Owning a Used Tesla – 2 Year Cost Breakdown

Owning a Used Tesla – 2 Year Cost Breakdown


– Well, it’s been two
years since I got my used Tesla Model S, obviously
it’s changed my life. I’ve created this channel,
it’s affected my family in ways that I couldn’t
even have imagined, and I’m here to do what I did when I first got it, which
was to break down the cost. What we’re gonna look at
is all the different costs involved and the true cost of ownership of a Tesla Model S. This is a used 2013 60
kilowatt hour battery, after two years of ownership, let’s go. First, let’s take a look at the loan, and I’m paying this off
in three years with 1.5% interest rate, which
means that the first year it was about $14,124 and that
was the same the second year. The only real difference is
the interest that I’m paying is a bit less now because I’m paying off more of the principal. This gives me a total for the payments after two years of $28,249, which is a lot, but know
that this would be the same if you chose any other
car of a similar price. Now let’s break that
down a little bit further because I think it’s important
to talk about depreciation. This is one of the biggest,
often the biggest cost of owning a car, and it’s
hard to calculate exactly, and of course my data, my example
here is just one anecdote. It’s not representative of the whole, and so there are a lot
of things to consider, but I do have some decent numbers for you. Let’s start off with the
first one, my purchase price, which was $54,400. I paid $4,000 of cash and
then I financed 50,000 of it, which is why I have the loan, and I actually just got a quote from Tesla for trading in my Model S of $36,300. Now that may not sound like that bad, but after you do the math on that, that’s over $18,000 of
value that has been lost, which is 33% drop. Now mind you, this is
after it was already used for three years, so these
are the last two years in the first five years. Now that is a big chunk to lose, and I think it is due to how
quickly the cars are advancing and some of the newer ones
that have newer hardware and basically continue to get better with over the air updates,
those seem to be fine when I check the prices online for those, but mine, because it’s
older and I’m missing autopilot hardware and
things like foldable mirrors, all these other features
that you really can’t add on without a huge expense, those seem to be a big difference maker. So if you’re looking
to buy a used Model S, just know that the
depreciation is gonna be pretty bad on it,
especially if you don’t have any of the newer features like autopilot or you know, the new front
fascia or anything like that. This brings us to
insurance, and here we have essentially what I’ve been
getting over the past two years but there are changes to that out there. So if you’re interested in this, the prices definitely will vary, and I have a lot of discounts
because I have multiple cars, I have life insurance, and I have my house all on the same plan. It comes out to just
over 100 bucks a month. In the first year, it was $1,226. In the second year, $1,161. So really not that bad, I don’t think, coming out to a total
of $2,387 for two years. This brings us to charging,
and this is a big difference where the Tesla really
wins out compared to a normal gasoline-powered car. Now I paid just over $1,100
over the past two years and I drove over 18,000
miles, which is pretty good, but a big reason that
my cost is so good here is because in March I got solar. So prior to that, I was
actually paying quite a bit, north of $70 a month in fuel charges just for my Tesla Model S,
but then when I got solar, I basically broke down that
cost over the 25 year life span and looked at how much
it would cost me to pay for my Tesla energy each month. Now the Tesla eats about 45%
of my monthly electricity bill, so that’s a lot, and that
comes out to just about $26 a month in fuel or
energy for my Tesla Model S. That’s 26 bucks a month, compared
to what I would be paying for a gas car, which is a lot higher. When I add that up across two years, what we’re looking at here
is a substantial savings. In fact, it’s over $1,000 of savings, and so if you were to think about that, I would be paying over $2,000 in fuel for the amount that I
drove and the gas prices that I have here in San
Diego, and I have details on all this in a link in
the description down below, which is about a 50%
savings, 49.34% difference. So think about that for your situation. If you drive a lot, the numbers
here, the dollar figures could add up to be much higher than this. I don’t drive that much,
and that’s why the dollar figures aren’t that big, but with solar, I’ve been able to actually
save on a percentage basis a ton over what I would be paying if I had a regular gasoline car. Now one of the things that me
and a lot of the other folks that have Teslas and EVs
in general talk about is the lower cost of
maintenance and repairs, and that bears fruit and seems to be true with my data as well. Now the first year, I
really didn’t have any. There were a couple
repairs, if you recall, if you guys have been
with me this whole time, and they were all covered by Tesla. Well, the second year, I
actually paid for some stuff, and first and foremost,
I paid for some tires. I had one tire with a rim
that had to be replaced, and then I had another
incident where two tires were bad, so I just replaced all of them. So my total for the
two-year span for tires was $1,327, which really
would be pretty standard on any higher-end vehicle,
these tires aren’t that cheap, so there’s that. Now I did pay for the
two year service here, which was $725, so this
is where I actually paid for some kind of service, and there was a lot
that they went through. If you guys are interested,
I could put all the details of that in the description
and on the website. Now this brings us to a
total of just over $2,000 across two years, which
may sound like a lot if you own, say, a Honda
or a Toyota and you don’t really do much, but if you
own a BMW or a Mercedes, you know that that’s actually not that bad considering how expensive oil changes are and if you have any parts
that need to be replaced, how expensive that can be. So I think this is a pretty good price for the maintenance and
repairs on this, and again, that two-year service, I
didn’t really have to do, so that’s a big chunk of it right there. Tires were the only thing
that I had to really come out of pocket for. All right, so let’s add it all up and see what I’ve been paying here. Starting out, we have
depreciation of $18,100. Then we have insurance, nearly $2,400. Maintenance and repairs, just over 2,000 and charging, just over $1,100, giving us a total true cost of ownership for my situation here, my
one data point, of $23,659. I’m curious what you guys think. Do you have a higher-end
sedan like a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes Benz S-Class, or an Audi, one of these cars that
are kind of in the same category as a Tesla Model S, if so, I’m curious what you
think of these numbers, is this really high, is it low? And if you don’t have one of those cars, this may seem insanely expensive to you, but really, when you
compare apples to apples, I think you’ll find that
it’s a much better deal for your money, and there you have it. So thanks for watching, I
hope you guys enjoyed this. If you’re new here, consider subscribing. If you like data an analysis and Tesla and advanced tech and
things related to Tesla, that’s what we do, and
it’s free, so you know, what do you have to lose? Last thing, remember,
when you free the data, your mind will follow. Thanks for watching and I’ll
see you back here next time.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. You forgot the cost of new and used parts, those used drive units are around 5k, then factor in shipping, factor in a technician, and then factor in the potential issue of a used drive unit going bad just after 90 days.

    AKA: fool's way to lose money. That and folks abuse their rides instead of taking care of them.

  2. I consider Tesla a $50000 iphone that becomes worthless (and inoperable) in few years since the company is updating and upgrading the technology so fast. Another reason why I will never buy a Tesla is because of its pot smoking CEO who has utter disregard for the future of his company. If this company disappears, which is quite possible, servicing and repairs will be challenging. I just bought a bmw and I can tell you that all your concerns about the service costs and repairs are invalid. BMW offers a free warranty for 50000 miles. Depreciation is minimum and with a good car insurance with low deductible it is a safe investment. BMW also gave me ‘gap insurance’ for $20-30 per month. So if the car was completely destroyed they will pay the value lost in depreciation while your car insurance pays the market value of the car at the time of the accident.

  3. Very cheap Tesla. In Norway its double, or even triple that price in USA. But when that is said, cars in general cost like nothing in USA.

  4. Tesla isn't cheap motoring but compares favorably with many mid market cars, the big grab though is ii is great to drive, safer and unlike any other car in the history of motoring it improves while you own it because of the software updates. They just can't make enough of them, if they could all the other vw , mercedes Ford, Toyota Hyundai wannabes wouldn't stand a chance.

  5. "Hey Im a good looking tall guy from a decent family, see how great my life is" Screw you for your unearned happiness. Nobody would like you if you fit your personality into the body of a short ugly person.

  6. America is a nation of back yard mechanics. I am one. I enjoy servicing my car…most of the time. i am beginning to think Tesla's are for the privileged few. It really is another example of the throw away economy. The tech trash heap. I see my neighbors buy BMW's and other expensive cars making huge monthly payments for a depreciating luxury. I can afford any one of those luxury cars but chose not to saving for a rainy day. How many Americans can? How many modest income earners will be stuck with a depreciating asset: A Tesla. ….that can't be fixed. Wonder what the repo rate is for Tesla's?

  7. We are throwing around big money here. Got it; splurge it. In your case Ben seems you are spending a lot of money on transportation for ,as you said you don't drive much. Neighbors do buy expensive cars. That is their choice. I buy value and attempt to be get as much out of the cars I buy as I can. My 'luxury' car in 2019: A 2013 Impala LTZ that I bought in Dec. 2013 for $18,000 less $9000 for my trade or $9000 total with 11,000 miles on it. Costs after 75,000 mi; a set of tires; oil changes every 6000 miles;(some I do myself); insurance and registration extra. I have neighbors that travel 3 hours to have their BMW's serviced . Hey, that is their choice. Incidentally I would never install solar panels.

  8. You spent 2k in maintenance and said that goes towards the oil changes and replacement part? Oil changes are only annually and cost like 50 bucks maybe 20 if you do if by yourself but how TF are you supposed to know if you don't even own a Honda, Mercedes, GM, vehicle??

  9. You are not factoring in that technically a trade in value is less then private sale or even dealer sale price. So you have inflated the % of depreciation by including this cost. I would estimate that the % of depreciation would range from your 33% to 27%. But you did give the worst case scenario which is always a great starting place so people have a realistic idea of ownership.

  10. Depressiation is bad with every car… when you buy new has soon you get off the garage you lost almost 50% of your car value. So a 30% loss of value is not to bad for a 2013 car.

  11. very informative, thank you. but i'm thinking: why spending 50k on a used car if you care about a 20-40% margin running cost ?! I heard all the time a lot of funny reasons for buying teslas, instead of the real one: i buy one, because it represents me, because i want it, because i afford it! loud and clear, like a man (because aren't so many ladies wanting teslas)

  12. Myself I run classics, my wife has business lease. It seems to myself looking in that the overall cost of ownership just drops in favour of the Tesla …. However for peace of mind, no one wants a newer but out of warranty expensive marque.

    So whilst owning a Tesla in warranty is good in many ways, with Tesla refusing to sell parts of give out service information it strikes me that out of the 8yr warranty they'll have very little va!ue.

    Each to their own is the reality.

  13. Hello Ben.. first i want to thankyou for all you take time to share. im in the search for a used Model S. I see great affordable (Working Class) prices in the 60 and 70 models. in your experience should i pull the trigger on a 60, 70 or 70D? 85 are still a bit high. my biggest concern is real world range use.

  14. Where I live gas is 2$ an gallon I don’t own an EV I guess I just have range anxiety and that’s why I still have a Gasoline vehicle also their are an EV off roader atm

  15. You left out the solar system cost.  Unless the solar system was free your cost breakdown is incomplete and probably quite low.

  16. 1000 a month to save around 50 a month in fuel costs that's green economics just take 250 out of your wallet every week and light it up watch it burn and say you're saving the planet same thing

  17. I think you are calculating the 18k loss wrong. Tesla offered you 36k…but that isn't what they would have sold it for or what a private owner would have bought it for

  18. My Garage:
    ‘13 MS60 vs 2010 BMW 335i convertible 550hp.
    2yr TCO comparison:
    Tesla 2yrs/30k miles total cost $550 for two new conti extreme 21” tires.
    BMW same 2yrs/8k miles $8,200 in maintenance.

    Sold both cars, upgraded to a 15 MS P85D CPO. Spent $1500 on 21” Mich PSS tires, worth every penny.

    See comparison post on tesla owners fb group.

  19. Let's make it simple, The car is expensive and meant to be made for poor people too and hopefully we can efford it in the future.

  20. I bought a 2004 Prius with 163,000 miles. By the time I paid for transfer fees and new tires my cost was $4300.
    I spend about $100 a month in gas but I drive a lot, around 2500 miles a month.
    My point being is why do Tesla owners think they are ever going to come out ahead by not buying gas? If this guy didn't get solar he would have spent more per mile charging his vehicle in comparison to what I spend in gas per mile driven. If you have comments please leave out carbon footprint arguments since this was a $$$ evaluation.

  21. Love you man, i'm in san diego too and have been a tesla fan without buying one 🙂 I'm about to buy a used P85D 2015 fully loaded for 54k wdyt?
    is the p85d the best one to hold long term to avoid mega depreciation? if not which 2014-2017 do you think is the best value atm? thanks

  22. Luxury brands don’t charge for maintenance for the first 3-4 years so your not saving any money over other brands. My Volvo has 3 years free maintenance so only expense I’ve had was tires too!! Plus you paid for your maintenance up front so you are not saving as much as you think

  23. I know u posted in 2018 but it still helps. If you own a high end car most people have the option to take it to a indy mechanic instead of the dealer for the same quality of work but cheaper.I notice there are 2 companies that offer maintenance warranties on tesla's. Times are getting better for both sides. Im going to wait until the used cost of a Tesla goes down some so it makes more sense for me. Every car drives different and offers its own driven experience. We all are different drivers too, some of us just have a short drive to work and dont even enjoy driving while others love to drive. Pick your weapon and enjoy it. Nothing like having a smile on your face when you driving and nothing like saving a little cash while doing it. I hope it is possible for me.

  24. Mercedes E550 had to replace the front air suspension 6 months ($3000) into ownership and about $1000 a month in fuel costs. I'm already looking into a pre-owned Model S P85D before the month is over. The amount of savings for me is going to be huge – due to my 120-150 mile daily commute.

  25. I’m a cheap guy and have a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta and would have bought 2 of my cars. So that’s a lot for a car for me.

  26. I drive 2013 BMW 740
    The only Money you saving is not getting paying for gas
    For me it's not worth getting electric car.
    And I would never give up on gas engines

  27. If you have night time free electricity. And charge your Tesla at that time, is that would be 0 dollar for a month?

  28. $1k each month to only drive a used 5 year old Tesla and even that with only 9k miles a year lol. This is why smart people don't buy Tesla. Pretty much ANY Toyota, Honda or Nissan will be cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain even with gas prices included lol. Tesla only is cheaper when compared to expensive German luxury cars like Mersedes, BMW, Audi, but then again driving a BMW is much more fun then a Tesla lol. Basically Tesla is a jack of all trade, master of none – nor as cheap as Japanese cars and neither as fun as German luxury cars. I think if with time prices for Tesla will come down to where Toyota sits right now – then it might be an option to some.

  29. You had the depreciation of $18,100 included in your total but kept your payment of $28,249 out.
    Also you bought Solar for your house. Could also count some of it towards your total amount.

  30. Thanks for the video. A couple of questions. Are used Tesla prices solid, or will the negotiate with you? How much was your insurance cost increase for the model S?

  31. Happy for people who spent 55k on a used car,lost 18k in value first year and continue talking about 1k saving on electricity

  32. As much as I would love to have a Tesla of any kind, the economics only work when comparing the cost to a high-end ICE car like a BMW or Merc. If you compare to a daily driver like a Civic or Altima or similar, the cost difference becomes much smaller since the cost of these cars is much lower and their fuel mileage is pretty good.

    I will own an electric car someday, but right now it's a luxury item, not a financially practical one for most people.

  33. $1100 on fuel costs?? That's a lot I think… I luckily have free charging at work and I probably spend like $15/month at the most when I do pay for charging. It's also only 8¢ / kWh where I live, which is pretty cheap. I also am not an aggressive driver, so my tires last a while.

  34. You did not include the cost and installation of you home charger unit in the total 24 month cost. Was it included in the original cars cost?

  35. Nice to know your numbers, I’m driving a Volt and want to migrate to a Tesla. I don’t drive too much as used to be (Chula vista to Temecula).

  36. I ran some numbers and found the big savings in total cost of ownership is when you keep one of these cars for a long time say 10 years or more.

  37. you dont add the cost for a solar system? if it saves you 1000 bucks a year in charging but the solar system cost 10, 20, 30 thousand it's not really saving 1000.

  38. I would buy a Gm for lot less ,and keep almost $20000 in my pocket to pay for the gas for 10 years or 200000 km.😂

  39. Playing devil's advocate here, when you calculated the monthly cost of electricity for the Model S after solar installation, you said the monthly cost was reduced significantly. Whether you purchased or lease your solar installation, did you factor in the actual prorated cost of solar into your monthly operating cost or calculated just the cost of electricity? That could make a significant difference depending on the cost of your solar installation and how you're paying for it. A friend bragged to me how little he spends each month of his Model X after installing solar on his home but never factored in the monthly cost of his solar panel lease into the monthly vehicle cost. He's paying $285.00 a month to lease his solar panels for the next 20 years. And he's encumbered his home and although he says he's never moving, for many perspective buyers that's a real "no thank you"! He does reduce his daily cost however. When he arrives at work, he parks at the nearby municipal airport and steals electricity from the city which operates the airport as the business complex in which he works has no electric vehicle charging.

  40. I really like tesla and ev. And am a enthusiast developer. B U T! Also i owe a 2013 bmw 3Gt 116d and sory. But your numbers are total bul. My service cost is usually like 600 – 800 a year… and gas price is also a load of to optimistic/justfication of my part is bettter.. turn it as you like its a iphone premium grade cost vs a normal android. And you are paying early bird price for it. Sorry

  41. Looking into buying a used Tesla model S. Its the 2013 version for $30K and with 50K miles on it. Idk should I just wait?

  42. To replace a tesla battery cost 10k usd. Any car battery is made up of smaller batteries/cells. I wonder how it works if your tesla batttry gets messed up out of warranty. Would tesla replace the individual cell that's messed up or will they just flat out charge you 10k to replace the whole entire battery. A single cell or a group of cells would pretty cheap to replace any where from a few bucks to 100usd for 1kWh worth of cells. I wish there was information oit in this service.

  43. can you tell me why you pay over 100 bucks insurance per month, if that other rich guy got a new tesla for 78$ per month? it's like (when you buy it for buisness purposes what your channel basically is), why not get a new cheaper one, THAN ADDITIONALLY PAYING MORE INSURANCE, than the car costs. idk though

  44. thus far it's $1000 repairs per year for the first 2 years. The expenses will start rising by year 4. If you can afford a luxury car go-ahead and buy it but don't be fooled by this sugar coated financial breakdown

  45. A battery-run car has changed your life and that of your family? What sort of life is that? Tesla owners are fast approaching cult status.

  46. These cars are for the Rich People out there ! A new Model S up in Canada is well over $110K + all the way to $160K +..We also have to pay out %13 Sales Tax up here and that's another $14K — $19K that you will never see again !! Add that to depreciation etc, etc and you have the price of a real nice car !!! Myself nor None of my friends are going car shopping with $100K in their pocket ! These vehicles are just not an economically viable option for the working man ! Too Bad !!

