Ever consider buying a used Tesla Model S?

I bought my first new car in 2003. It was a two-door Mercedes and it was beautiful. I had been in my first “real” job for about six months and figured, why not? I’m single and making decent money, I can buy a new car! While this technically may have been true, I later decided to research the phenomenon of value depreciation in cars. It was quite the rude awakening to learn that I lost about $5,000 in the car’s value as soon as I drove it off the lot.

After this, I swore I’d never buy new again. I would scour the Internet for the best deal leaving no digital stone un-turned before buying! In reality, I would just end up buying from CarMax as they made the buying process just too easy to pass up, (you can tell me what a sucker I am in the comments below).

My regular readers know that I am a huge Tesla fan. My next car will be a Tesla after my lovely Leaf goes to that big junkyard in the sky. This got me thinking: what would the pros and cons of buying a used Model S be?


The first and most obvious advantage to buying a used Model S is obviously cost. In this article by George Bower posted at insideevs.com, the author writes about his experience buying a used Model S from a private seller. In 2015, Mr. Bower purchased the 2012 Model S from the original owner for $51,000. Not too shabby considering the original owner paid north of $110,000 for it new.

Another advantage that is specific to buying through Tesla’s used car system specifically is that a warranty is included with the purchase. In addition to completing a 70-point inspection on the vehicle, the car will come with either a 4-year or 50,000 additional mile warranty or a 2-year, up to 100,000 total mile warranty. Please note that this is only included when you buy from Tesla motors. Other dealerships or private owners will NOT include this warranty.


Unfortunately, buying a used Tesla from a private party or non-Tesla dealer will preclude an owner from purchasing an extended service agreement. The FAQ from Tesla’s warranty page explains:

“Owners (excluding 3rd party dealers and vehicles purchased from a 3rd party dealer) with Model S or X vehicles subject to the New Vehicle Limited Warranty which are still within the eligible purchase period can purchase the Extended Service Agreement.” They really want you to buy from them!

Another con about buying used is that you just can’t know how the car was treated. What if the previous owner kept it plugged for extended periods of time and has damaged the battery? What if they drove like a bat out of hell and screwed up the motor? While having the car inspected before you buy can give you some idea as to what type of shape it’s in, buying used is always a gamble.

What do our readers think about buying a used Tesla Model S? How would you go about doing so if you were in the market? Please leave us your ideas and thoughts in the comments section below.

Source | Image: Tesla