Got $40,000 To Spend? If So, Should You Buy A Tesla Model S Or Model 3? – Video


Yes, we know you can’t get a Tesla Model 3 for anywhere near $40,000 right now, but the question is still valid.

You can either adjust the dollar figure to the current Model 3 price, or you can look at it from the perspective of when that $40,000 Model 3 becomes available, should I buy it, or opt for a used Model S?

We’ve come across similar questions on social media and it typically comes down to this. If the Model S can fit in your garage/driveway and you enjoy larger cars, then pick the S. If you insist on buying new and prefer the 3’s smaller dimensions, then order it up.

Tesla Model S Price Trends

If, however, $40,000 is your price cap, then you’ll have to decide if waiting for the near-base 3 is the right option for you. If you haven’t reserved a 3 yet, then that wait may be longer than you’re okay with.

Video description:

We love Tesla’s, but the premium you have to pay to get into one can more or less give you sticker shock.

So in this video, we compare Tesla’s flagship Model S versus it’s younger brother the Model 3, and then look at some depreciation schedules and pricing data to decide which version we would buy right now, if we were going to buy our first Tesla.

What would you do with $40k? Buy a new Model 3 or used Model S? At Ideal Cars, we’re always looking for the best ‘value’ and think the 2013-14 P85+ is a great value right now!

Categories: Tesla, Videos


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54 Comments on "Got $40,000 To Spend? If So, Should You Buy A Tesla Model S Or Model 3? – Video"

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Model S

A lot has to do with the “promise” of autopilot. Unless the Model S is late 2016 or newer, it is not equipped with the equivalent sensors of the Model 3 to achieve future promises of Level 4 tools and higher. In the next five years, the 20+ companies working on autonomous drive most likely will see several go bust with the rest producing a technology that will forever change automobiles. This is not just about Tesla, but this video does bring out how vehicles with autonomous tools and those without will be separated in the not so distant future.

My thoughts exactly. Buying a car without the possibility of fully autonomous driving is like investing in horses while Ford introduced his Model T.

dont care about robot cars. I like driving


You and I like driving, but we (humanity) are bad at it. Yearly : 1.25M deaths from automobile accidents, + 20-50M injuries.

Source :

Smarter cars save lives.

Smarter cars are stupid, if cant recognize a taco truck or a fire truck then its a problem

You suddenly expect software, neural nets and hardware to stop evolving?

Now that’s stupid.

no but I don’t have time for it. ill just buy a car and drive. plus level 5 is 15 years away

Smarter people saves lives everyday and have been doing so since the beginning of times.

I’ve never driven into a firetruck, hit a center divide, or decapitated myself hitting a trailer.

Plus, I actually enjoy driving.

we have too many people on this planet – it ok no worries Tesla or AI are not here to solve all problems of humanity

It’s also like buying a TV today that’s not “3D ready”.


No one has an autonomous car right now.

So it’s more like buying a horse carriage, with the promise of an engine at some unknown point in the future, for a good amount of extra money.

You won’t be finding 2016 or newer S for any where near $40k. The Fresno the older ones are 40k is because they have the old hw.

reason = Fresno

I thought ‘Fresno’ = Fresh?

It means “ash tree” in espanol.

Son plabras en espanol que tiene significadas differente que el sonar en engles…

Yes, one must be careful with translation or wind up embarazada

But “Fresno” obviously means “crap” in Español. I saw that in the prologue to the TV miniseries “Fresno” (1986), so it must be true! 😉

Ahhhh. NOW I remember! ‘Fresco’ supposedly means ‘Fresh’! (Not ‘Fresno’!)


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Not to mention NONE of those AV’s talk to each other on the road.

I prefer no AP hardware of any type in my TM3 but oh well. Just like most thing these days you have to take the bad with the good…….sadly.

I think every manufacturer will have it in the 2020-2025 timeframe. it will be delivered by suppliers, every car company can buy it and put it into their car. Think about how ACC has become a standard feature..
Level 5 will of course be a huge change for the suto industry. No real need to own a car longer (as long ad you dont live in the countryside). Transport as a service way cheaper than taxis.

