A Free Model 3? Watch How This Tesla Pays For Itself


…and its insurance!

The Tesla Model 3, by all accounts, is a pretty great car. The only thing that could make it better — outside of it constantly improving through software updates, which already happens — is if it could be free. Well, if you are willing to make certain sacrifices and take some risks, that is apparently possible.

Our proof is the video above. In it, our friend Sean Mitchell interviews a Model 3 owner and former co-worker, Carissa, about her experience with her car over the past six months and 20,000 miles. Already an interesting watch as she details her ownership experience from standing in line to her day-to-day usage and impressions, our ears could hardly believe her results from offering the mid-size sedan on Turo, a car-sharing platform.

Her car, which, by the way, is named Death Star and has the personalized plate to prove it, finds itself in the loving embrace of strangers for seven to ten days a month. By making that sacrifice, it brings in enough money to not only make the payments but also cover the insurance costs. Turns out that Carissa hasn’t actually had to make a payment since it first arrived. How awesome is that?

Now, there are some caveats to keep in mind about placing your car with a sharing service, and our interviewee has no qualms about sharing the secrets of her success. Pricing, we learn, is important, as is good photos. She also shares that all four of her wheels have been scraped up from less-than-professional parking.

For some, the trade-off may be too much, but we suspect other owners, especially those who live in areas where a sighting of the “affordable” Tesla may be less than a common occurrence, this could be a great arrangement. And who knows, like Carissa’s car, your pride and joy could be used to set a world record and achieve fame and glory!

Video Description via Sean Mitchell on YouTube:

6 months of Model 3 ownership, 20,000 miles (32,300 km)


33 photos
2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.


Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge
10 photos
Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion (wallpaper 2,560x – click to enlarge) Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Wide Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Touchscreen

Source: YouTube

Categories: Deals, Tesla


Leave a Reply

32 Comments on "A Free Model 3? Watch How This Tesla Pays For Itself"

newest oldest most voted

It pays until someone crashes it. Only buy something if you can afford it.

Insured. But, you will have to wait for Tesla repairs.

Does her insurance know she’s using it as a business vehicle? Lawyers will go after her with gusto in any litigation due to an accident.

Turo and the like insure the car while it is on rent. Your own insurance won’t cover that. But of course rentals beat the snot out of rental cars and that type of damage to a car doesn’t show up immediately nor is it covered.


One can track them and monitor their speed.

One would be stressed out if they saw the performance driving happening with their expensive auto and tires.

Here’s a high profile example but there are many more; especially poor uber/lift drivers.


“Turo doesn’t pay to replace cars that suffer extensive damage. It uses Actual Cash Value, which is determined by subtracting depreciation from replacement cost.”

Car share sucks

Yea Will , Car Share Sucks Big Time ! Sharing your Car Is Like Sharing Your woman . I Say, If You Can’t Afford it Don’t Buy it !

It’s a neat idea, but very inconvenient if you want to use your Tesla as your primary transportation. I for one can’t afford / don’t want to own two cars so I can rent one out 25% of the time.

rent it out 50% of the time

if 7-10 days per month says the bills, then buy two and rent each less than 50% so you always have one available

I thought the point was that this demonstrates that you in fact CAN afford to do just that.

Any car can be “free” by ride sharing it. Nothing unique about the Model 3.

And I suspect that many would pay for themselves far quicker due to lower first costs.

Demand and rates are the other part of the equation when it comes to faster ROI. For example, in the local market here in L.A. on Turo: Bolt list for around $40/day vs Model 3 for $130/day.

But then how often will people pay $130 a day?

How often? Enough times for the owner to rent it as often as they want/need. Overpriced rates means that a car doesn’t get rented and the owner would have to lower rates. Markets are self correcting.

There’s also an option to let Turo set the price for the owner based on all the factors that go into their magic algorithm black box.

I think Golgoth’s point was that currently people are willing to pay $130 a day because the 3 is brand new and very novel, and there’s very few of them on Turo. Give it 6 months, and plenty of people will have had the same idea, and all of a sudden, it’s commanding $60 a day. Go forward another 6 months, and you’re still asking $60 a day, but now you can’t even rent it out 50% of days. After a year you’re left with a Model 3 that feels and looks heavily used, and you still owe a lot of money on it, probably more than its worth as a trade in. You made $8,000 on it and covered the payments, but it depreciated around $12,000 due to mileage and condition, so it was a loss overall.

That’s a lot of assumptions there. Anyhow, by your own assumptions, if
you can rent it out at $60 a day for 15 days a month, $900 doesn’t sound too bad for someone who desperately wants the car but can’t afford it. I’m not condoning such decisions, but the math works out.

I would argue demand for the Model 3 would be higher than many other vehicles, which allows you to ask for a higher than average price and still have demand to make it worthwhile.

Domenick, you’re trying to argue against a pretty strong Bolt bias. Also added is healthy dose of Tesla hatred, so good luck with that.

Until someone messes up the car, raising the cost of insurance and potentially keep the owner paying for an inoperable car.

It’s insured by Turo’s Liberty Mutual policy, not the owner’s.

Well done to her! She still sounds super enthusiastic about the car which is great! Letting her car do the preaching to others is a good thing for the EV revolution. Thumbs up from me!

I did Turo a few times as a renter and as an owner. The biggest problem is coordinating with the other person. You essentially have to get an Uber to the location, which isn’t terribly convenient. The other bummer is that if your renter takes the cars hours away and it breaks down, you have to coordinate and pay for getting it back. Not ideal.

Turo for SF Bay Area is full of Tesla Model S. I wonder if many people are doing it for business.

A friend and I also rent our Tesla out on Turo. We do it so people can learn about electric vehicles, charging and get a real test drive of the most popular car on the road.
You can also buy stock in Tesla TSLA and or NVDA . With their big growth you could buy 30 Tesla and a few power walls.

Turo prices are pretty amazingly high as people are testing to see how much they can charge though.

$200/day Model S and 100 mile driving limit, etc.

Turo and Uber Management Conversation:

Manager 1 – Is this idea going to work?

Manager 2 – What do you mean?

Manager 1 – I mean once folks understand the total costs of ownership and depreciation hit won’t they balk at renting their cars or using them to drive people around????

Both Managers – Bwahahahahahahahahahhahaha

Manager 2 – Good one Manager 1, good one!