What’s the Cost of Owning a Tesla?


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: NOVEMBER 16, 2022 | 3 MIN READ

Tesla accounts for 68% of the electric vehicle (EV) market share, dominating the automotive industry with futuristic, stylish cars. With rising fuel costs, you may consider buying a Tesla. Here’s what to know about the cost of owning a Tesla, maintenance costs, and other things potential Tesla owners need to know.

What Does it Cost to Own a Tesla?

Calculating the cost of owning a Tesla begins with the vehicle’s actual purchase. The Tesla Model 3 is the lowest priced in the fleet and is one of the world’s best-selling vehicles. You may be able to offset some of your costs with incentives or tax credits for a new Tesla. Many states and utility companies offer Tesla owners a solar credit, which may help reduce the cost of owning a Tesla. Plus, the Inflation Reduction Act features a $7,500 rebate for EV purchases.

A Tesla’s actual cost of ownership includes upfront costs, depreciation, charging fees, maintenance, and other considerations. Like any other vehicle, a Tesla loses 20% of its value in the first year. Maintenance costs are not as complex as fuel-powered vehicles, which means any depreciation loss is replaced with the lack of maintenance costs over time.

Tesla Model 3 Costs

The Model 3 is Tesla’s cheapest electric car and costs $46,990 in upfront costs for a white (pearl) vehicle with rear-wheel drive. Model 3 also comes in standard silver metallic or the following additional colors for an additional charge.

  • Deep metallic blue: $1,000
  • Solid black: $1,500
  • Red multi-coat: $2,500

Tesla also charges extra for 19” sport wheels and a black-and-white interior. If you opt for upgrades such as dual-wheel drive, the Tesla Model 3 costs $62,990.

Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving

One of the most attractive features of any Tesla vehicle is the self-driving feature, which is available in three versions. Contrary to the name, Tesla cars aren’t entirely self-driving and require human supervision.

  • Standard Autopilot: The most common Tesla software for every new car, it helps Tesla owners steer, accelerate, and brake automatically.
  • Enhanced Autopilot: Enhanced Autopilot features Smart Summon, which lets your car come to you when summoned, navigating as needed. It also features Autopark, Auto Lane Change, and Navigate on Autopilot.
  • Full Self-Driving: Tesla currently features Full Self-Driving in beta release. Set for official release in 2023, the package combines Standard and Enhanced Autopilot features, plus adds Traffic and Stop Sign Control and Autosteer for city streets.

Adding on Enhanced Autopilot is an additional $6,000 to the Tesla Model 3 purchase price, while Full Self-Driving costs an additional $15,000.

Tesla Upkeep and Maintenance Costs

Tesla vehicles don’t need oil changes, fuel filters, and other maintenance needs of traditional gas-powered cars. Drivers should change the cabin filter, HEPA filter, brake fluid, and air conditioner bags according to the company’s recommended schedule of three to six years. The cars also feature tire rotation every 6,250 miles to extend the tire life. Tesla owners should figure these into the cost of ownership for any of the company’s electric vehicles.

Charging a Tesla EV

Tesla helps owners save on an electric vehicle with Superchargers, the fastest Tesla charging option on the road, with 15 minutes of charge equal to 200 miles. The brand features over 35,000 Superchargers around the world. Superchargers cost around $20-$25 to charge the battery for about 250 miles, which is Tesla’s standard range. Home charging costs have an average cost of $10.94 for a complete charge of a vehicle such as the Tesla Model 3, with varying amounts of $13-$18, depending on the model. Some cars, such as the Tesla Model S, feature an extended range of up to 405 miles, which means owners go longer between charges, thus saving money. In-home chargers range from $750 to $1,000 in installation fees.

Tesla Insurance

Tesla costs an average of $3,947 a year for car insurance. Prices vary by model, year, and type. Tesla features its own insurance coverage in specific states, with the lowest prices in the industry. Currently, Tesla sells insurance packages in the following:

Cost for Tesla Insurance

Car insurance for a Tesla costs an annual average of $2,030 when you purchase a policy from Tesla. The exact rates for each Tesla owner vary according to the coverage, model, year, and add-ons for the EV. The Tesla Model Y has the lowest average insurance costs. This crossover vehicle averages $3,057 annually, while the Long Range EV’s average insurance cost is $3,608.

Tesla uses real-time driving behavior to calculate insurance costs in every state except California. Other factors for premiums include a driver’s risk level and driving history. Tesla reportedly doesn’t use marital status, gender, or credit score for rates. Coverage options for Tesla insurance include liability, comprehensive, and collision. Tesla owners can also buy Tesla charger coverage.

Private Insurance Costs

Tesla owners in states without Tesla insurance or those who want to use a private insurer can use insurance from State Farm, Progressive, and other carriers. While not as cheap as the official Tesla insurance, State Farm features an average of $2,030 per year and is the lowest-priced carrier for most areas.

FAQs

How Much Does owning a Tesla cost per month?

The cost to own a Tesla depends on how you acquire the Tesla, plus what model and features you choose. Leasing a Tesla can be up to $500 a month. Additional features will increase the monthly payment. Teslas don’t require oil changes and regular maintenance work like a fuel-powered car, so you have lower maintenance costs.

Are Teslas expensive to own?

Teslas can be expensive to own in that they’re pricy to buy. Charging costs are minimal, especially compared to fuel costs, but a home charger installation is costly. Insurance, repairs, and other elements of car ownership typically are pricier.

How much does it cost to own and operate a Tesla?

Research shows Tesla ownership features an average $57,369 five-year cost.

How expensive is it to maintain a Tesla?

EV experts calculate it costs $852 a year to maintain a Tesla, while the average for all car models in the U.S. is an annual $652.

How much does a Tesla cost?

The cost of a Tesla varies by vehicle model. The Tesla 3 is the cheapest of the line and costs $47,000. The Model X, the priciest edition, ranges from $120,000 to $160,000 depending on trim, features, and other factors.

However, these are just the sticker prices of the Tesla. In addition to the $3,000 to $5,000 in taxes, Tesla customers also pay a $1,200 delivery fee, a $250 order fee, and a fee for installation and a charger.

What is the average cost of a Tesla?

Tesla vehicles cost an average of $46,990 to $123,000. The exact cost of a Tesla model depends on the features and trim.

Every Vehicle Needs Great Car Insurance

Whether you drive a gas-powered car, a Tesla, or any other electric vehicle, ensure you’re well-protected with the right car insurance plan. Want to save on your car insurance rates? Start today with our quote tool for online rate comparison.