Teslas are known to be expensive due to their high quality and long life expectancy. But how much do Teslas really cost?
New Teslas retail from $39,990 for the base Model 3 sedan to $145,000 for the fully-loaded 2022 Model X Plaid. The Model Y retails for just shy of $60,000, and the Model S starts at $89,990. Used Teslas from 2012 onward range from $25,000 to over $100,000.
In this article, we’ll go over the prices of each popular new Tesla car and SUV. Additionally, we’ll examine the used market for each vehicle and cover what you can expect to pay for each generation. We’ll also cover the reasons why Teslas are so expensive and why they hold their value so well.
We sourced new pricing information from Tesla and other reputable automotive publications. We also analyzed the used Tesla market and averaged out prices for each model year.
Why Are Teslas So Expensive?
There are numerous reasons why Tesla vehicles cost more than comparable conventional cars and other electric cars. The primary reason is that Tesla does all of its own research, development, and design. Additionally, Tesla creates its cars from the ground up—unlike other car companies that have decades of experience.
GM, for example, has huge factories all over the world—some of which pre-date WWII. Much of the equipment they use has been paid off for decades, and each generation of cars builds off established technology from previous generations. Tesla had to do all of this from scratch, and the cost was passed to the consumer.
Additionally, Tesla insists on using the highest-quality materials available in its vehicles. Much of the technology used in Teslas is brand new and never adapted to automobiles in the past, so the burden of sourcing and implementing tech falls entirely on the company’s shoulders.
Tesla’s commitment to quality brings consumers some of the best electric cars in the world. Many people would argue that Teslas are the best cars ever produced, electric or otherwise. Consumers demonstrate that they’re more than willing to pay for all this tech and attention to detail, as Tesla’s popularity is increasing rapidly.
Teslas also come with a wide range of standard features, and upgrades are available for almost all used models. For example, every new Tesla comes with the full suite of sensors and cameras used for Autopilot, which can eventually support full self-driving capabilities.
New Tesla Prices
Teslas are known to be expensive. The reputation is true for most models, which can easily be outfitted past $100,000. However, some vehicles like the Model 3 MSRP for less than $50,000 and are within the budget of many new car buyers. Here are the prices for this year’s Tesla models.
New Tesla Model S Cost
The Model S is one of Tesla’s best-selling vehicles and their flagship sedan. The newest models retail at a base price of $89,990. There are several variations available which retail at higher prices, including the extremely quick Model S Plaid. The Plaid model retails at $129,990 and boasts an astounding 1,020 horsepower.
New Tesla Model Y Cost
The Model Y is a mid-sized Tesla that’s a popular alternative to the Model X. The Model Y is comparable in price to a luxury SUV and retails at around $51,000. The long-range model sells for $53,990, and other options are available that steadily increase the price.
The most expensive Model Y offered so far retails for around $74,000–which is still more than $10,000 less than the cheapest new Model S. The Model Y is roughly equivalent in price to a fully-loaded compact domestic or imported SUV.
New Tesla Model X Cost
The Model X is Tesla’s big SUV and a favorite for families and professionals. The Model X is pricier than other models due to its increased size and capability. The latest Model X retails for around $90,000, which is one of the highest base MSRPs of any electric car. The top-of-the-line Model X is expected to cost around $145,000 in 2022, making it one of the most expensive electric cars ever.
New Tesla Model 3 Cost
The Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable new vehicle and is designed to be an entry-level premium electric car. This vehicle is loosely based on the Model S, and it comes with many favorable features like standard AWD. The Model 3 starts at an MSRP of $39,990. You can opt for additional options, such as the long-range package for an additional price.
The most expensive Model 3 is the fully-loaded performance trim, which starts at $56,990 and tops out at $71,190. You can purchase a base-model long-range dual-motor Model 3 for $49,990 and a fully-loaded version for $65,790. The fully-loaded standard range Model 3 costs $55,790.
Used Tesla Pricing Considerations
There are several factors that determine the cost of a Tesla. The first and most important is its condition. As we’re considering both new and used Teslas, the mileage and overall cosmetic condition will have a lot to do with the pricing.
Unlike most conventionally-powered vehicles, Teslas don’t fall apart at 200,000 or 300,000 miles. Tesla vehicles are designed to last around 500,000 miles or more without major service (like a battery replacement), so they hold their value longer.
Used Teslas don’t depreciate as rapidly as other vehicles do—especially other luxury cars. However, the newer generations of popular Tesla models hold their value better due to the factory-installed upgrades that older vehicles don’t have.
Battery capacity (or driving range) is another common consideration when pricing out used Teslas. Even in the beginning, there were huge price variations between mid and long-range models, sometimes adding up to $20,000 or more. Today, long-range Teslas fetch higher prices on the used market.
Used Tesla Prices
Tesla prices vary widely based on model, model year, generation, and condition. However, it’s reasonable to assume that most used Teslas today will be pricey compared to other electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Bolt. This is due to Tesla’s reputation, high initial cost, and extremely high production quality.
Here are the average prices of used Teslas by model, including a breakdown across model years.
Used Tesla Model S Cost
The pricing of used Tesla Model S vehicles is the most varied, as this model has been out the longest. The earliest Model S sedans are the most affordable, as the oldest variants date back to 2012. Back in 2012, they cost between $57,400 and $87,400.
Today, you can get a first-generation Tesla Model S starting at around $30,000. Each consecutive model year gains another $1,000 to $2,000 in price up until the 2015 model year when prices increase dramatically. A long-range first-generation Model S can easily fetch $40,000 on the used market, as will most 2015 and up models.
Tesla Model S sedans from 2017, 2018, and 2019 can be double the price of a 2012 or 2013 model. These cars go for between $56,000 and $90,000, depending on the range, mileage, and overall condition. A 2020 Model S can be found used for between $80,000 and $94,000.
Used Tesla Model Y Cost
The Tesla Model Y was introduced in 2019 and was always more affordable than other models. This vehicle can be purchased new and close to new for much lower prices than some older Model X SUVs. A used 2019 or 2020 Model Y can be had for less than $60,000, and some 2021 models can be found for around that price too.
Used Tesla Model X Cost
The Tesla Model X was Tesla’s first SUV-like vehicle. And like the Model S, it also dates back to around 2012. This vehicle sold for higher prices than many sedans, and it still has a higher sticker price used. The earliest Model X SUVs can be purchased for between $45,000 and $60,000, with the priciest models selling for $80,000 or more.
Newer models rarely sell for less than $70,000, and some buyers pay upwards of $100,000 for 2018, 2019, and 2020 versions. These vehicles hold their value extremely well, and your best bet for value is to purchase a 2012 or 2013 model.
Used Tesla Model 3 Cost
The Model 3 debuted as Tesla’s affordable sedan, and it’s a popular alternative to the Model S. The Model 3 was introduced in 2017 and has since become the best-selling electric car in history. You can find a 2017 or 2018 Model 3 for under $30,000, and the newer versions cost between $32,000 and $45,000 depending on the specifications.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding