New Tesla Model 3 Or Used CPO Model S? Video Discussion

9 months ago by Eric Loveday 44

It’s a question that pops up from time to time. Should you hold out for a new Tesla Model 3 or should you purchase a certified pre-owned Tesla Model S? The answer really depends on what you’re after and this video does an excellent job of breaking it down for you.

Video description:

Used Model S Or New Model 3?

Used Model S Or New Model 3?

“I’ve received a lot of requests asking to compare a new Tesla Model 3 versus a Used (CPO) Model S so this week we’re going to take a look at the key areas you asked to see compared and my perspective on which factors you should consider when purchasing.”

“If you’re after the latest and greatest features like full Self Driving capabilities, Autopilot 2.0, Ludicrous Mode then the Model 3 is likely your best option. If you are set on an Electric Vehicle (EV) and are considering taking long road trips then I would recommend a used Model S. Another big factor is storage space. The Model S is a full-size sedan giving you loads of storage in the hatch back as well as the front trunk (frunk). The Model 3 will also have a decent amount of storage space but the small trunk opening in the back is going to prevent you from putting larger items inside.”

“For this analysis I scraped the Tesla.com preowned site and parsed the data to see what the prices, models, and range you might expect to find when looking for a Used Tesla. This data only represents a sample so your results will most certainly be different when searching the pre-owned site. I’ve posted a link below to the pre-owned site as well for your convenience.”

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44 responses to "New Tesla Model 3 Or Used CPO Model S? Video Discussion"

  1. SparkEV says:

    Model 3 will be rated to tow a trailer. Tesla S is not rated to tow.

    1. BenG says:

      That’s good news.

      I’d point to on-going cost of ownership as a potentially big factor in favor of the Model 3. Repairs on the S could be very expensive once it’s out of the main warranty.

      I also expect the 3 will be significantly more efficient.

      However if I had the money to where I didn’t have to worry about cost of ownership, I do drool over the CPO Model Ss, like this $50,000 beauty complete with sunroof, leather, Sound Studio and Tech Package. https://www.tesla.com/preowned/5YJSA1DN6DFP17639

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Ben,
        “I’d point to on-going cost of ownership as a potentially big factor in favor of the Model 3. Repairs on the S could be very expensive once it’s out of the main warranty.”

        Good point. That’s why you get a CPO.

        Problem is you pay sales tax. I bot from a private party so i did’t have to pay sales tax.

        1. SparkEV says:

          How do you not pay the sales tax? Even private party sales require paying the sales tax. I bought many used cars from private party, all of them required paying the sales tax.

          1. GeorgeS says:

            Depends on the state Sparky. In az i didn’t have to pay it. Plus pure BEV vehicles have a low reg and license fee. So tax and licence was only like 38$

            1. Kdawg says:

              In MI, you have to report what you paid for the vehicle when you register it at the DMV. Though many people claim they paid a lot less than they did so that the can reduce the use tax.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    I went used model S and I am glad I did. Even though I have a reservation for a model 3, I may not exercise it.

    Why?

    First i’m leary about getting the first model 3’s off the production line.

    Secondly I don’t want to give up my hatch

    Third, i don’t like sitting on the floor. I suspect the model 3 will be even lower to the ground than the model 3.

    ….and as the article says, i am enjoying my enjoying my car now.

    1. Vexar says:

      You won’t get the very first. The very first will go to different queues. There’s a queue for existing owners, founders, and employees. And there’s a reason for that. On top of rewarding folks who have done stuff for Tesla in any of the roles (early adopters do a lot more than you might think), they tend to know the drill of servicing issues and don’t get fussy so readily.

  3. Nix says:

    For those who can’t afford either, a CPO Model 3 will someday likely be the answer. More people buy used cars each year than buy new cars.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Leave it to Nix to throw a monkey wrench in my plan of getting new Tesla 3. πŸ™‚ You make a very good point.

      I plan to wait a year or two after release for Tesla 3 bugs to shake out. By that time, there could be some used ones available. Since tax credit will be gone by then, I may end up getting a used one (CPO, of course).

      1. cmina says:

        By then you’ll have Model S’s at $35-40K all over the place .. and if you’re looking for utility .. decisions, decisions ..

        1. Kdawg says:

          Also many other longer range BEVs

        2. SparkEV says:

          No towing=no sale.

      2. Nix says:

        SparkEV — *laugh* I wield a +3 Monkey Wrench, glad I could help.

        For ICE cars, I’ve heard the same advice for decades about a new line of ICE cars — wait until the second model year so the bugs can get worked out.

        I’m sure that is valid advice no matter what the drivetrain for those who are risk adverse. The good thing for current reservation holders is that they can simply choose not to finalize their order until they feel comfortable. That might be a good choice for those who are risk adverse, especially folks who plan to buy instead of lease.

        I’m sure people behind them in the wait list would be perfectly happy with that too…

      3. Rob Stark says:

        I would rather get a new Model 3 fresh with potential bugs and $7500 Federal Credit than a CPO with bugs worked out and no Federal Credit.

        1. John Smith says:

          You sir are an idiot. The $7500 incentive is for first 200,000 EV Tesla sells. Tesla plans to reach that point well before the first batch of Model 3, so there’s no telling if you will get that discount waiting.

          1. Andrew says:

            See, if you hadn’t hit him with the “idiot” label, I probably would have kep t scrolling, but you had to get belligerent.

            Your statement is absolutely false, and also implies you know very little about the credit, what triggers it, and how it phases out.

            Here are the facts:

            The credit end cycle is triggered after the 200,00th EV is delivered IN THE U.S.

            The rest of the quarter in which the trigger was reached can delivery UNLIMITED vehicles that will qualify for the tax credit.

            The ENTIRE NEXT QUARTER after the trigger was reached will also allow UNLIMITED deliveries, all qualifying for the FULL tax credit.

            The quarter after that will allow UNLIMITED deliveries to qualify for half the tax credit.

            And for the cherry on top, Elon said that if they get close to 199,999 late in a quarter, they will delay the last U.S. Delivery until the following quarter, enabling TWO ENTIRE UNLIMITED delivery quarters at FULL tax credits.

            At the rate they will be running at that time, that’s likely up to 100,000 additional vehicles qualifying for credit AFTER the 200,000 trigger is reached.

            Do your homework and STFU.

  4. Josh Bryant says:

    I have been on this fence for awhile. I am still leaning towards sticking with my 3 reservation.

    I would really like to see a 3 in person and get a feeling for the size, since I really need to have a family car. I could end up with a used S (or Bolt or LEAF 2.0), but trying to stay strong and hold out another 6 – 9 months.

    1. Timmy says:

      Wise man say, “When on a fence, be careful not to lean too hard in any particular direction.”

  5. DJ says:

    Or save a ton of $ and get one of the other EVs out there πŸ˜‰

  6. ffbj says:

    I read an article that based on the value of it’s stock Tesla is worth 80% the value of Ford. That seems crazy, or should I say Ludicrous.
    Certainly food for thought as we become cyborgs. Or should I be more politically correct and say machine augmented humans.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      And what does that have to do with how good Tesla’s cars are, or whether someone should consider one as their next car?

      Nothing whatsoever.

    2. Nix says:

      As of right now —

      Ford Market cap: 50.43B
      TSLA Market cap: 45.21B

      But this isn’t exactly apples to apples, as both companies also have other instruments, such as bonds that reduce the value of the stock. Also, Ford market cap doesn’t include Ford Dealerships, and Tesla includes that layer. So you can’t just compare those two numbers and call it a day.

      But with that said, yes, TSLA appears to be on a short squeeze price explosion, up 100 points since the day Mark Spiegel gave his infamous presentation Dec. 1st at a stock conference telling everybody to short TSLA. If you shorted $10K worth of TSLA stock as soon as you got out of Spiegel’s presentation and still haven’t closed your position, you would be down about $5500 + interest as of today. Ouch.

      The price is overheated right now, but that’s what a volatile massive growth company stock does. Volatile stocks are volatile. The future success of the Model 3 (and perhaps the Model Y and next-gen Roadster) is also already baked into the price of this stock. Definitely not for the investor who needs low risk.

  7. MikeM says:

    Josh Bryant said: “I would really like to see a 3 in person”.

    Me too. Even with money down, my attitude is – no actual commitment until I’ve seen it, sat in it, evaluated the trunk etc. etc.

    And I hope there are a few thousand (beta testers) ahead of me in line too. I might downscale my trim choices just to ensure that.

