The king is dead, long live the king. Those who own Maseratis are rejoicing today after they have learned their brand no longer sits atop the throne of depreciation. Instead, heavy is the head of Tesla.

A new study by ISeeCars reveals that Tesla is the highest depreciating brand year-over-year, and it's not even close. The all-electric automaker beat out Maserati and Alfa Romeo, both brands that are known for heavy depreciation. I'm sorry in advance to all of the owners who bought at the top.

Get Fully Charged

Tesla's Price War

Tesla has been aggressively lowering the prices of its new vehicles for a few years now. The electric automaker has been fighting supply chain issues, economic challenges like rising interest rates, and more competitors. Its solution? Drop prices like crazy. Thankfully, Tesla has the margin to sustain these drops, but owners are now caught holding the bag.

The study consisted of 1.8 million used cars (aged between 1 and 5 years) sold between February 2023 and 2024. ISeeCars assessed the value of the vehicles, the market they were sold in, and a myriad of other data to determine just how far used values have tumbled in 12 months.

At the top of the list sits Tesla, the pioneer of the mass-market EV. In just a year, the average price of a used Tesla fell from $51,323 to $36,515 across all models. This is a drop of 28.9% (or $14,808) year-over-year. That figure is more than three times that of Maserati and twice as much as Alfa Romeo. Sheesh.

So what gives, exactly? Why the big drop in the value of used Teslas? Karl Brauer, iSeeCars Executive Analyst, comments:

Used Teslas lost more value than any other brand, and with a 28.9 percent decline they lost more than twice as much value as second-place Alfa Romeo. Elon’s desire to maintain new Tesla sales through price cuts had a very destructive impact on the brand's residual values.

It's no secret that Tesla has been aggressive on its pricing. Hell, even the landscape of EVs has changed since last year. Many folks who couldn't easily benefit from the $7,500 EV tax credit to their taxes can now apply it at the point of sale. That subsidy alone surely crushed used EV prices.

ISeeCars Depreciation Study

It's important to note that it isn't just Tesla dropping in value. All used EVs tend to depreciate heavily depreciating. It's likely a product of the changing EV landscape, where products are substantially improving every year.

The study shows that while the average car dropped just 3.6% in value YOY, electric cars were hit harder. On average, used EVs dropped 31.8%. Leading the pack is the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, but not far behind was the Tesla Model X with a 24.6% drop, followed by the Model 3 at 24.1%, and the Model S at 20.5%. Note that the MSRP doesn't include any relevant tax credits. Since many people are paying $7500 under MSRP for new vehicles, used prices for qualifying will almost always be significantly lower than the new car's sticker price.

As for owners, well, we're feeling it.

A year ago, the Model 3 Performance was $53,240. The last time an inventory car popped up on Tesla's website, it was $48,700, according to Tesla Price Tracker. To make things sting a bit more, the M3P cost $62,990 in January 2023 and $78,000 when it launched in May 2018. Model X owners have it even worse. The lowest cost 2023 Model X Plaid on is $83,161. This time last year, a new Plaid was $119,990 after a price cut from $138,990 in January.  

Got a tip for us? Email: