Should You Buy A New Tesla Model 3 or Used Model S?

Should You Buy A New Tesla Model 3 or Used Model S?

Hey guys Trav here with Ideal Cars and
today we’re going to talk a little bit about why your first Tesla should be a
used Model S, not a new Model 3 In today’s market you’d think the smaller
simpler model 3 would be Tesla’s most affordable sedan but for first-time
Tesla buyers buying a brand new model 3 might just be a costly mistake in fact
for 91% of Tesla owners this is the most expensive car they’ve ever purchased and
since this is most likely the most expensive car you’ve ever considered
purchasing we wanted to take you through our approach to buying your first Tesla
and get you into the Evie game just over 92% of Tesla owners say they buy another
Tesla in the future so keep in mind that we’re pretty sure this first Tesla won’t
be your last with that we’re first gonna cover some
of the pros and cons of a used model s versus the new Model 3 then we’ll dig a
little deeper into things like motors interior features size and usable cabin
space lastly will price shop a used model s versus a new model 3 and
discover which model best fits the bill for your first Tesla so without further
ado let’s get started now first I wanted to outline the pros and cons of each
let’s start with the Model S the Model S has longer lower sleeker exterior
styling than the Model 3 and some would argue that it looks substantially better
it has a heads-up display system it’s also a heavier car which makes it better
for long distances because it’s more sure-footed and it’s a little bit
quieter going down the road you can go out and buy one of these today
unlike the Model 3 where you might be waiting six months to a year to get your
hands on one finally the Model S has unlimited lifetime supercharging that’s
right plug your car into any Tesla supercharger and you’ll be able to have
free fuel as for the negatives it’s got shorter range than the long
range equipped model 3 it’s a heavier car we’ve got this listed as a pro and a
con because while it makes the car feel more luxurious it also makes for less
nimble handling and longer stopping distances although we’re splitting hairs
here it’s not a small car by any stretch of the imagination which makes it
tougher to park or drive in the city and it’s got no enhanced autopilot features
unless you buy a late 2016 model year or newer in which case there will be zero
cost savings over the model 3 so there’s the pros and cons of the
less well what about the model 3 as for pros it’s a brand new car with all brand
new technology in long-range guys it has significantly longer range than a used
Model S it’s got enhanced autopilot and has some really cool features the
original autopilot doesn’t it’s a lighter car which means it’s a little
more agile with shorter stopping distances and it’s smaller it’s easier
to park and drive in the city now on to the cons as a model year 1 car it’s far
more likely to have reliability issues over the Model S exterior styling is
good but not Model S good the super minimalist controls may be a little too
minimalist and lack of a heads-up display seems a bit on it’s got slower
acceleration and while enhanced autopilot has more features than
original autopilot allegedly it’s not quite as refined just yet you don’t get
any unlimited super charging or any free charging for that matter and you can’t
option it with all-wheel drive yet it’s coming though ok so as you can see each
have their advantages and disadvantages now let’s dig in and see how the model 3
is pushing the technological envelope for electric vehicles which is something
in the long term we’re all going to benefit from new for the model 3 are the
use of permanent magnet motors in place of the induction motors that were used
on the Model S permanent magnet motors have recently drastically dropped in
cost and are much lighter and more efficient to make making them superior
to the larger and heavier less efficient induction motors found in the Model S
these new motors are only going to get less and less expensive to make and in
turn so electric vehicles themselves there’s a rear facing camera built into
the rear view mirror on the model 3 that will most likely be used for facial
recognition for auto pilot and driver profiles as you may know
Tesla’s keen on building out a ride-sharing network and one day this
camera is most likely going to help monitor the activities that go on inside
your car should you decide to rent it out as an autonomous taxi and maybe earn
some revenue passively fingers crossed that this is something that comes to
fruition the model threes infotainment computer is now liquid cooled and sports
a faster processor all resulting in a more responsive touchscreen it’s closer
now to a giant I pad than ever they’ve upgraded the
media control unit with an Intel SOC chip versus the nvidia tegra that was
present in the Model S Plus because the model 3 has such minimalist interior
design with a completely flat dashboard outward visibility has been greatly
improved now obviously the model 3 is more like a
BMW 3-series where the Model S is closer to a BMW 5-series but I still thought it
was worth noting the actual size differences the model 3 is 11 inches
shorter and only about an inch less wide than the Model S with the mirrors tucked
in the model 3 does have about an inch and a half more Headroom in the front
and almost 2 and a half inches more Headroom in the back and both have
roughly the same front and rear legroom so to sum one all up the model 3 is
roughly a foot shorter than its Big Brother and with its minimalist interior
the inside feels bigger than the Model S as we can see the model 3 is a step into
the future of electric vehicles featuring all the latest and greatest
technological advances but with that let’s not forget that when the Model S
or even the Model X for that matter first hit the market they had some
definitive issues that needed to be sorted so most likely the same will be
the case for the Model 3 now trav I know you probably covered the bases and
whatnot but we need to figure out if we should buy a used Model S or a brand new
model 3 and I think the way to do that is to fire this thing up look at the
interwebs look at things like depreciation values and smart stuff like
that and kind of figure this out together so let’s take a look at this
hey guys welcome to my computer and today we’re gonna go through a couple of
tools that we dig into in depth in the ideal car strategies if this is
something that you’re interested in we teach people how to look at depreciation
values and ultimately time the market correctly to drive cars for free or even
make money on them I’ll show you at the end how you can sign up for more
information but the things that we use one is baked into car gurus that we love
which is the price trends now this is depreciation values and you can see here
I have it pulled up for a Model S and it’s a two-year running to
down here you can see the different models I have a 13 through 16 selected
and year-over-year how much they’re depreciating you can see that the 15s
depreciating the most and the 14 is depreciating the least year-over-year
and so as you can see if you were to buy brand new 16 model s in two years it’s
worth 105 it’s worth 75 so you can see how much you’d be losing that would be
$30,000 if I we were to get a 13 in the same amount of time at 66 you’d be
losing 25,000 so less over the course of that two year ownership now if you take
this and and we look at a let’s say six month I like to see if the and you can see
here it’s pretty flat it is still going down but it’s not too bad and again that
14 is is kind of the winner because it’s depreciating less than any of the others
given these are just prices based off of the average for listing price but it
gives us a good idea of what the the market is bearing now so we have this
information now we want to look at another tool that we use eBay Motors and
the thing about eBay Motors that’s great is that it shows sold listing so actual
hard data on what a car sold for so we’re gonna start with the model three
first you can see I searched there’s eighteen results here and we’re gonna go
down here and look at completed listing so these are cars that both sold and
went unsold in the auction done Ted are done and here you can see the completed
listings there 73 of them we’re sorting by highest price first and as we go down
okay Model X that doesn’t there we go the first one $82,000 now we know that
the model 3 there’s a thirty five thousand dollar one
so I’m thinking that that’s probably what most people will be looking for to
get into their first Tesla what’s nice is that you know that 92% of people that
buy their first Tesla are looking to buy another one later down the road and so
when we’re looking at these they go from 82 all the way down to what’s the
cheapest one that sold alright let’s go to page two fifties and then 10,000 so
the cheapest one that sold was fifty five nine ninety-five it’s a seventeen
it looks like it’s used yep Molly mileage five hundred and it was picked
up at the beach area at the end of last year so that’s the cheapest one that has
actually sold with hard data now let’s look at a Model S and because let’s say
we’re gonna keep it like 40 ish $35,000 I think the ballpark is going to be
around a 13 to 2014 use Tesla so we’ll we’ll search those highest price and you
can see a dual motor one when 484 and as we start going down here you can see in
the high 40s a lot of um and as you can see there’s a lot of options there and
so we can see that these are ranging quite a bit now the nice thing about the
2013 and 14 is that they came out with the P 85 plus so if you’re not looking
for the dual motors an all-wheel drive the P 85 plus if you put them into our
ideal car strategies that car actually is one that you could buy drive for six
to 18 months and sell and pretty much get all the money back out now the P 85
the plus was a $10,000 option as 21 inch wheels more horsepower and some other
doodads and that car if you were to buy it today for low 40s or hopefully high
30s you’d be able to in 12 to 18 months get out of it for roughly what you had
in it and so here at ideal cars we’re always looking to get into something and
either drive it for free or even make money on it if you were to get a brand
new model 3 you’re most likely going to pay a premium right now you’re not going
to have it right away unless you do pay a very high premium and on top of that
you’re going to lose money on it the P 85 plus is such a good car and you can
get into one for the 40s or high 30s and then you’d be able to get out of it and
make money most likely or at least break even on top of that you kind of look at
it as your introduction to Tesla you learn what you have to have features on
your model 3 when you order it versus ones that you could live without so you
don’t order a car now and then wish you would have ordered different options
later so that’s what we would do we would get a 2013 or 14p 85 plus what are
your thoughts would you guys get a used Tesla Model S like a P 85 plus or would
you go for a brand-new model 3 as your first Tesla please let us know if you’re
interested in learning more about our strategies that we’ve built you can go
over to ideal cars TV and then as you can see here on the left side you can
sign and you’ll get more information about it
but we teach people how to negotiate how to get the best deal on the coolest cars
and like I said either break even or make money on them so hopefully this was
a big help again in the comments let us know would you get a used model S right
now or would you get a brand new model 3 look forward to hearing your thoughts
well there you have it folks we’ve built an entire online curriculum that teaches
viewers like yourselves how to use technology to break down the research
purchase post purchase and selling of cars in a way that’s never been done
before head over to ideal cars dot TV enter your email address and sign up to
learn more link in the description and always thanks for watching please smash
that like button and subscribe love you guys audiojungle

