Tesla buying guide: So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy one of the most innovative forms of transportation the world has seen in recent years. With pressure to abandon internal combustion car engines for an electric or hybrid form of motorization, Tesla is one of the world’s leading suppliers of electric cars.
Thanks to founder Elon Musk’s electric car company, attractive incentives and environmental sustainability have contributed to Tesla’s success and popularity. With a virtually silent engine and advanced software, Tesla is a market leader in what appears to be the inevitable road we all will eventually be inclined or obligated to follow.
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Where to Purchase a Tesla Vehicle
Tesla does not follow the traditional dealer franchise method for selling its cars. The company encourages clients to purchase cars directly online from the company.
The company’s website permits you to configure and order your car and even buy used models or book test drives. The company does however have more than 200 dealerships in the U.S. with over 60 alone in the state of California.
The Cost of Purchasing a Tesla
Depending on the model you select, prices can range from approximately $47,000 for a Model 3 to an impressive $161,000 for a Model X.
Some models may qualify for U.S. federal tax credits and some states or municipal utilities will offer customer incentives for ownership of an electric vehicle often in the form of a rebate. If you plan to use your car for work or business purposes, check to see if car insurance is tax deductible to increase savings.
Used Teslas will bring some savings but may come with smaller batteries than new models on the market. Much will depend on daily driving requirements.
Financing a Tesla in the U.S.
Tesla offers three methods for payment when purchasing its products in the U.S. These include leasing a car for periods from 24 to 36 months for customers that qualify, taking a loan either with a third-party lender or a Tesla financier with terms that vary from 36 to 72 months or by purchasing the car outright in cash.
A Lifestyle Choice
While the purchase of a Tesla vehicle will make a dent in most budgets, it is a lifestyle choice. The newer and less expensive Model 3 has a more reachable price but also offers the smallest range and options, yet it’s still competitive with traditional combustion engine rivals.
Insuring a Tesla
When considering the best insurance for Tesla drivers, know that coverage will cost you. Tesla repairs can be costly and the list price is high, but so will other similarly expensive high-performing cars. Consider that running costs will be lower than traditional combustion-driven cars so you probably will offset your insurance costs.
Also worthy of consideration is Tesla’s four-year or 50,000 miles basic vehicle limited warranty (whichever comes first) that will cover the cost of most of the car’s consumables, so the first four years of ownership should prove to be without any extra maintenance costs or surprises for your wallet.
Electric vehicle ownership is not without operating costs, but they are considerably lower than what a combustion-driven vehicle will cost if for nothing else due to the lack of using fossil fuels. Charging up a Tesla with relative costs will depend on what model you purchase.
Charging up a Model 3 Tesla with an average 272-mile range and a 62.3 kWh battery will cost roughly just under $11, whereas a Performance model might cost just under $15 for a full charge. Model Ss might range from about $18, Model Y about $13, and Model X about $15.
If you use a home solar power station to recharge, it will cost even less. So clearly, these costs are considerably less than what you’ll pay at the pump for fuel.
Electric vehicles also require less servicing, Service costs will most likely be limited to changing tires, brake fluid, cabin air filters, and similar. Tesla vehicles come with maintenance plans and these can be extended to new vehicles in the event of a car upgrade.
Depreciation is always a factor when purchasing a car and this includes EVs and Teslas. Teslas, however, seem to have a slower depreciation rate than other EVs.
Depreciation will be affected by the number of miles you have driven and the car battery’s health. The AARP indicates that a Tesla Model 3 will depreciate 5.5% after a year which is a much stronger performance than fuel-operated vehicles, hybrids, or even other electric cars. This is great news for those that own a new Tesla, but not great for those in the market for a used Tesla.
Purchasing a Used Tesla
If you prefer buying a used car, you’ll still be able to benefit from lower operating costs and the easy maintenance associated with owning a Tesla. In 2021, more than 300,000 new Teslas were sold in the U.S. alone, and 2022 has already seen more than 396,000 new sales and the year isn’t over.
Many of these cars will end up in the used car market as some owners opt for upgrades or leases expire. One of the most attractive aspects of owning a used EV or Tesla is that servicing needs still are kept to a minimum when compared to combustion engine cars.
Tesla even offers a selection of approved used cars that can be viewed and purchased through the company website, and these come with a manufacturer’s warranty which can be quite reassuring when purchasing.