How much does a Tesla cost?

Tesla (TSLA) has become one of the most popular automakers in the world. In fact, it is one of the car companies with the largest market capitalization. As of the end of the trading day on October 7, 2021, the company’s market capitalization was US$785.68 billion, and the stock price closed at approximately US$794. Tesla reported that its total revenue for fiscal year 2020 was $31.5 billion.

Tesla was founded in 2003 and released Roadster five years later. This car is equipped with electric powertrain technology. The automaker now produces four different models, including Model S (the first), Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. According to the company, Model 3 and Y are the most popular, with a total of 454,932 cars produced and 442,511 delivered in 2020. But what is the cost of these models? This is a closer look at how much you can expect to spend to buy your own.

Key points

  • Tesla is one of the most popular car manufacturers in the world and one of the car companies with the largest market value.
  • Model 3 and Y are the most popular Teslas on the market.
  • The standard Model 3 and Model Y without upgrades are comparable to some gasoline-powered and electric models.
  • Tesla does not need to go to gas stations or regular maintenance, such as oil changes.
  • Some Tesla owners can use tax incentives for electric vehicles to offset the cost of ownership.

How much does a Tesla cost?

The cost of Tesla depends on the model you are interested in buying. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2021 Tesla Model 3 standard series sedan is $43,190. The price of the remote version rose to US$51,190, and the price of the performance version rose to US$59,190. Model is the most highly rated electric car on Edmunds and the second most popular luxury electric car, scoring 8.4 points (out of 10 points).

The new 2021 Tesla Model Y is the most affordable of all the company’s models. The standard series Model Y is priced at US$41,190, while the remote version and performance version are priced at US$61,190 and US$63,190, respectively. The model has a score of 8.2 (out of 10 points) on Edmunds. Model Y is the second most popular luxury electric SUV and the second most popular small performance SUV.

Keep in mind that these prices do not include add-ons that may enhance your driving experience while owning a Tesla. For example, if you want a color other than the basic white, you have to pay an additional fee without paying an additional fee. Changing the interior color (except for standard black) also comes at a price. The installation cost of Tesla’s fully automated driving technology has increased by an additional $10,000.


Tesla’s federal tax credits have expired, but some states provide tax rebates and tax incentives for new Tesla owners to help offset the cost of buying a Tesla, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Income restrictions may apply in some states.

Is Tesla worth the money?

Taking into account the cost of some comparable gas engine vehicles, in particular:

  • Model 3 Comparable Models: 2021 Mercedes-Benz C (starting at US$46,986), Lexus ES (US$48,492), BMW 3 Series (US$44,578)
  • Comparable Model Y: Mercedes-Benz GLE (US$54,750), BMW X5 (US$59,400), Audi Q8 (US$73,500)

Don’t forget other electric cars on the market today. Here are some of the most popular electric economy and luxury sedans, crossovers and SUVs:

  • Kia Niro ($39,090)
  • Volkswagen ID.4 ($39,995)
  • Porsche Taycan 4S ($79,900)
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E: ($42,895)
  • Audi e-tron ($65,900)

The cost listed above reflects the price of a basic model with standard features and no upgrades.

Remember, cost means more than just the purchase price. The costs associated with owning a car also include maintenance, convenience, and gasoline-if you buy a traditional gasoline-powered car.

No need to refuel

Tesla owners will certainly notice that the biggest savings come from not having to fill up the gas tank. Model 3 owners can travel 353 miles on a single charge, while Model Y has an estimated cruising range of 326 miles. Model 3 is equipped with a 54 kWh battery, while Model Y is equipped with a 75 kWh battery. The average cost of fully charging the Model 3 is less than $8. On the other hand, a full charge of Model Y costs less than $12.

Let’s compare it with the most affordable cars and SUVs listed above: BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz GLE. The overall city/road fuel efficiency of this BMW 330i model is 30 MPG, while the overall fuel efficiency of the GLE 350 is 22 MPG.

Assume that the average cost of gasoline is $3.27 per gallon. With 15,000 miles per year and 55% of city driving completed, the annual cost of the BMW 3 Series is US$1,635, while the cost of the GLE 350 is US$2,230. This is equivalent to 10.9 cents per mile and 14.9 cents per mile respectively.

Another benefit of charging a Tesla instead of refueling is that knowing that the vehicle is ready every morning can give you peace of mind. No longer intend to stop at the gas station, no longer stand in the cold or smell gasoline-just plug in the power at night, unplug it in the morning, and the battery will be full.

Maintenance savings

Compared with gas-powered cars, Telsa cars have much fewer maintenance schedules because their electric engines have far fewer moving parts than ordinary internal combustion engines. The battery is guaranteed for eight years.


Although you are unlikely to need to do this considering their lifespan, please note that the cost of replacing a Tesla battery for a Model S may be between US$3,000 and US$7,000.

Do the math

When deciding whether a Tesla is worth buying based on the cost of buying and owning a Tesla, it is helpful to analyze black and white numbers.

All Teslas finance directly through the company itself. The annual interest rate (APR) of the 72-month loan for the standard Model 3 and Model Y is 2.49%. With a down payment of US$4,500 and a delivery fee of US$1,200, the total financing for Model 3 and Model y is US$39,890 and US$37,890, respectively.

Using InvestingClue’s loan calculator, you will pay a total of US$42,985.25 for the Model 3 and a total of US$3,095.25 in interest. The total cost of Model Y is US$40,830.06, including interest of US$2,940.06.


Tesla financing is not applicable to all models or all states. If you want to use a loan to complete the purchase, this may limit your options.

Bottom line

The average cost of owning a typical luxury car is about $730 per month. At the same price as Lexus or Audi, you can buy a Tesla Model 3 or Y and benefit from the convenience of no refueling, as well as peace of mind and extra time for maintenance issues such as oil changes or buying new filters.

Add to that they boast of having “the highest level of safety of any car ever tested,” and Tesla is a powerful economic choice for consumers today who are eligible for financing or cash purchases. If you are considering products other than Tesla, remember to compare the best car loan interest rates when seeking financing.


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