CarMax recently published its 2023 Electric Vehicle Consumer Report, and it's packed full of compelling details. First and foremost, all four of Tesla's models made the top 10 list of the most popular used EVs. This may not come as a surprise due to Tesla's popularity, but with its prices so much more affordable now on the new market, it's certainly interesting.
Before we dive into the details about used Teslas, we should point out that CarMax data shows that search volume on its site with the word "electric" doubled in February 2023 compared to February 2022.
CarMax says the most popular EVs on its website in February 2023 were the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Nissan Leaf, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Chevrolet Bolt EV. As you can see, the Tesla Model S and Model X are also on the top 10 list, along with the BMW i3, Jaguar I-Pace, and Hyundai Ioniq Electric.
Between September 1, 2022, and February 28, 2023, SUVs were the most common vehicle type traded in by EV shoppers. However, the most common vehicle traded in by Model 3 shoppers was the Honda Civic, followed by the Toyota Tacoma. Finally, as we previously reported, Toyota's vehicles were the most common trade-ins for EV buyers.
The used car retailer also shows the average prices of the various models, with the top-ranked Tesla Model 3 at $37,000. You can now buy a new Model 3 for $39,990 before any incentives. Meanwhile, the Model Y has an average price of nearly $48,000 at CarMax, with the Model S and X coming in at around $63,000 and $72,000, respectively.
Based on Tesla's current new-car prices, the Model Y starts at $46,990, though the Long Range version will cost you at least $49,990. The Model S starts at $87,490, and the Model X starts at $97,490.
While it may seem a no-brainer to buy a new Model 3 or Model Y over a used version, choosing a used Model S or Model X will likely save you money. However, there are so many factors at play here.
Starting prices on Tesla's website for the Model 3 and Model Y apply to "base" or "Standard Range" versions that may not be as available on the used market, which partly explains the price discrepancy. In addition, since CarMax is quoting the average price, these numbers come from a whole mix of cars of various model years, trim levels, etc.
If you're in the market for a used EV, it's critical to keep your eyes on the market and the prices, and also keep a close watch on the price of new models.
It wasn't long ago we heard Tesla's used values had plummeted only to find out later that they're holding their value better than many other cars. Prices have been all over the place on the new and used market over the last few years, so you'll have to keep track if you want to make the most sound financial decision.