  47. 1300 for TIRES…!!! I own a X5 oil.. 79 bucks a year… break flush once… 150… and no other maintenance in 4 years… ?? Since I had it… If I had to replace the tires . They are only 200 ea.. 900 for 4… With tax
    ..

  48. Buy a $5,000 car 4cyl and you’ll save all that money you just talked about , imagine having all that cash at the end of the year. Don’t get caught up in status and materialistic things people

  49. I own a 2018 Lexus ES 300h and it’s probably the best car that holds the price and gas and insurance…

  50. I have a 2019 BMW M5, I spend, just on gas ~ $400 a month. If I get a Tesla, I would be saving about $25k just in gas over 5 years. let alone maintenance and services…

  51. In 2011 I bought Acura RL that was 5yrs old with 67k miles. I had 6000 trade in and my final otd balance I financed was 18500. I paid it off in 5yrs, and during those 5yrs I only performed oil changes (once per year, synthetic, $50 cost). Insurance went from $80 to $50ish a month for 100/300/100 coverage at all times… Timing belt was replaced at 100K for $1200 and few air filters over 5 years. Total cost after 5 years was 20k for the car paid off with maintenance and one set of tires during those 5 years all in was about $23000. Once it was paid off, I decided to do major maintenance fixes and upholstery replacement of leather on front seats. Changed complete suspension (shocks, struts, front inner n otter tie rods, steering rack, control arms upper lower font left and right and sway bar links) also changed engine mounts, all three oem and also replaced the leather on two front seats for around $3600 (i ordered all parts from rockauto so lots of after market parts).
    I spend around $150/mo on gas, but also work remotely from home, so I do not drive that much to work either… all-in invested $26600 + $14400 for gas over last 8 years… total of $41000 plus roughly insurance for 8 years in the amount of $6240 (65 avg per month) … all in all in, $47340 for the cost of ownership over the period of 8 years. I still have my car and if I was to sell it, it can go easily for 4500-5000… so I am in low 40s as far as cost of ownership goes…

  52. Why are people still comparing Tesla to BMW, Mercedes and Audi? The quality of the product just isn't there yet. So as you say in the video to compare with a 5 series wouldn't be right in my opinion, Tesla may look cool but in terms of build quality they are not even close yet to those Germans.

  53. Depreciation is only a thing a thing if you don't keep the car from it's useful life to it's destruction, which is what I tend to do.

  54. I bought a used Chevy Volt for $13k just over a year ago. Only burned 14.5 gallon of gas in the year I've owned it and after watching our electricity bills for the past year we have see no change to our yearly bill. Some months are a little higher, others are a little lower. It all averages out in the end. Also, the car has been 100% maintenance free. Considering my Honda Accord that I replaced cost me nearly $2k in maintenance per year and $65/month in gasoline, the Volt is probably the best car I have ever owned from a financial stand point. It's not the fastest of cars, its not the flashiest of cars, but it's up on the top of my list of best cars I have ever owned.

    You don't have to own a Tesla to drive electric. My Volt runs purely electric for 98% of the year. If I have to take an extended trip, it burns a little gas. But that's pretty rare.

  55. Never gonna buy a piece of software. I will continue to drive V8s and gas cars. I don’t feel like paying upward of $5k when the shit batteries fail

  56. Tell me with your honest opinion because I test drove Tesla last week with SUV and model 3, based on the numbers you presented…. I don’t do oil change because Mercedes Benz is using synthetic oil, I don’t rotate or change my tires as you do in my 13 years that I have my ML 350, I just did it twice, my car is well maintained and the only expensive I spent was almost 2 years ago, I spent about $5k but hey my car is 13 years old and 97800 miles right now. Any words?

  57. While a Tesla is my dream car, I had to settle for a 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid. My cost was $22,286. out the door. Its hitting right on the estimated MPG 53. Maybe some day I will be able to get a Tesla. But for now I love my Toyota Hybrid!

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