HAHA! The real “Hans Blix” ???? !!!!

“Think about how ACC has become a standard feature..”

Not yet. Maybe on some cars, and high end trims or brands. But ACC is hardly a standard feature on most cars.

Another Euro point of view


Model 3 if repair, “fuel” and insurance costs matter.

Neither one. The Model S is too damn big and has crappy door handles that break all the time. The Model 3 isn’t a hatchback.

If I had to pick between one of the other, however, it would be the Model 3. No question.

Model 3 or Nothing!

They are BEVs not EVs mate EVs cover all electrified vehicles including phev/hybrid BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle 🙂

A new Model 3, no doubts about it.

Model Y

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Is the Truck going to me Model “T”?

By that time, we should have “Swipe to Steer”.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

MS is too big of a boat. TM3 is better size, so the TM3 it is.

Size of Model S is not all that big compared to some other cars I have owned (’72 Eldo, ’92 Grand Marquis, ’05 Magnum and a crap load of pickup trucks).

I’d probably choose an ‘S’ over a ‘3’ at the same price point.

Option C – Nino!!!

Although I am thinking they won’t release it as soon as I was hoping 🙁

Hhmmm that would be Niro!

Niro is my choice, too. Model 3 pricing and GUI is ridiculous (but I still haven’t cancelled).

The Niro hybrid is very pleasant inside.

Model 3 is actually bigger inside, especially for headroom. And, the Model S is too big on the outside.

a used fiat 500e and save the difference.

Model 3 would be the obvious choice for me. Hopefully within a year I will have it parked in my garage (maybe a bit longer as getting across the Atlantic takes a few weeks I suppose). Can’t wait…

I heard it is a slow drive across the Atlantic, too!

I heard it is a slow drive across the Atlantic, too!

Might be beyond the Current Battery Range, too!

Methinks you never sat in one?

(I did.)

Another Euro point of view

No thanks, neither of them. To me the all EV idea is about simplicity and ruggedness, the exact opposite of Tesla’s (unreliable gadgets & bragging rights, yuks…shivers of disgust down my spine).

Then perhaps the Bollinger B1 is for you. At a speculated price of $60,000-80,000, it’s cheap at the price, right?

Or perhaps when you said a “cheap and rugged” EV, you meant this…?

Disagree with the video.

Despite today’s post date, the Ebay prices shown in the video are old. A Model S 85 or P85 today is no longer high 30’s or low 40’s. They are more like mid to high 40’s.

Also a car of that age is usually out of warranty. Try getting the simplest things in the Model S repaired, e.g. self projecting door handles, windshield. You’ll be shocked.

Next, those 21″ tires they liked? Try getting a quote for a set of them installed. You’ll be shocked. Even the 19″ set costs over $1K installed.

Then you’ll be praying that 18-month ownership period they say will work great and even be profitable won’t actually see anything major break down.

Finally, get an insurance quote for the Model S. Prepare for another surprise.

Poorly informed video – anyone can tell you to look at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over the intended period. They were just looking at purchase price.

The Model S is good for long distance (with the air suspension and nice leather). The Model 3 is better as a daily driver and a weekend fun car.

If door handles and wheels are near top of the list, a used S should sound quite attractive.

I’d choose a Bolt. A Tesla isn’t right for everybody.


The more I look at realistic long-term cost of ownership of any Tesla (whether a used Model S or a new Model 3), the more I realize I’m not rich and can’t afford it. I’m leaning toward the 2019 Nissan LEAF since my 2012 LEAF was such a solid vehicle (apart from the degrading battery). I would consider the Bolt EV if they made the seats more compatible with my rear end, but it would be hard to swallow buying a GM product after the hell I went through with my 2017 Volt. The reliability is poor. It’s been in for service so many times I lost count. The car is rattling itself apart. The car has clutch slipping issues that the dealership says is normal. It’s just not a good car at all. I know Bolt EV is designed and engineered by a different team and built in a different plan, but do I want to favor Daewoo engineering over what I have? Nissan has proven to me that it can make a solid car. If they can get a proven battery, I’m all onboard. Problem is their tax credits will be phasing out around the time I’m in… Read more »