminium, rather than plastic, in the body — makes it more costly to repair.

The good news (at least, if you live in California) is that you can save as much as 30 per cent on your premiums by getting your insurance direct from Tesla. Launched in 2019, Tesla Insurance takes into account the built-in safety features of the car (like Autopilot) when determining premiums, and also includes coverage for wall chargers and electronic key replacement. The company says it plans to offer Tesla Insurance in more states, so keep an eye out.

  • Myth: Tesla Cars Are Expensive to Maintain

Buying a Tesla will mean less time spent at your local auto repair shop. Unlike standard gasoline or diesel cars, electric vehicles don’t require periodic oil changes, or replacement fuel filters and spark plugs. There’s no annual service to worry about, either.

Although the battery, like any Lithium Ion battery, will degrade over time, you’re unlikely to need a replacement during the lifetime of the vehicle. Tesla estimates its battery packs should last between 300 thousand and 500 thousand miles.

  • Myth: Charging a Tesla is a pain

When you own a Tesla, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice on your morning commute. The long-range version of the 2021 Tesla Model S has an estimated range of 412 miles, while the Plaid+ variant boasts an impressive 520 mile battery. By comparison, the 2021 Audi A8 delivers roughly 455 miles from a full tank (based on its 21.7 gallon reservoir and an average fuel burn of 21MPG).

Finding a charger shouldn’t be an issue, either. Over a third (994) of Tesla’s 2,648 Superchargers are located in the US, which can deliver enough juice to travel 75 miles in just five minutes. Tesla owners can also use any of the other 25,000 public charging stations that support the J1172 connector.

And, unlike ordinary gas-powered cars, you can charge your Tesla at home, either from a standard wall outlet, or a more powerful Tesla Wall Connector. With all these at your disposal, “range anxiety” is a thing of the past.

Tesla Models and Prices

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

With new models starting at $72,990, the Tesla Model S is the ultimate all-electric luxury car. First introduced in 2012, this five-door executive sedan quickly asserted itself as one of the most popular cars in Tesla’s line-up, with 250,000 sold by mid-2018.

The Model S effortlessly blends style and performance. The base model touts a dual-motor all-wheel drive system capable of reaching speeds of up to 155MPH, going from 0-60MPH in just 3.1 seconds. Range, meanwhile, is a formidable 420 miles. There are no shortage of modern conveniences, either, with Autopilot and a 17-inch cinematic infotainment system coming as standard.

Used Tesla Model S cars can be found for as little as $27,500 for a base 2013 model with 65 thousand miles on the clock. A 2017 model, with just 25 thousand miles, costs just $43,950.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Teslas Model S
Tesla Model S

With new models starting at $72,990, the Tesla Model S is the ultimate all-electric luxury car. First introduced in 2012, this five-door executive sedan quickly asserted itself as one of the most popular cars in Tesla’s line-up, with 250,000 sold by mid-2018.

The Model S effortlessly blends style and performance. The base model touts a dual-motor all-wheel drive system capable of reaching speeds of up to 155MPH, going from 0-60MPH in just 3.1 seconds. Range, meanwhile, is a formidable 420 miles. There are no shortage of modern conveniences, either, with Autopilot and a 17-inch cinematic infotainment system coming as standard.

Used Tesla Model S cars can be found for as little as $27,500 for a base 2013 model with 65 thousand miles on the clock. A 2017 model, with just 25 thousand miles, costs just $43,950.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Teslas Model S

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Tesla introduced the Model 3 in 2016, and it quickly became one of the most popular products in its line-up, thanks to its affordable entry price.

The cheapest 2021 Model 3 starts at $29,690. This comes with a single-motor rear-wheel drive system capable of hitting top speeds of 140MPH and accelerating to 60MPH in 5.3 seconds, and an estimated range of 263 miles. For an extra $10,000, the Long Range comes with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system capable of reaching 60MPH in 4.2 seconds, as well as a longer range of 353 miles.

Despite the cut price, the Model 3 doesn’t skimp on any of the conveniences you’d expect from a Tesla, with Autopilot and a 15-inch interior display coming as standard. Low-milage, long-range used versions can be found for as little as $35,000.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3

Tesla introduced the Model 3 in 2016, and it quickly became one of the most popular products in its line-up, thanks to its affordable entry price.

The cheapest 2021 Model 3 starts at $29,690. This comes with a single-motor rear-wheel drive system capable of hitting top speeds of 140MPH and accelerating to 60MPH in 5.3 seconds, and an estimated range of 263 miles. For an extra $10,000, the Long Range comes with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system capable of reaching 60MPH in 4.2 seconds, as well as a longer range of 353 miles.

Despite the cut price, the Model 3 doesn’t skimp on any of the conveniences you’d expect from a Tesla, with Autopilot and a 15-inch interior display coming as standard. Low-milage, long-range used versions can be found for as little as $35,000.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is for those who need a bit more space. First introduced in 2015, and with a starting price of $83,190, this midsize crossover comes with optional seating for six or seven people, making it ideal for large and growing families.

But this doesn’t come at the expense of style, with the Tesla Model X touting an eye-catching falcon wing design for its rear doors, similar to the iconic DMC DeLorean. Performance is similarly excellent, with the entry-level Long Range variant hitting 60MPH in just 3.8 seconds and delivering an estimated range of 360MPH. Autopilot comes as standard, as does a 17-inch high-resolution infotainment system.

Used models can be found for as little as $48,950.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is for those who need a bit more space. First introduced in 2015, and with a starting price of $83,190, this midsize crossover comes with optional seating for six or seven people, making it ideal for large and growing families.

But this doesn’t come at the expense of style, with the Tesla Model X touting an eye-catching falcon wing design for its rear doors, similar to the iconic DMC DeLorean. Performance is similarly excellent, with the entry-level Long Range variant hitting 60MPH in just 3.8 seconds and delivering an estimated range of 360MPH. Autopilot comes as standard, as does a 17-inch high-resolution infotainment system.

Used models can be found for as little as $48,950.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Tesla Model X

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y combines the affordability of the Model 3 with the spaciousness of the Model X. Starting at $42,190 for the Long Range model, this compact SUV comes with optional seating for seven people, while offering an estimated range of 326 miles and an 0-60MPH acceleration speed of 4.8 seconds.

Autopilot comes as standard, while its 15-inch infotainment system shows maps, battery information, and even movies in stunning high-definition clarity.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y combines the affordability of the Model 3 with the spaciousness of the Model X. Starting at $42,190 for the Long Range model, this compact SUV comes with optional seating for seven people, while offering an estimated range of 326 miles and an 0-60MPH acceleration speed of 4.8 seconds.

Autopilot comes as standard, while its 15-inch infotainment system shows maps, battery information, and even movies in stunning high-definition clarity.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives

Conclusion

There’s a reason why everyone wants a Tesla. They’re fast. Powerful. Undeniably attractive. Although the high-end models come with a steep upfront cost, they’ll save you a fortune on gas in the long run, saving your wallet and the planet in the process.

If you don’t want to buy or lease a 2021 model, there are other options. Buying used is a great way to join the electric revolution, and with Shift we make that process easier. All our pre-owned vehicles are inspected by certified mechanics and come with a free 30-day warranty. We even handle the paperwork for you, so there’s no need to deal with the DMV. To find your next ride, click here.

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Shift Editorial Team