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. You deserve a downvote for this clueless video. You are comparing the wrong cars. A used Model S 85 has the same range as the $35K Model 3 SR. The range in Model S cars is 11-20% over-advertised but it is spot on in the Model 3. The Model S 85 was supposed to score 236 mi EPA based on achieving on 337 mi at 48 mph in dyno tests. Normally they convert this score to EPA rated range using the 70% multiplier. Therefore the range should be 236 miles. All other EV makers use 70%. The Leaf uses 70%, the Bolt uses 70%, Mercedes and BMW use 70%. What is more interesting is that Tesla has used 70% for the Model 3. However, they used 78.6% for the Model S 85 and 75.40% for a few other Model S cars. All Tesla cars have inflated range numbers except the Model 3.

  2. I'm looking to get a new m3, I live in the city and having a big car does not make sense. Certainly value for money would have to be the model s, but other things also need to be taken into account.

  3. The 3 I have on order is 42k before tax credits. Hopefully it will arrive by late 2018. 2 years from now a good bet is an 30,000 mile small battery will essay fetch $30,000. By the time I get my car Tesla most likely have built 100,000 3's. Most bugs should be worked out. P85 values will dip when the S is redesigned. You cannot buy an p85 under Tesla full warranty for under 42k.

  4. An used S is only a good deal to someone that can afford an new S.

    For most working class folks buying any used flagship luxury car not under factory bumper tis a very bad idea. Very basic problems can run thousands of dollars. With the 3 you are covered for 4 years. The 3 is a much more basic design.

  5. If you want to drive an car for free. Buy an base Toyota certified 2 or 3 year old Corolla for as cheap as you can. No one wants an 2 year old base car. Every smart person wants an 4 or 5 year old base car. If you get an good deal in two years you will get back every penny. As long as some of the warranty is left and you stay under 100,000 miles.

  6. Being both a 2014 MS and 2017 M3 owner, I would agree with ur assessment. Used MSs in the low 40s are an absolute steal. Unlimited supercharging and the extra storage makes them ideal road trippers. You're buying a 3-4 year old 90K+ car for 50% discount and will have minimal depreciation loss after a year or two of driving.

  7. I have a Model 3 reservation and will probably stay with it based on the fact that I will probably get the $7,500 fed tax credit. If that credit was not in play, I would probably wait another year an look for a used model 3.

  8. Probably go with Model S 85 without any performance. There is a good reason. Because reduction gear box is more likely to be more worn out on performance models. That's my thoughts. And I would like to find 2014 or 2015 year model because of less other small issues.

