One question we see all the time is—“With used Model 3s holding their value so well, is it even worth it to buy used? Should I just buy a new one?” And that’s a very good question!
There are still a lot of benefits to buying a used Tesla Model 3, which we’ll examine below. One thing to understand overall is that used Model 3s tend to hold their value extremely well, not just best in class, but the best of any vehicle for sale right now—which means you can’t expect to get the same deal as you would on a used BMW, Audi, or a similar competing vehicle.
That said, there are still a ton of good reasons to buy a used Model 3. You can generally avoid the $1200 destination and doc fee that Tesla is federally required to charge on new vehicles. You can also typically get EAP or FSD at a discounted rate, because while they are worth something on the used market, it’s typically not the same as what someone originally paid (although the price of FSD is increasing too, so this is beginning to balance out as time goes on).
And finally, even though used Model 3s hold their value extremely well, they still do depreciate, which means you’re going to save something over the cost of a new Model 3. Yes, a new Model 3 is “brand new,” which is worth something to some people, but Teslas are typically so well-taken care of, that the overwhelming majority of them for sale on the used market are in quite good condition.
Beyond new and used, there’s a third option where you can buy a used Model 3 directly from Tesla. This program used to be called “Certified Pre-Owned” or CPO as it’s known in the Tesla community. In the past, Tesla used to recondition vehicles to “like new” condition, but this isn’t something they do anymore as it proved to be too time/resource consuming. However, these cars are still referred to as “CPO” cars in the Tesla community, despite the fact that Tesla sells them as-is (more or less).
One benefit to CPO cars is that with a CPO Model S/X, you get a 2-year or 4-year extended warranty with a purchase, but with a CPO Model 3, you only get the balance of the factory warranty, which really makes a CPO Model 3 a lot less valuable (in terms of the value you’d get purchasing directly from Tesla) than a CPO Model S/X. Another important thing to note, even for Model S/X vehicles purchased on the regular used market, is that you can still add your own extended warranty if there’s a balance of the factory warranty remaining, so if you can score a good deal on the regular used market (i.e. not from Tesla), then you’re still ahead of the benefits of a CPO car.
With all that said, let’s take a look at the quick pros and cons of buying a new Model 3 vs. a used Model 3…