This article was published on July 8, 2022

Buying a new Tesla is now LESS expensive than a used one. Here’s why

Save your money for some Tesla tequila


Buying a new Tesla is now LESS expensive than a used one. Here’s why
Cate Lawrence
Story by

Cate Lawrence

Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart ci Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart cities, and the future of alternative energy sources like electric batteries, solar, and hydrogen.

You order your Tesla online, and then…. you wait. Even worse, the delivery date may be pushed back several times, leaving your only recourse to remonstrate angrily on Twitter.  

Buying a new car right now means waiting up to a year, sometimes more. It all depends on the bells and whistles you buy. However, choosing a used model can get you into a car immediately — if you’re willing to pay more. 

Why does it take so long to get your Tesla? 

The Tesla gigafactory in Shanghai: five down, 1,995 to go. Xinhua/Alamy
The Tesla gigafactory in Shanghai. Credit: Xinhua/Alamy

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen supply chain delays that have left automakers waiting for critical parts. A good example is semiconductor chips. Some cars are even going without various purchased features due to material shortages. 

Then, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has left automakers with a lack of other critical components. These include wire harnesses — as the former country accounts for one-fifth of Europe’s the total supply

The US has also been hit hard by a shortage of neon gas, which is used in chip production and comes almost entirely from Ukraine and Russia, 

 The cost of buying a new Tesla vs. used 

Currently, Teslas are NOT eligible for a federal tax credit — (federal tax credits start winding down two quarters after an automaker sells 200,000 electric vehicles).

If you look on Tesla’s website at the time of writing, it is cheaper to buy a new rather than a used Tesla:  

Make

Price (new )Price (used)
Model 3 (2020)



$39,640 to $55,640$68,900 to $72,000
Model Y



$57,440 to $61,400 $77,500 to $83,500
Model S (2021)



$104,990From $122,700
Model X



$111, 840 to $129,840From $114,500

Wait, why does a second-hand Tesla cost more? 

A used Tesla may have initially cost more due to design additions, customization by the original orderer, or the purchase of Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving Capability” Then, these costs are  passed onto you. 

Furthermore, this trend has been growing over the last few years. It’s across all automobiles, both ICE and EVs — although a recent drop finds a lightly used car just 1% cheaper than new. 

According to iSeeCars, the Porsche Taycan luxury electric sedan is a good secondhand buy due to the six-month wait for new versions. Similarly, folks wanting to buy a new model Ford Mustang Mach-E can expect to wait over 32 weeks. That’s a long time between purchase and receiving. 

Ultimately, until the supply chain situation improves, this scenario is unlikely to improve. 

But there’s one good thing. With most retailers offering digital sales, those who want their car NOW no longer have to visit car dealerships full of sleazy salespeople. Instead, they can buy from the comfort of their own home, while shitposting on Twitter against Tesla haters.

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