  9. An all aluminum Model s will have very high insurance over a steel M3. An old MS will be out of warranty. The self presenting door handles cost $800 each to replace. I’ll take the new car with extended warranty, please.

  10. Hello I was hoping to get some advise. I currently own a used 2016 corvette convertible with magnetic suspension that I have been driving since September 2017, holds value great. However, I need a side car that is easier to drive. JK holds its price unfortunately, not that much easier to drive. Can you recommend a car that is easy to drive that holds its value? Used 2017 KIA Sportage SX has everything I want, but doesn't hold value compared to what you are paying. Used Tesla p85 + almost has everything I want, but is basically another corvette with even softer rider and less sporty (better seats!).

    What do I want in car you may ask?

    Heated and vented seats, heated steering wheel+ cool steering wheel if possible, and panoramic roof

    The only vehicle that I can think of is F-150, is there anything else I am missing???? Thank You

  11. [Ricky] Just found your channel searching for some Tesla Battery info, and man you guys are awesome! Can't believe you only have 7k subs right now! Keep up the awesome work, seriously you guys are going places! We have pivoted our channel quite a bit, but the growth comes fast!

  12. model 3 is better choice in my opinion as newest model with tablet like screen very modern , while s is great car but in dash tablet looks like old  tube tv  in cabinet, great display just old fashioned looking compared to model 3, plus all future s and x will have same tablet screen like , and if you buy old s you don't have any warranty left except for battery, so its risky while model 3 have at least 4 years  left

  13. I just got a 2016 Model S 75 and wanted an S vs a 3 for a few reasons.  First I like the way it looks better. I also liked the free supercharging but the thing that made up my mind is it is a hatchback and I can put bicycles in the back and even sleep in it in camping mode.  Having it full autonomous was a non issue, really wasn't looking for an automated taxi cab. Not getting a tax credit is a factor.

  14. When you calculate the depreciation of a Model S, you should take into account the $10k federal and state tax credit in many states. For example, for a 2016 model S, you project the depreciation of $30k for two years, but the real cost to the original owner is only $20k which is very good for a car at this price range.

  15. I looked at used Model S but decided to get a new Model 3. I get the $7500 tax credit and a new car with the newer technology for less. The build is long range rear wheel drive with auto-pilot and blue paint for $55000. I was told I get free supercharging for life and the guy put in the reference code but that comes with the performance build so we’ll see. If it wasn’t for the tax credit, I would have waited for the $35000 version or still considered a used Model S.

  16. no question in my mind I would rather have new model 3 then older model s.  as newer ones have full warranty while old ones do not , and repairs can get very expenise was told, also , battery range on model 3 is great,  and 4g lte you have ..  while older ones do not and have only 3g  yuk.  plus model 3 is more modern  inside with tablet like screen while model s has old style tube tv like screen with cabinet. and future model s will look like model 3 inside , so buying model s will look like you are stepping behind in time.

  17. I just found your channel. Good video. As for the warranty, there are some that have an 8yr warranty from the model year so you could find one with a say a 3 – 6-year warranty still on there. If I could afford one, I would go with a used Model S, for the camping mode, more cargo space, the free supercharging as well. If I had a Tesla with that, I would be driving all over the place and seeing new places.

  18. My idea is to buy Tesla for autopilot and I was thinking to buy used S over model 3. Does this mean all S before 2016 dont actually have an autopilot? I hear its not “enchanced” autopilot on S. What does that mean?

  19. Got tired of waiting for the model 3 went ahead and purchased a used Model S 85 p which is awesome got it for 38k I'm still on the reserve list for the model 3 waiting for the 35 basic one come out but I do love my model S!

  20. Used S…I’ve been telling everyone this since the 3 came out. FREE LIFETIME SUPERCHARGING DUH!!! Air suspension, HATCHBACK!!!! I hate trunks! You can sleep in it comfortably on long road trips.

    BUT my real advice, EVs are insanely overpriced especially Tesla. Buy a great gas car and wait a few years for more competition to bring prices down. Tons of gas cars are much more fun to drive with better handling and dynamics and they all have adaptive cruise which is the best part of Tesla’s autopilot.

  21. My wife & I cancelled our order for a Model 3 and bought a 2014 P85+ for 8,100 less, and got way more car; more room, smoother ride, air suspension, bigger wheels, quicker acceleration, unlimited supercharging access, better instrumentation, passive entry, and arguably better looks. Certified pre-owned from Tesla’s used car inventory, so we still have a great warranty. We are super happy we went with the used Model S P85+, but honestly, the 3 & the S are both great cars.

  22. These are cool but I’ll probably get a new Honda Civic and use the $30000 I’m saving on a Tesla for gas over the life of the civic haha.

  23. Pretty good information. Although I want to know how is the quality control on the earlier model S? (2014). Does all the early model s come with unlimited supercharging benefits ? 🦅🦅🇺🇸

  24. Guys seriously I heard that when the model S breaks down (which your video does not take cost of ownership into consideration) it's either impossible to find parts, extremely long wait for parts from Tesla effectively parking your car for months, or exorbitantly expensive parts and labor that grossly skew the overall value negatively. My question is this: do you think I'm being irrational in my thinking that the ownership cost may bankrupt me should something mechanically go awry or do you think a 4 year old Tesla can give me another 3-4 years outside the warranty security you get with the new model 3?

  25. Or you could buy a yamaha r6, it will only cost you $12,000, it does 40mpg, it does 0-60 in 3 seconds, it can hit 170 mph, over its life with maintenance and gas it will likely come out to near 18-20k for 200k miles. So it costs less, and is fast like a super car, I think its a no brainer. Plus insurance is only $20-40 a month depending on you experience on being on a bike.

  26. Go visit Rich Rebuilds and look up his experience with Tesla's used car purchasing department before you buy a used Tesla from Tesla.

  27. Hi, very intresting and good video!
    Can you make a new video with the new comparing differences between a model S and 3?
    Because now there is no free charging and so on..

  28. I like that you refer to it as an "EV game" because that's what it is …a game for the rich…..I mean average Model 3 price is $60 K….buy an Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport Q 4 for $45 K and you've got plenty of money to spend on gas….I just don't get it…Now the Hyundai Kona….that's a different story….a truly affordable EV that makes financial sense….

  29. used 2015 P90D Ludicrous, 2.6s 0-60, NEVER gets old.
    Ooodles of torque, space, and luxury, and and won't rust, unlike the Model 3.

  30. How is this logic? Ive had two model S and two model X. Im now getting a new model 3 performance instead af a new X 100D with free supercharging. I dont need the space so the 3 is OK for now. Waiting for a new/refreshed model X which should be available within a year, which then makes it stupid to buy a model X/S these days.

  31. I was on the fence to get a model 3 but rather get a 2014 model s 85. Seems a better deal and sure it wont be the last Tesla I get lol

  32. V interesting. Any uber drivers in the comments? I’m wondering if I could lease/get a loan for a tesla and pay it off driving for Uber

  33. I’m only a month in to this whole Uber thing but I make maybe $750 a week part time. Once I get the tesla, I’ll be full time and spending nothing on gas but I’m imagining insurance might kill me

  34. Great analysis of costs. The most expensive part of owning most cars is depreciation. Looks like you found the sweet spot!

  35. it's the horizontal screen that i absolutely hate. Such a stupid idea. They should've kept it like in the Model S!! Vertical and mounted in the dash!

  36. When you say “buy” when suggesting the keep for 18 months then selling to drive for free option. Are you talking about buying cash straight up no financing or does this calculation include any type of loan interest rate?

  37. Seems like a great time to refresh this discussion. With M3 being more avilable and cheaper, in the $40k range, does it still make more sense to get a 5 year old S P85+, or new M3? Especially with the new S & X upgrades announced today. Does that devalue the used S models more?

  38. I’ve never seen a Tesla with Heads Up Display. Is he calling the dash display behind the steering wheel in a Model S a “heads up display” ?? Heads Up is info displayed onto the windshield in your driving line of sight and I haven’t seen a Tesla capable of doing that.

  39. I think it matters a lot how big of a deal "full self-driving" is for you.

    All Model 3s come with the hardware needed, so they can all eventually be "full" self driving. A used Model S, only has AutoPilot (and will never have more) unless you're getting a 2017 or newer (which are still way more expensive than a Model 3)

    But…the S is bigger, etc. So…I think that is one major difference that would be a deciding factor for many people.

