Used Teslas Officially Cost More Than New Ones

Electric Vehicles / 13 Comments

Expect to pay a premium if you want a Tesla right now.

You might have noticed that the used car market is currently out of control. The problem is now so bad that even used EVs are retailing for more than new cars.

Thanks to a drastic decline in new models for sale due to the semiconductor chip shortage, customers have no choice but to turn to the used market if they need a new vehicle right now.

As a result, used car prices are sky-high, not to mention markups at dealerships lucky enough to have stock. Subaru recently had to shut down production at its Yajima plant, and prices of used BRZs immediately shot up to roughly $40,000. That's $10,000 above the new price.

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EVs tend to lose a lot of their value because they have a limited lifespan. If you look after an ICE vehicle, it can last for decades. EVs tend to lose value relatively quickly because of battery degradation and the high cost of replacing it. All except Tesla, which seems to be immune to the above problem.

Electrek spotted the phenomenon and took a closer look. According to the website, the current wait for a new Tesla is six to nine months. Tesla does not allow people to buy their cars once their lease period is over. Apparently, Tesla does this to increase its own used fleet.

2020-2022 Tesla Model Y Front View Driving Tesla 2020-2022 Tesla Model Y Driving Back View Tesla
2020-2022 Tesla Model Y Front View Driving
2020-2022 Tesla Model Y Driving Back View

We decided to have a look for ourselves. If you order a brand-new Tesla Model S Plaid from Tesla's website, it will cost you $140,490. On Tesla's used inventory website, there are several 2021 Plaids for sale.

The cheapest model we could find was a 2021 Plaid with 21-inch wheels and Full Self-Driving for $138,700. It seems like Tesla updates all of its used models with Full Self-Driving, likely to make them more appealing. The average price for a used 2021 model works out at roughly $144,000.

Even standard 2020 Model S used examples are going for $100,000, which is roughly $5,000 less than you pay for a 2022 dual-motor Model S.

The same is true for the Model Y, which is Tesla's big seller. A 2022 Model Y Long Range retails for $64,990, while a Model Y Performance can be yours for $67,990.

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Looking at Tesla's used inventory, you can't find a 2021 Model Y Long Range for less than $75,000. Performance models (2021) start at $80,000 and go up to $83,000. Even if you buy a 2020 Model Y Long Range with 32,000 miles on the clock, you'll be expected to hand over $72,400. We checked, and nearly all 2021 models are selling for more than the new cars.

Unfortunately, it's not just Tesla capitalizing on the new car shortage. We also looked at used models not sold by Tesla, and you can still expect to pay $70,000 for a 2021 Model Y Performance.

Most surprising is that Tesla has handled the semiconductor shortage better than most, though it's not entirely immune. Tesla remains the dominant force in the EV market, easily outselling its newer (and better) German rivals.

To make a long story short, you're in a good position if you currently own a 2020, 2021, or 2022 Tesla. You can quickly sell it for more than you paid, making a neat profit in the process.

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