How To Buy A New Tesla Model 3 For Just $26,250

MAR 3 2019 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 88

Now that’s a heck of a deal right there.

With the announcement of the $35,000 Tesla Model 3, the electric automaker rocked the world a bit. However, what if we told you that you can buy a Model 3 for a lot less than $35,000.

No, we’re not talking used, but rather a brand new Model 3.

You see, even though the federal tax credit of $7,500 is down to just $3,750 for Tesla, state credits for EV purchases are still fully in place. For example, in California, an electric car buyer gets a $2,500 rebate. So, in California, the after-credit price of the Model 3 would be just $28,750 (plus destination). That’s an extremely low price for a Tesla electric car, but it drops even lower in some states.

What Incentives Do I Qualify For By Buying An Electric Vehicle?

We should point out that these EV incentives aren’t limited to just Tesla or the Model 3. Any pure electric car qualifies equally at the state level.

But $26,250. How’s that possible? Well, if you reside in Colorado, the state offers a $5,000 cash rebate. This is not tied to your tax liability at all, so all buyers qualify.

Time to run the numbers. Starting with the base price of $35,000, subtract the $5,000 Colorado state rebate and it drops down to $30,000. Minus the $3,750 federal tax credit (provided you have the tax liability to qualify for that amount) and there’s your $26,250 brand new Tesla Model 3. Sure seems like a bargain to us for an electric car with a range of 220 miles and a 0 to 60 MPH time of 5.6 seconds. Or, you could buy a well-equipped Toyota Corolla instead (sarcasm intended).

Check Out Our Compare EVs Page For Pricing Info On Other Electric Cars

We suggest you check out what your state offers in incentives for electric cars and see if the Model 3 (or any other EV) meets your needs. Many of these incentives won’t last long, so you surely don’t want to miss out on a deal by waiting it out.

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88 Comments on "How To Buy A New Tesla Model 3 For Just $26,250"

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Unlike other EV that you can negotiate, Tesla has mandatory destination+doc fee of $1200.

In CA, there’s also local utility rebate from SoCal Edison of $1000. So for those in SoCal who make enough to qualify for fed tax credit (about $40K income) but not enough to disqualify state ($150K income) , SoCal price could be

35 + 1.2 – 3.75 – 2.5 – 1 = $28.95K

Not quite Corolla price, but roughly that of VW GTI.

Each year gas savings is at least $1000, but nobody factors in that!
No fluid changes that can add up to $200-300 a year.
It’s a no brainer to buy a model 3 even comparing to a Civic.

Here we go again… let’s keep it real folks.
A Civic can travel 12k-15k miles on $1000 of gas (at $2.25/gal). Please explain how you could save $1000 a year when most people wouldn’t even use that much?
Also, most vehicles now do 5000+ miles per oil change. At $40 a shot, thats $100-120, not 200-300.
Coolant and tranmission fluid are now lifetime fluids for most new vehicles (only in extreme cases would these be changed). Note that Teslas also have oil changes for the gearbox lube, albeit at long intervals similar to transmission fluids.

A Model 3 is a good deal at US$35k, and if your neighbours are willing to pay for part of it through their taxes, it’s even a better deal (although you’re paying for theirs too, so …)

Free electricity at work? Above average miles? I suspect CA folks are 18,000 miles or so. Certainly tons of LD commuters at 20k+

Thoughts on gas a eragon $2.25 over 5 years? Thoughts on finding gas for $2.25 in CA?

I suspect a large proportion of IEV readership is CA since it represents over 1/2 the EV sales. I am in NC – in an area with seemingly 5% EV penetration

The average mileage in the US is 13,476/yr (Nov 2018 stat)
If we have to rely on free electricity, or abnormalities of Californian driving patterns to make the case for EVs, then it’s not looking good for the rest of the country, yet.

Maybe that explains current penetration levels outside of CA.

I expect gas prices to fall due to reduced demand (over capacity) as EV adption increases, until refineries need an overhaul and are shutdown over a lack of business case (not before 2030)

You’re certainly low balling the cost of maintenance for ICE. 30k service intervals cost way more than an oil change. Then you get to timing belts and more pretty quickly. To compare to a Model 3 going 500k miles, how many ICE engines, transmissions, timing belts and brakes would need to be replaced? Since I added solar, we’ve said good by to the oil companies, mechanics and even mostly the electric utility. It feels good and has saved us so much time. ICE drivetrains are just too complicated to compete going forward. EV’s will keep getting cheaper and charge faster. The one good thing about all the plug in hybrids coming out is people quickly learn they do not like the gas motor kicking in to get past the paultry electric range. Then, their next car will be all ev. Plus, it is so easy and cheap to add charging stations compared to a gas station that needs weekly deliveries and a person always working there. Sorry for the long rant.

Every car has its own set of problems, and those problems are only vaguely tangential to the type of energy that powers the car. A Prius or Corolla is likely to cost substantially less than a Model 3 over half a million miles, whereas a 911 is likely to cost substantially more.

Electric cars may be less complicated, but it doesn’t mean they’re cheaper.

“The average mileage in the US is 13,476/yr ”

So now you are talking averages, but then cherry-picking the MPG of a Civic? Average mpg is less than 25 mpg. And you cherry picked the Civic’s mpg, but ignored that performance of the civic is way less then the Model 3.

And if we’re cherry picking, how about those horrible F150 fuel mpg numbers for the 2018 Ford F150 RAPTOR 4WD at 15 city, 18 highway, 16 overall, where people are using those as commuter cars with pristine not a scratch truckbeds…..

The stink and sound of gassers is a loose loose situation. Clean air anyone? It’s alway cheaper to pollute. People use to throw their garbage in the streets in NY in the 1700’s everything was good until people started dying but it was cheap. Sunshine will never be $4.00 per gallon.

Free electricity is not really free, somebody pays it for you. Free electricity at work won’t last forever.

“Free” EV charging at work often costs less than free coffee, which many employers provide. I know a lot of people that put an electric heater under their desk at work because they don’t like wearing a sweater. That heater uses as much as charging an EV usually. Should the employee pay for the electricity for that heater? That would probably be silly.

Free electricity won’t last forever…. but then neither will cheap fuel.

Electricity may not remain free, but it can can be cheap forever if you buy solar. Fuel costs into the future are an unknown, but they’re low now so you know which direction they’re most likely to go in.

Again a note to all americans: the world as a whole is a lot bigger than your country. For instance in EU we pay triple your fuelcosts okay? And maintenance in general can be more expensive to.

With fuel costs that high, you Europeans should be switching to plug-in EVs far faster than we ‘Muricans are. So why aren’t you, hmmm?

They’re going to need a bigger boat.

Since BoltEV is focus on cost in California (Southern). I haven’t seen $2.25 /gal since high schoool….

Dear F150 Brian: Well, gas in California (where most EVs are in the US) is now $3.54, and most cars use more gas than a Civic. In fact, most people drive F150s from what I hear. It is a pickup truck, you might have heard of it? They get 20/25 mpg. Let say 22 mpg average. 13500 miles at 22 mpg is 613 gallons, at $3.54 per gallon that is $2172 per year in gas alone. Now, a lot of people in CA have solar panels and therefore don’t really pay much for electricity. On the other hand, a lot of people who drive pickup trucks don’t really need a pickup truck, so they might switch to a Model 3 and save well over $1000 per year in gas. There will be a quiz later that will count for half of your grade. 😉

Even better news on the oil change front. My work van ( latest Peugeot expert diesel) does not need an oil change until 25.000 miles. My last two were rated 20.000 before a change. New Long life oils are responsible for that .
I would prefer an electric van and I have lobbied my employer, but we will have to wait a few more years before they make commercial success for our company.

Since you specify a price of $2.25/gal for gas to justify arguing against the fuel savings of EVs, I feel I should point out that gas (petrol) costs over $7/gal here in Europe. Try your fuel saving calculator on that.

