Tesla is known for its high-end electric cars (and soon trucks), but how much does it actually cost to get your hands on one?

Tesla vehicles aren’t cheap. However, new affordable models and the growing used market have made them more attainable than ever.

The cost of a brand new Tesla starts at around $40,000 and goes all the way to about $140,000. The average of all models is about $60,000 to $70,000, and varying trim levels add or subtract around $10,000 in most cases. The Plaid trim is the priciest by far, exceeding $120,000.

The used Tesla market has been rapidly expanding as well. And while they’re still pricey, it’s now possible to own a Tesla for between $25,000 and $80,000 (for the higher-end and more recent models).

We sourced the information used in this article from Tesla itself. We also surveyed the used EV market to find the average prices of popular Tesla models.

What Is The Average Cost Of A Tesla?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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How Expensive Are Tesla Vehicles?

Generally speaking, Tesla vehicles are on the higher end of the electric car spectrum. These premium cars have been pricey since their inception, though the company strives to reduce costs on several key models.

Recently, the cost of an entry-level Tesla is comparable to a mid or high-trim sedan, and new models can be purchased for just around $40,000. For comparison, it’s almost impossible to find a new conventional pickup for less than $35,000—making Tesla a newly affordable option for many.

That said, the vast majority of new Tesla vehicles cost more than $40,000. You can outfit the flagship Model S to cost well over $100,000, which is comparable to some of the finest conventional (gas-powered) luxury sedans.

What Electric Cars are More Expensive than Tesla?

There are a handful of electric vehicles that cost more than the average Tesla, though the company still dominates the premium EV market. One notable example is the all-electric Porsche Taycan sedan, which has a typical MSRP of between $80,000 and $93,000.

Average Cost of First-Generation Tesla Vehicles

For those who can remember the introduction of Tesla about a decade ago, you may recall the sporty little electric coupe that first hit the roads around 2008. The original Tesla, known as the Roadster, was a small EV sports car that originally retailed for around $109,000.

Though far from practical, this original EV was set at a price point that put it well above the average ‘nice car’ and certainly above the average hybrid or EV of the time. Today, a much more practical Tesla can be purchased new for the same price.

Are Used Tesla Roadsters Expensive?

Depreciation hits every automaker, though Tesla seems to buck the trend to some extent. Used first-generation roadsters, the newest of which is over ten years old, still hold their value remarkably well. An original Roadster in good condition runs between $90,000 and $150,000 on the used market.

What Makes Tesla Cars So Expensive?

So, why are Tesla vehicles so much more expensive than competing cars like the Nissan Leaf? For one, the Tesla is a decidedly premium vehicle—everything from the electronics to the upholstery is extremely high quality. Additionally, Tesla vehicles have the best fit and finish of any EV on the market—and perhaps any car.

Tesla does all of its engineering in-house. Unlike an older automaker like GM, Tesla doesn’t have decades of spare parts and designs to modify. In other words, there’s no way to cut costs. Tesla insists on using the best motors, batteries, and an all-aluminum body for longevity and efficiency.

Additionally, the batteries are a major contributor to the cost of the car. Lithium-ion cells are notoriously expensive, and Tesla only contracts with reputable manufacturers.

Why are Tesla Batteries So Expensive?

Tesla batteries are a major contributor to cost. But why? As we mentioned before, Tesla only sources batteries from the best manufacturers—and will soon begin manufacturing its own batteries at its Nevada facility.

There are hundreds of battery cell manufacturers, but the nature of Lithium-ion batteries makes it necessary to be picky. And it’s certainly worth the added expense.

Lithium-ion batteries have an annoying tendency to explode—especially if manufactured improperly. One low-level offshore manufacturer of cheap batteries famously boasted that “only 1 in 1,000 of [his] batteries exploded.” Those are unacceptable odds, which is why Tesla only works with the best battery makers.

Does Tesla have Dealership Markup?

No, Tesla does not have any dealership markup. Tesla doesn’t use dealerships at all. Instead, it sells directly to consumers through company-owned showrooms. While cutting out the middleman can reduce prices overall, it also eliminates the possibility of negotiation.

As far as Tesla is concerned, the price is the price—and you’ll also have to pay an additional destination fee of around $1,000. This practice has gotten Tesla in trouble with some states, as they only allow automakers to sell cars through third-party dealerships. However, there are workarounds, but they always result in increased cost and time.

