Loup Ventures recently updated a previous study where it compared the five-year ownership cost of a Tesla Model 3 to that of a Toyota Camry. The Camry is a good choice for comparison since it's a widely popular, mass-market, gas-powered sedan. It's not categorized as a luxury or premium vehicle, however.
Back in 2017, Loup Ventures' model proved that the Tesla was more expensive to own than the Toyota. This essentially boiled down to the Model 3 having a significantly higher starting price (initially estimated at $35,000). Interestingly, however, despite paying some 40 percent more upfront to buy a Model 3, the Camry was only 13 percent more expensive to own over a five-year period.
Fast-forward to today and now it costs 59 percent more to buy a Model 3 than a Camry. However, when you look at the vehicles' resale values, the Model 3 ends up being marginally less expensive to own over five years. Loup Ventures also includes a similarly priced luxury car to the comparison — the Audi A5. The study shares:
The bottom line: Model 3 is a superior car (electric, safer, Autopilot) compared to a Camry, and is slightly cheaper to own and operate over 5 years.
Average all-in cost per mile for a Model 3 is $0.46, compared to the Camry LE at $0.49, and Audi A5 at $0.80.
What accounts for the changes from the previous study?
- Gas price increases
- Insurance premiums
- Finance model instead of lease model
Loup Ventures expects gas prices to increase even more over time. When it comes to insurance, the Model 3 costs an average of $1,128 per year, while the Camry costs $1,212. The study also suggests that it will get cheaper to insure the Model 3, and insurance rates for the Camry will rise a bit. This could happen if Tesla is successful in launching its own insurance program and/or if more insurance companies consider the Tesla's safety and technology as positives when determining rates.
In the end, Loup Ventures believes its study is conservative and Model 3 cost-of-ownership could be even less. In addition, as time goes on, the Tesla could continue to become cheaper to own. For more detailed information, follow the source link below.
See our How Much Does A Tesla Cost article to get a breakdown of the price of each model.