Andy Slye’s YouTube channel is dedicated to technology. As such, he also talks about Tesla vehicles, regarded as the most technologically advanced cars available today. The problem now is the COVID-19 outbreak. Slye is buying a Model Y for his wife, and he asks: is it dumb to buy a Tesla in these times? Or any other car, for that matter?
Slye is not a financial consultant, as he warns. Anyway, he ponders about very sensible aspects of buying a car that help him answer the very question the video title asks: is it dumb to buy a Tesla now?
The answer, as you may imagine, depends on a series of aspects that he outlines in the video description below and the video. Have a look at both and make the wisest decision you can.
Video Description Via Andy Slye On YouTube:
Crazy things are happening in our economy right now. People are losing jobs and the stock market’s crashing. Teslas are considered luxury vehicles and are relatively expensive, so right now is probably not a good time to buy one. Or is it?
Disclaimer: I’m not a financial expert. None of this is legal advice. Nobody knows if a recession will even happen. We could be back to normal in a few weeks or things could get worse. But I want to talk about the pros & cons if you’re thinking about buying a Tesla during uncertain times like these.
To see if a car is within your budget you should follow these rules:
1. Put down at least 20%
2. Finance the car for no more than 4 years
3. Keep your total monthly car payment at or below 10% of your gross monthly income.
For example: the Model Y I have on order is around $60,000 so according to these rules I should put down at least $12,000 cash, get a loan for the other $48,000 which should be no longer than a 48 month loan which puts the monthly payment right around $1,000 per month. I should be bringing in $10,000/month to afford that Model Y according to those rules.
It's important to make sure your monthly budget allows for the car payment, and if an emergency happens where you lose your income for a while you want to make sure your emergency fund can cover your car payment.
All new cars are depreciating assets, but Elon believes once Full Self Driving is here then Teslas will be appreciating assets. That's far fetched, but when that does happen it will allow a Tesla to potentially make money for the owner which is a feature that does differentiate Teslas from other cars and is a factor to consider when deciding to buy a car.
You don't always have to buy new. Right now with the Model Y coming out there are many people selling their Model 3’s which are only 2 years old at the most so you may be able to save some money by finding a used Model 3 if that fits your lifestyle. Tesla builds their cars with the long term future in mind by giving their cars all the hardware capabilities that they think it needs to be able to fully drive itself when the software and regulations reach that point, which is something that no other car company is doing on the level that Tesla is.
Auto loan rates should be low right now, but it’s still best to shop around and get multiple quotes from different sources to find the best rate for you if you plan to finance. Also, as with any electric vehicle, buying a Tesla means you’ll never buy gas again, and Tesla likes to show you the potential gas savings when you go to purchase one of their cars online. Also during this unique situation, food delivery services like Uber Eats and Post Mates have surged so you could make some money while helping people out, and with a Tesla you could do it without having to pay for gas and while being way less harmful to the environment. Plus when Tesla’s robotaxi network becomes a reality in the future if something like this happens again you could send your Tesla out by itself with no human inside while you practice self distancing at home.
Teslas are also some of the safest cars in the world which should in theory help reduce your car insurance bill especially now that Tesla is starting to offer insurance directly to their owners at seemingly good prices. Closing the factory temporarily might actually help Tesla fix bottlenecks and optimize their workflow at their factory, something they probably couldn’t have focused on if they were at 100% full speed production ramp. I also believe that this pandemic will lead to people wanting to live a more “green” and healthy lifestyle, and when people do that it may lead to more people getting interested in Teslas and going solar which will in turn help Tesla succeed in the long run.
It's not dumb to buy a Tesla if you: absolutely need a car, can afford it even if you lose your job temporarily, and plan to keep it for a long time. I plan to go forward with my Model Y purchase as of now.