New Tesla Prices

New Tesla vehicles range in price from about $40,000 to well over $100,000. Here is a list of each new Tesla model, along with the typical price range directly from the manufacturer.

New Tesla Model 3 Cost

The Model 3 is Tesla’s entry-level sedan. It’s a relatively new addition to the Tesla lineup, though it’s proven extremely popular due to its low price point. With available AWD and 358 miles of range, the Model 3 is impressive for the price.

A new Tesla Model 3 starts at $42,690. This is the base rear-wheel-drive model, which has a range of 267 miles and a top speed of 140 mph. The dual-motor AWD Model 3 starts at $51,690 and has a range of 334 miles.

The top-tier Tesla Model 3 Performance retails for $58,690 and has a 3.1 second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 162 mph. This model sacrifices a bit of range as it taps out at 315 miles.

New Tesla Model S Cost

The Tesla Model S was the company’s first big sedan and remained one of its most popular models. It’s larger and more powerful than the Model 3 and has recently become one of the fastest cars in the world.

This all-wheel-drive sedan is Tesla’s flagship model, and the base edition starts at $94,490. The base Model S has a 375-mile range, a top speed of 155 mph, and a 3.1-second 0-60 mph time.

The Model S Plaid is the top-trim edition and also one of the fastest cars ever produced for the public market. This tri-motor AWD sedan retails at $130,490. It has a stunning 200 mph top speed, a 1.99 second 0-60 mph time, and 348 miles of range. The Model S Plaid comes from the factory with 1,020 horsepower.

New Tesla Model X Cost

The Tesla Model X is the company’s newer SUV model. It has the dimensions of a mid-sized SUV and the power of a sports car. The base Model X has a list price of $109,690. It has a 332-mile range, a 155 mph top speed, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds.

The Model X is also available in a Plaid trim for just a touch more money than the Model S Plaid. A new 1,020-hp Model X Plaid runs $133,690. It has a 163 mph top speed, 311 miles of range, and a 2.5 second 0-60 acceleration time.

New Tesla Model Y Cost

The Model Y is Tesla’s answer to the demand for a more affordable Model X. The Model Y is much like a crossover SUV. It has a medium-sized passenger and cargo capacity with the profile of an SUV.

The base-model Tesla Model Y Long Range starts at $58,690. It has 318 miles of range, a 135 mph top speed, and an acceleration time of 4.8 seconds. The Model Y Performance retails at $63,690 and has a 303-mile range. The Performance model has a 155 mph top speed and a 3.5 second 0-60 mph acceleration time.

Average Cost of a Used Tesla

Many vehicles, especially luxury cars, take a 30% or greater depreciation hit within a few years and much more down the line. This is not the case with Tesla, as they retain their value quite well. Here are the average used Tesla prices based on a survey of the used EV market.

Used Tesla Model 3 Cost

The Tesla Model 3 is the most affordable vehicle in the company’s new lineup, and it’s also one of the most affordable used. Since virtually all Model 3s are considered late-model, there isn’t a huge price disparity between brand new and slightly used models.

Depending on the year and trim, a used Tesla Model 3 can be expected to run anywhere from the high $20,000s to the low $40,000s for last year’s model. Higher mileage 2WD models can be found occasionally for around $25,000 to $30,000.

Used Tesla Model S Cost

The Tesla Model S sedan has been in continuous production for around a decade. As a result, the greatest price disparity exists between the newest and oldest models.

A late-model version of this vehicle costs anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 on the used market. The first-generation Model S costs between $30,000 and $40,000 up to about the model year 2015, when prices begin to sharply increase.

Used Tesla Model X Cost

The Tesla Model X has always been a premium member of the lineup. And as a result, both new and used models are on the pricier end of the spectrum. The oldest Model X vehicles on the market rarely sell for less than $55,000 to $60,000 regardless of mileage, whereas 2018+ models sell for between $75,000 to over $100,000.

Used Tesla Model Y Cost

The Model Y is one of the newest additions to the Tesla lineup. As a result, the oldest used models are only a couple of years old. These vehicles were never the priciest, to begin with, though they hold their value reasonably well.

The average price of a used Tesla Model Y (regardless of age) is about $65,000. The least expensive used Model Y costs around $50,000, while the highest cost around $70,000 to $75,000.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

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.

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