I would also mention that 12k-15k miles (which you say most people don’t do) is considered an average usage rate; 15k is the default figure on most lease / hire-purchase agreements I’ve seen, as well as for insurance quotes. I personally do less than 10k/year, but I am definitely not a heavy driver; I would expect most people to do more than I do. You only need a 20 mile daily commute to rack up the best part of 10k miles/year just doing that, without even factoring in weekends, shopping, vacations, road-trips.

…and the cheapest petrol I can find today, in Western Australia, is $6.03 per gallon. Roll on the Model Y!~

“A Civic can travel 12k-15k miles on $1000 of gas (at $2.25/gal). Please explain how you could save $1000 a year when most people wouldn’t even use that much?”

Not to say that you don’t have a point, because of course the only way that could happen is if electricity was free.

But the average American driver drives ~14,000 miles per year, so the range you cite is perfectly normal. Furthermore, as Nix pointed out, you’ve cherry-picked one of the highest-MPG gasmobiles, the Civic, for your comparison.

Also, the AAA website shows the average gas price today at $2.426.

So your argument is pretty much invalid.

Don’t be fooled by Musk.
Electricity is not free. Actually in most states, fuel cost for a Tesla is higher than for a Prius/Ionic/Cmax/Camry hybrid blahblah now.

At $2/gallon, a Prius runs at 3-4c/mile. Model 3 costs you ~7c/mile using supercharger, and 3-7c/mile if you use your home charger, depending your tariff. Don’t forget that PGE is bankrupt, and all CA utilities will raise tariff again and again in the future years.

@james (whichEVer one you actually R),

“$2/gallon” is non existent here in Cali.

Try $3/gallon, and then your actual accurate fuel debate can ensue!

Also PGE has been bankrupt before (2001), so this just a recurring business model with many parallels to the past.

Where on earth are you paying $2/gal or less? Texas/OK? I live in Nevada and pay $3/gal or so (91 octane). It’s not just CA.

I just looked at gasbuddy, and I didn’t see too many places with $2/gallon gas in the USA.

There are a few places in the USA where electrical rates are so high that it’s cheaper to drive on gas then electricity, but that’s not the norm. I believe San Diego is one of these areas, however it’s not a bad place to install a home solar unit.

As more renewable electricity comes online, the need for battery powered vehicles will become greater. California is starting to see that now due to excessive solar generated electricity during the spring and fall.

So a Prius is the same as a Tesla now…lol…now I’ve heard it all!

Don’t forget the state sales tax which in most of CA would be about $3,400. Of course this applies to any car purchase, new or used so no disadvantage to Tesla.

My favorite (best value) is the standard plus (adds 20 miles range and interior upgrades) for $38,200 (including destination) plus sales tax and doc fee is about $42,000 in S.F. area. Net after Fed. credit, state rebate and utility rebate is right about $35,000. Caveat: you must like (or tolerate) black. BIG plus compared to any other EV brand: you get the supercharging system so you really can take it on a road trip.

In Washington the sales tax is waived. Several states have no sales tax.

This is incorrect now. WA reached the limit and now all EVs are charged sales tax again.

Insurance is a lot more on Model 3 than a Corolla or GTI. I’m getting quotes as my current provider, Metromile, is charging 2x the amount than our 2017 E-Class. And this is with adding a third car, not replacing the E-Class (multi-vehicle discount).

Costco Ameriprise charges me the same insurance rates for my $60K Tesla as my Leaf. No kidding. I was pleasantly surprised.

so all we have to do is move to a different state?

A colleague of mine, Paul, surprised his wife with a brand new LR Model 3 for their 20th anniversary.

So here is my own life hack: You can get a Model 3 for free, if you marry Paul and stay married to him for 20 years!

is Paul in Utah? Do they still allow multiples? I’m in.

Come to Europe and experience the real costs of gas.

Yes, you guy do it right. We love wasting energy here in America, we price it cheap so we can waste it. Sad!

Don’t forget the cost of electricity in Europe

Much cheaper than gas…by a long shot.

And I hear they have homeowner solar in Europe too now😂

What too many people forget is PV plus an EV is the real revolution here in both monetary TCO and environmental good.