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      I am in Texas and I also did online reservation, not in person. So I am sure there will be 50k – 100k 3s on the road before I should have to lock in my order.

      I am sure there will be plenty of reviews I could evaluate, but getting seat time a car before my number is called could be a challenge.

      On S and X I think there was some limited ability to defer, not sure how that will go with the wait list as deep as it is this time around.

  8. Steven rand says:

    I have a 2015 s and I do really like the car. It is a bit large but can fit an awful lot. Batteries are warranteed for 300 full recharge which I guess for most people is two to three years. I think a new battery is about 10,000 so this would be something to consider.. and do your own research on. I’d prob get a 3 if it were a shrunken S. The X is ugly.

  9. speculawyer says:

    Personally, I’m more interested in the Model 3 BECAUSE it is smaller. I hate big unwieldy cars. I like small nimble cars. The Model S is a very nice car but it is a big larger than I prefer.

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      Same with me. I want the smallest car that can serve my needs.

      S2000 was perfect for me. Now with a wife, homeownership, and a kid, I am forced to upsize. The LEAF was pretty much the perfect minimum of space.

      I worry the 3 will be less functional without the hatch, but I will withhold judgement until seeing the final release. Access to carseats in the back is also a primary concern.

      1. BenG says:

        Musk claimed the 3 will have class-leading storage space, but, yeah, the functionality/versatility will not match that of a hatchback.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          As long as the trunk can load/unload strollers easily, I am ok with it. My wife refuses to give up SUVs for the seat height/visibility, so for big store runs, I have that available.

          I would prefer my BEV to be the vehicle we use for all of our normal weekend outings though.

          Her next SUV will be a PHEV, if anyone ever offers one under $60k.

      2. georgeS says:

        Josh,
        “Same with me. I want the smallest car that can serve my needs.”

        That’s what I used to say before I got the Model S:)

        1. Nix says:

          Sounds like your needs have expanded to fit your car….

          *grin*

  10. unlucky says:

    You can’t get a Model 3 yet and we don’t even know the pricing. Get the CPO Model S.

    This is bizarre.

    1. BenG says:

      It’s just mental masturbation for the fan-boys.

      No harm. πŸ™‚

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yeah, these “Things to do while waiting for the Model 3” articles should be clearly marked as “thumb-twidding”.

      Because as soon as we actually know what the specs for the M3 actually are, Tesla fans and InsideEVs will have to do every one of these comparisons all over again.

  11. Koenigsegg says:

    A CPO Model S doesn’t have any Tech?

    LOL

  12. wavelet says:

    1) The article doesn’t attribute the video (can be done by following the YouTube links, but still should be fixed)

    2) SERIOUSLY? A video claiming to discuss the relative economic merits of 2 cars where one hasn’t been launched, and no full specs are available (including PRICE, range & performance)?
    Why waste your readers’ time with this idiot?

  13. GlenM says:

    For me it will probably depend on whether the 3 can fit 3 car seats. I like the smaller size, latest tech, and lower price of the 3, but have a feeling I’ll have to go with an S to fit all 3 kids.

  14. John says:

    Model 3 preorders are down 10% from peak.

    Just saying.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      May we ask what your source is for that assertion?

    2. Nix says:

      John, Tesla reports the dollar value of the deposits they are holding in their SEC reports. The next one is due to be released in just over a week from today.

      Do you have some inside information into what that SEC filing contains? Because previous reports have shown the dollar value of the deposits they are holding to have continued to go up since the last time we got an official preorder number from Tesla.

      But then again, Tesla has been actively dissuading new reservations by saying it will be an extra year before new reservations will be built, and introducing a lower dollar Model S to entice TM3 reservation holders into buying an S now instead of waiting for a TM3. So Tesla may be having some success in those efforts.

      Also interested in your source.

  15. JohnMB says:

    I looked at this and I gave the “Price” a disadvantage for the Mod s..Since I’m still thinking I’ll get the tax credit, and CPO 85+ were $55K and up…so I’ll wait..got my reservation in 3-31…and pay less than $40K.

  16. Keith s says:

    As what was said before about rebates. If you dont make over 100k, i believe, in your respected tax bracket, your not entitled to the full $7.5k rebate anyway..not a cpa, so i could be wrong.

  17. Steven R says:

    Why hasn’t Tesla instituted wheel retraction technology for potholes? Any technical reason not to? Engineers?