  40. Now the model S used are even cheaper at 30 grand and cheaper. Which is just an absolute steal vs the Model 3. The model S interior is (in my opinion) is just so much better than the Model 3. Hence Model S used is the way to go, along with free supercharging. Who would pass that up?

  41. Really good video with in-depth info just what we need before we buy. I will be looking at a 2014 model S

  42. The model s warranty is about to expire on the originals made. When it does, people are going to feel the hurt of the price to fix plus the limited availability of shops to fix their cars. Buying a model s and keeping it post warranty is a dangerous idea and probably the most impactful decision left out of this video when considering a used Tesla. Batteries run over $10k, door handles malfunction often and are over $1000, etc. Not good

  43. Nah I still think the model 3 is better. When my model 3 went into service they loaned me a model s p85d. Although it’s a bigger car, it is not as nimble, burns more energy per mile, sound system is not as good, seats were not as comfortable, and I hated how slow it supercharged compared to my model 3. Some of the older model s also takes a good minute to warm up… which I also did not like. Overall, model s is not worth the money until they upgrade the batteries and charging system.

  44. man i make 50k a year and i want one of these so bad. but even used there really expensive. oh i live in canada so that makes it worse 🙁

  45. I was shopping for a Tesla earlier this year and was also debating between a used Model S or new Model 3. My budget, under $45K. I can understand why most people would choose a new car but after lots of thinking, I chose a used Model S. I wanted Dual Motors (AWD) and at least 270 mile range. Doing an existing inventory search for Long Range, AWD Model 3 would be close to $54K. The M3 would not have a subzero package, and no free supercharging! In its defense, the M3 has much better Battery and AP technology, as well as Sentry mode! So why did I chose a used Model S. First, I’m a big guy, and the S is a much roomier car. Road trips on the S are definitely more pleasant, as it is much quieter than the M3. Second, price, for mid $40K I found a used 2015 Model S85D with only 12,004 miles. It has the Tech Package with AP1, Premium Sound, SubZero Package, NextGen Seats, panoramic sunroof, and free supercharging. I also like the 2 displays vs. the 15 inch single display on the M3. Bought directly from Tesla, it came with a 4 year/50K miles warranty (from my delivery date). Here are some photos of my dream car!!AoAsGTbf5o9KhZl0XNizcC76qCZHMg

  46. The only thing I would worry about when buying a used electric car is degradation of the battery

    I’ve replaced batteries on my laptop and I don’t even wanna know how much of a nightmare that is on a car

  47. This guys tries to hard to stage his corner of the room into a real garage. Way too clean and stuff is way out of place. (e.g. Tire/Rim sitting in a plastic shop cart, etc. In regards to 3 vs S, of course a used S is a better financial deal than a new 3. Nothing news worthy there?

  48. Sooooo glad someone made a video on this, as this is the exact dilemma I’m currently facing. Thank you for your service sir!!

  49. Even if you break even by buying the 2013 P85 by buying and selling for the same cost, don't you actually still have to pay thousands in tax when you buy the car so that you're not actually driving the car for free?

  50. We bought a pre owned S85 Rwd. For just under 45 k with 32,000 miles. Let the first owner depreciate. Brand new was just shy of 90k. It is mint condition, free supercharging. The only options i wish i had was the airride suspension, but ours is pretty comfortable. I get soo many compliments. It is red color and I recommend going for that color. The front nose is upgradable and there are after market options for the newer facia. Mine is not full self driving and dont worry, full self driving is not going to be legal anytime soon and frankly i dont trust it yet. Even advanced summon is glitchy and have issues. Anyway, go for pre owned S. Try to get air ride suspension and upgraded seats. The other cars i was thinking about was the 2016 LS 460 and the Porsche Panamera 4. LS for reliability and ride and Panamera to my was the closest to how the Models S feels and drives.model s build quality especially interior is not as good as Porsche or Lexus l

  51. I also took the challenge. Cancelled my Model 3 order and purchased a 2016 Model S (used with warranty f/k/a CPO).

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