It’s going to be awhile before your preorder for the new Tesla 3 actually sits in your driveway. Acting accordingly, you might want to take a different route to get the electric hotrod of your dreams. According to Tesla at the time of this writing, they’re at almost 300k preorders, but with the cars not slated to hit roads until late 2017 (analysts think people won’t start seeing them until at least 2019-2020), what if you want one now? Well, you can search through Instamotor, as well as Tesla, which offers a options for leasing and buying pre-owned models that come with their own in-house warranty and certified pre-owned status much like other premium auto manufacturers such as BMW. Getting a Tesla isn’t hard as long as you have the cash for it, but we take a look at the pros and cons of driving into the future and beyond.
While Teslas are electric cars; they are also high-performance luxury vehicles through and through. And with that sort of clout comes an exorbitant price tag. New base models will cost you about $75,000 with the top of the line P90D models setting you back about $108,000. However, used versions will save you a few thousand dollars less than MSRP. So there are benefits of waiting on the second-hand market, but you wont be able to custom order things such as rear-facing child seats, which add seven passenger seating to the Model S. One of the huge benefits of Teslas are their ability to do “over the air” updates, meaning software is downloaded automatically, essentially giving you a brand new car by the time you wake up.
Soon enough the Tesla Model X (their version of the SUV with ‘Falcon Wing’ doors) will be available as a used model, but right now new ones are still trickling out of the factory. They did make a Roadster from 2008-2012, but those aren’t really up to the current standard of Tesla’s vehicles. So, that leaves you with the Model S as your only available option, and like we said, they come with a hefty price tag. Don’t let that make you think you’re missing out by only having one option. With an extremely powerful battery, low center of gravity, amazing gadgetry, well thought out interior, and “Ludicrous Mode” that propels some models to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, the Model S is a stunning piece of engineering that will thrill you every time you step foot inside.
Even with well-used models, Teslas seem to depreciate from their resale value a little less than other competitive luxury vehicles. Much of this boils down to supply and demand—their factory can’t pump out the same amount of inventory as say Mercedes. With the limited market and people scooping them up when available, the price tag hovers around what they were when new. For reference, Tesla just sold their 100,000th Model S in December 2015, while the Mercedes S Class racked up 100,000 sales in 2014 alone. Again, this is due to a global infrastructure that Tesla just can’t match…yet. As a bonus though, the United States gives up to $7,500 back on your taxes, meaning that depreciation is even less and your wallet fattens in April.
Every Tesla—including pre-owned from Tesla—comes with a 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty and an 8 year/unlimited mile warranty on powertrain, however, because of the lack of available data (it is a relatively new company, mind you) you’re giving up years and decades of verifiable consumer data. Consumer Reports, the data acquisition company, cannot recommend the Tesla Model S because of a few reliability concerns such as: engine, transmission, and brakes among others. We would disagree with this however, because we think most Tesla buyers are likely to lease the car for less than three years, which means most of those concerns would be covered under their baked-in warranty. They [Consumer Reports] also rated the Tesla with the highest score they’ve ever tested on their track evaluation with a 100, so weigh the options carefully before deciding your best course of action.
Again, because of the limited amount of parts and cars, Tesla crashes can be burdens to fix, often taking longer than usual to repair at very high overhaul costs. Parts take some time to get from factory to repair shop and the costs are sky high since only a certain number of body shops are certified to deal with Tesla accident repair. Some owners have had their insurance companies declare total loses on cars since damage can get into the tens of thousands of dollars for otherwise minor accidents. In the end, drive carefully.
There is something inherently breathtaking about instant acceleration. Almost nowhere on Earth can you experience the same kind of thrust as you can with the Tesla Model S, supercars included. Even without the most expensive model, the Tesla will catapult you forward with the giddiness of a teenager getting their license for the first time. Granted, the sound (or lack of) takes a bit getting used to but once you get accustomed to the initial library quiet of the cabin, the only sounds you’ll want to hear is your heart rate.
Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.