Do any Colorado utilities offer any additional local customer rebates or incentives, that make the Black Model 3 price drop down to the magic $25k price point (plus destination)?

I haven’t seen any general utility discounts in Colorado. However, last year my local utility (Colorado Springs Utilities) partnered with the local Nissan dealer to offer an additional $3000 off 2018 Leafs. So we picked one up for $17k.

Question is how to get this type of EV news out to the wider general consumer market?

We EV enthusiasts are a small fraction of the general population… there is a very large portion of the general American and Western Europe population that has near zero knowledge about EVs and what little knowledge they do have is dated and obsolete.

“Consumers Lack EV Awareness, Even in the Nation’s Largest Market…UC Davis surveys show the vast majority of Californians remain unaware of electric vehicles…” -source:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/consumers-lack-ev-awareness-even-in-the-nations-largest-market#gs.B0J4svtv

As 10s of thousands of these cars show up in those regions it will spread. People see the cars, see other people are buying them and investigate themselves. Some might never buy them unless forced, or might once their favorite brand makes one.

I have seen a tiny handful of BMW i3 cars in my area, maybe 3 or 4 unique ones. Granted, I won’t see all that are here, but that is in 5 years now and only seen that many cars (my actual sightings of those can be counted on two hands, and even then it is mostly in last year, and I have been looking as I wanted the car since it came out). In the last 3 months, how many Model 3 cars have I seen? At least a dozen. I suspect there will be over 100 in town by this time next year. We are 4 hours from the closest store.

Very true.

We can confidently say that this news reaches a much wider audience than you might think. Between Twitter, MSN, Musk likes and retweets, and linked coverage from content partners and others citing the story, it’s definitely out there. But, of course, doing everything we can to broaden the audience is always a top goal.

Which is why the trolls, shills, shorters and haters are going nuts right now, they are reaching desperation time trying to hold back the impending flood.

That survey is over a year old, and it showed about 5% of respondents owned a PHEV or BEV and various other percentages showed interest in purchase or not. There wasn’t actually a question or statistic that said “never heard of an EV”. About 12% said they had no interest in an EV and would not consider one, but that did not show that they were not aware of them.

Releasing this article to twitter, Instagram and Facebook would help.

Done. All our content goes on Twitter, and though Facebook and Instagram don’t move the needle nearly as much, these articles are submitted.

Now, if someone could get a short Model 3 video to run at all of the video screens, at the newer equipped gas station pumps, showing the fuel savings of an EV over the long haul, then that message could quite possibly put Tesla Model 3 production back into supply constrainted “Delivery Hell” mode.

In Canada, Petro Canada is Launching a Plan for a Nation Wide, Trans Canada Covering, EV Charging Network, with DC & AC Charging. Maybe they would offer an open Ear, to that idea?

It isn’t exactly accurate to say the $7500 tax credit has ended for Chevy…you can still get it until April. I see several brand new Chevy Bolts listed right now on ebay for around $30-31k…which after the $7500 tax credit is a pretty compelling price.

Fixed. Sorry

This is part of the reason why my purchase, about a year ago, of my second Leaf was so easy. We got an SV trim level (in aerodynamic black, of course) for $22k after federal, NY State, and dealer incentives.

$13,000 for my 2018 S counting $1300 in lease acceleration on the outgoing 2015, $15,000 in govt rebates, $500 from PG&E, and ~$1500 in accrued interest on all the cash-back I got until my $400/mo payment exhausts that cash back amount (0% interest for 6 years is also saving me a lot).

If I were to get a Tesla I’d want the $43000 version and with tax etc that’s $47,000; I used my last state rebate already (we get 2) so total actual cost would be around $40,000.

Problem is that’s cash; gotta add $5000 cost of money. For in-town driving the Tesla is overkill, and for holiday I want something other than a 4-door coupe.

Tesla will have a higher resale value but I prefer buying & keeping.

If & when Musk puts Model 3 tech into a BMW 4-Series coupe, I’d be all over that.

It’s not a 4 door coupe. It’s about as sedan as it’s gets!

Yeah, I too am balking at the description “4-door coupe”. That’s not a coupe!

