It's hard to argue that the Tesla Model S didn't mark the beginning of a major turning point in the automotive industry, which is finally beginning to accelerate more rapidly in the US. The large family-friendly electric sedan first came to market in 2012, and while it's not selling nearly as well as its newer, smaller siblings in the present (certainly due to its price), it's still commanding a premium on the used market.

There has been plenty of talk over the last few years about Tesla's resale value. More specifically, the brand's Model 3 and Model Y have been known to sell on the used market for more than you might pay for a new one. This is mainly due to the incredible demand for Tesla's vehicles, along with the fact that you probably can't get a new Tesla for a very long time if you place a new order today.

Another related topic that's been floated around for years is related to the "cheapest Tesla." The brand sold the promised $35,000 Model 3 for a hot minute. It also sold a cheaper based version of the Model Y in the US for an even shorter spell. At some point, Tesla hopes to bring a $25,000 compact car to market.

However, today, a new Model 3 will cost you at least $45,000 in the US, and the Model Y is much pricier, starting at nearly $60,000. In addition, Tesla continues to increase prices on its models. Nonetheless, people are still ordering these cars like crazy, as well as paying a premium for second-hand versions.

Before proceeding, it's important to note that a newly refreshed Model S will set you back a minimum of $95,000 today. If you want the range-topping Plaid model, you're looking at $130,000. Meanwhile, you can get a Model 3 Performance for under $60,000.

That said, a used Model S has been the cheapest way to get into a Tesla for some time now. Even when the $35,000 Model 3 was available, you could pick up a nice used Model S' for less. Now, if you wanted to find a decent used Model S that's cheaper than a new Model 3, you'd have to search hard to find an older first-gen model with relatively high mileage. 

For example, some 2012 to 2015 Model S with around 150,000 miles are selling on the used market for around $30,000. However, if you want one that's a bit newer and has fewer miles – perhaps a 2016 with 75,000 miles – it would likely mirror the price of a new Model 3.

According to information provided to InsideEVs via Capital One’s Auto Learning Center, the Model S now has a massive lead over rivals when it comes to resale value. Capital One shared: 

"The Tesla Model S revolutionized the auto industry 10 years ago, and now, it bucks another trend: resale value. 

Capital One’s Auto Learning Center experts found that the resale value of the 2012 Model S is much higher compared to competitors like Audi, BMW and Lexus– it’s still worth 38% of the original price of $57,400 compared to values less than 22%."


The Auto Learning Center also pointed out the three main reasons the Model S commands such a premium on the used market.

  • The Model S is a status symbol.
  • It’s the future but not unrecognizable.
  • It has fans for life.

For more details from Capital One's study, visit the source link below. In the meantime, enjoy the following related video.

Got a tip for us? Email: