Is it cheaper to own a Toyota Camry or a Tesla Model 3 over five years? The only way to find out is to crunch the numbers.

Electric cars are expensive. In fact, while range anxiety and a lack of charging infrastructure in some areas are primary reasons many people don't buy electric cars, arguably the number one reason is the high starting price. Sticker shock can turn people away from virtually any product. 

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the least expensive long-range EVs on the market today, with a starting price of $37,990. Notice we didn't say "just" $37,990. That's because $40,000 is a lot of money, especially for a smaller car. However, interestingly, according to Kelley Blue Book, the average purchase price of a passenger vehicle in the US in 2020 was $37,876.

This means people are paying $40,000 for a new car, and not a new car that's necessarily going to save them a ton of money on fuel or maintenance. With that said, if a buyer is comparing the base Model 3's ~$40K price to a car like the sub-$30,000 Toyota Camry, which is a very highly rated gas car that's also available as a hybrid, there's a good chance they'll "save money" by picking the cheaper car.

tesla model 3 vs toyota camry cost of ownership

If only buyers actually looked at a car's total cost of ownership, they may quickly learn that the car with the cheaper upfront price may not always be the one that's cheaper to own over time.

The video above dives into the total 5-year cost of ownership of the Tesla Model 3 and the Toyota Camry. It takes into account depreciation, taxes, fuel, maintenance, and more. Check out the video for all the details. Then, leave us a comment.

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