Please advise where I can have a Tesla model3 RHD for less than USD35,000 ?Thank you for your HELP

Patience, Grasshopper.

For some residents of California, their local air district has rebates too.

https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/ev/incentives/local-rebates
https://www.driveclean.ca.gov/Calculate_Savings/Incentives.php?submit=submit&technology=15#searchResult

Perhaps even used EV’s may qualify for low income residents. https://cleanvehiclegrants.org/

In California there are also rebates from Air Quality boards. I am getting $500. from my Air Quality board. They offer $1000 if you buy a car from a local dealer.

Is that the one for the charger? Last time i checked for SoCal that’s all they had, $250 for L2.

If you wanna post state credit info do it the right way. Post the links too so people can see the CA rebate is not only $2500 but could also be $4500 depending on your personal situation. On top of that you have the utility credits which vary from $1000 to $250.
I did the math for SoCal OC and the total price after all credits and with tax is $31800.

Some of the local air quality districts are offering rebates of up to $3,500. Plus there are rebates for polluting clunkers too.

https://www.driveclean.ca.gov/Calculate_Savings/Incentives.php?submit=submit&technology=15#searchResult

I keep forgetting about the low income $5k grant that is applied at time of sale and I separate of the state rebate….yiks!

That’s right, Gov. Jerry Brown made it a higher incentive for lower income earners. Good catch.

Tricky qualifying for a car payment, getting the full Fed tax rebate, and the low-income $2000 bonus at the same time. I could do it last year thanks to a lower income on my 2017 1040 (which is what CA looks at if your application is manually reviewed) and a one-time Roth conversion in 2018.

Tesla’s currents $3750 Fed credit makes it a bit easier to get all of it, Roth conversion would not be required for me this year at least.

I burned my last state rebate to get my Leaf, i’m Happy as it’s superior to the Tesla for 99% of the driving I do, and for the 1%, I’d prefer something other than a 4-door sedan…

If you think the Leaf is superior to Tesla you are kidding yourself…the only thing it has going for it is being a hatch. You already bought it so forget it…don’t get buyers remorse now.

99% of the driving I do is the 15 city/highway miles to/from work.

Speed limit is 40 – 65mph so top speed is irrelevant.

FWD vs. RWD is a little significant on off-the-line accel but the Leaf’s 0-30mph is certainly fast enough to be dangerous already.

Debatable if the interior ergonomics of the Tesla 3 are better. I like the convenience of old-school knobs I guess.

Comfort is better in the Tesla but I’m only in the car in 20 minute stretches so no big deal.

Nissan’s e-Pedal is awesome and I can make the drive all the way without touching the brake.

Can’t get buyer’s remorse for a car that will cost me $13,000 total.

As i said, don’t think about it. I’m grateful to the Nissan dealers for not giving me the msrp discount i wanted lest year when i was sopping for one. Could not get more than $4k (before credits and rebates) and that was just not good enough for that car. I’m really glad I didn’t go for it.

I wish this article’s title was actually true but for the vast majority of the country it’s not. It would cost at least $32,450 after the only rebate available to me. That’s still an awful lot of money for a car. I might start considering a Tesla when they get into the low $20,000s.

Alot of money compared to what? Your $20k gasser will squeeze $30k out of you eazy in gas and maintenance costs in 10 years of ownership.

Besides “gas and maintenance costs in 10 years”, there are 4 gasser smog checks, additional bake pad replacements (no regen), and a few other ICE intangibles, like exhaust emission catalytic sensors.

Ah…what the hell…we are smart so we only look at initial cost and neglect everything else that comes after. I should not complain, if everyone was smart it would be alot harder for me to build wealth.

I look at the true cost of ownership when I’m buying a car. I spend a lot of time doing the math. For me, the price of electric cars aren’t quite there for me, financially speaking.

Oh, I get that there are many advantages to going electric but I’m not seeing the financial advantages at $36,200 for a Model 3. We really don’t spend much on gas and maintenance because we buy cheap, used, fuel efficient cars. I’ve been researching this for several years because I’d like to buy an electric car but I can’t justify it financially yet.

Just for oil changes you can add $100 in a year. I spend way more on gas than I did when I had a Leaf. With the Leaf I often found places to charge for free. I spent a few bucks a month of electricity. Now I spent atleast $100 a month on gas driving the same distance.

Tuneups
Spark plugs
Air filters
Fuel filters
Transmission filters
Trans flushes
Radiator fluid
Radiator flushes
Whole new radiators
Sparkplug wires
Hoses
Alternators
Fuel injectors
Oxygen sensor
Power steering pump
Timing belt
Serpentine belt
The list goes on and on.

Yeah, sure, EV’s have the same maintenance costs and requirements as gassers.

Compared to my fuel efficient, reliable, used car I bought for $7000. I’m interested in buying a used Tesla but I’m not doing that until they get down to $20,000 or so. Then the true cost of ownership advantage flips toward the Tesla.

Oregon has $2500 on EVs under base MSRP $50k, purchase or lease, and then an additional $2500 on new or used if your income is low enough. Retroactive to 1/18! To be realistic though, IMO my income is a little too high to qualify and yet too low for a payment that large. (No trade in) So that $2500 off a used EV could really help lower incomes get into great economy cars. I do see the used EV prices holding higher in OR than CA, maybe that’s why, or just because CA cars are more heavily discounted to start with.
https://www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/evrebateapplication.pdf

“Many of these incentives won’t last long,”
I’d like to see all of us pushing the Democratic presidential nominee to have a bill ready to go on day one, revamping the federal EV tax credits to be fair and “point of sale” usable for all. “The Don” wants to get rid of the current incentives, and I’m ok with that if we can follow with something fair. Maybe we should work some infrastructure funding into it also! When Russia fell apart in the 80s, it completely stopped investing in infrastructure, hurts them to this day, so let’s not do that!

This game of “cost after savings” is an all out assault on the deliberate quashing of data on ICE vehicles “cost of ownership”. People would be so much more apprehensive to spend IF vehicles had always been listed in cost per mile lifetime…AKA how much does it cost to drive 1 mile. The $35,000 model 3 will come to be seen as every bit as affordable as a Camry/Accord in lifetime cost per mile. ICE enthusiasts simply try to point at up front costs completely towing the party line on obscuring cost of ownership for ICE which is VASTLY different. We, as citizens have been brainwashed to completely ignore this upon purchase. There has never been an alternative as all models need gas, oil changes, ICE maintenance. Now that there is a choice it becomes highly relevant. In the ZEV states, the model 3 is now below $30,000 sticker price with a lower cost per mile lifetime (significantly) then an equally priced ICE. When we talk about service…how fast would YOU spend on infrastructure for a global fleet where 80% is less then 2 years old by the end of 2019.

Listing the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for a car instead of the MSRP is a nice ideal, but that could only happen if you have access to a website or an app that will give data specific to your zip code. Prices of electricity vary widely by region, and you can only guess at the price of gasoline over the lifetime of a gasmobile, since that varies on a daily basis.

Also, the cost of maintenance/repair over the lifetime of a car can only be estimated, especially with a model as new as the Model 3 is.

Some people don’t want to pay others’ EVs through taxes, but many of those people want others to pay for their wall through taxes.

oil/carbon subsidies aside

“pay other’s EVs through taxes”

Such a myth.

Because I received a federal tax credit for having purchased an EV, yes, my tax liability was decreased (and thus the incentivizing purpose of the credit). But that doesn’t mean that anybody ELSE’s tax liability was increased (e.g. they “paid for” my EV).

That’s not how tax credits work.

Put another way… everyone else’s tax liability was exactly what it would have been WHETHER OR NOT I purchased an EV and claimed my credit. The tax laws for me (and everyone else) were set AHEAD OF TIME. There is no way that my claiming a credit affected anybody else’s taxes.

title should be “Who can buy a Tesla model 3 for $26500”. Answer is the residents of Colorado.

I wonder if there is anyway legally around this… if you can sublease a car from someone that lives in Colorado or something…