When it comes to buying a Tesla, one of the biggest questions that potential buyers face is whether to purchase a new or used vehicle. While a new car may seem like the obvious choice, there are many factors to consider before making a decision.
One of the most important considerations is how well the Tesla you have your eyes on will hold its value over time.
Tesla vehicles have gained a reputation for holding their value better than most other cars on the market. However, this does not mean that every Tesla model will do it equally well. There are many factors that can affect the resale value.
What Affects the Resale Value of a Tesla?
The trim level, mileage, condition, specific features, and options will play a key role. The cost of customizing a Tesla is also something to consider. Upgrades like vinyl wraps, aftermarket wheels, or carbon fiber body mods are quite expensive. While modifying a stock vehicle will cost you a lot, you may get a pretty good deal on a car that already has some of those.
Therefore, as a potential Tesla buyer, it is important to carefully consider your options and do a proper research before deciding where to spend your hard-earned money. Now let’s compare the resale value and depreciation of new and used Teslas and the factors that affect those.
Resale Value of Tesla Vehicles
According to Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Awards of 2022, the Tesla Model X is expected to hold its value over just about every other car, truck, and SUV available. And in 2023, both Model X and Model S were awarded.
However, those awards focus on completely stock vehicles. When it comes to used Teslas, the resale value can vary depending on the factors we mentioned above. In general, well-maintained newer models with lower mileage are the best choice.
Tesla’s Rate of Depreciation
All cars, gasoline or electric, experience depreciation over time. The value of a new Tesla can drop significantly in the first year of ownership, but after that, the rate of depreciation tends to slow down. Of course, that also depends on the market conditions.
We already know for a fact that some used Teslas, the Model X/S in particular, can experience slower depreciation rates. On the other hand, the more popular Model 3/Y saw price reductions at the beginning of 2023, which will certainly affect their rate of depreciation.
Quick Tesla Buying Guide
The model, year of production, and trim level are the main things to consider when looking at new Teslas. Those are as important when buying a used one, along with the mileage, maintenance schedule, and any upgrades or modifications.
For example, a new Tesla with a higher trim level and additional features will always cost more than a base model. Similarly, used Teslas with higher odometer readings or a spotty maintenance history will have a lower resale value.
When Buying a New Car
If you’ve already decided that you’ll go for a new car, you need to do two things; Choose the Tesla model and trim level that meets your budget. Consider your driving habits to verify if the particular car will provide the range you need.
Choosing a Used Vehicle
When buying a used Tesla, you should also do proper research and carefully consider the vehicle’s history, maintenance records, and any potential issues. It’s also a good idea to have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic to ensure that it’s in good condition.
Based on the research, it is clear that Teslas hold their value better than most other cars on the market. This is due to their unique features, such as the advanced electric powertrain, self-driving capabilities, and sleek design—definitely a top choice for those looking for a reliable, high-tech vehicle.
Ultimately, the decision to buy a used or new Tesla comes down to personal preference and budget. A used car may be the way to go if you’re looking for a more affordable option. A new Tesla would be a better fit when you want the latest technology and features. Make sure you carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Tesla Buyers FAQ
What Are the Drawbacks of Buying a Tesla?
Like any other car, Teslas are not perfect. The interior is very basic, and you’ll probably spend some money to add style and accessories, making your time on the road more enjoyable.
The same applies to the exterior, with only a few colors available to choose from. There are plenty of aftermarket customization options, but those add to the cost.
Charging stations are still not as common as gas stations, which often causes inconveniences. Even on a supercharger, it may take up to one hour to fully charge a Tesla.
What is the Best Tesla Model to Buy?
As with any other vehicle on the market, the buying decision depends on your personal budget, preferences, and needs. A comparison can be made to help you with your choice.
The most affordable option is the SR Model 3. If you’re an average family guy, the X Model is a great choice, with the X Plaid offering more luxury. Tesla S Plaid is the fastest, and Model Y LR is considered the best overall.