Tesla Model S Used Car Prices In 2024: Here’s How Much You’ll Pay - SUV VEHICLE

Tesla Model S Used Car Prices In 2024: Here’s How Much You’ll Pay

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The Tesla Model S has been on the market since June 2012 and over the 12 years of its life, we have seen three generations of it. While it did start as a rather upmarket electric sedan, Tesla’s aggressive pricing strategy resulted in steep cuts, which in turn meant prices of used Model S cars crashed in the last 12 months. What is a nightmare for current owners hoping to recoup some of their hard-earned cash, became a bargain hunt for those wanting to score their first Model S.




The Tesla Model S established itself as the pinnacle of the EV world, and for many years its title went unchallenged. While now the likes of Lucid Air may try to snatch the crown from the Model S, Tesla fights back with improved specs and lower prices. Over the years, the fleet of used Teslas has been growing steadily, and it finally offers what other automakers struggle with – choice. Some examples may be high-mile highway heroes, and some may be rare bargains, but if you ever hoped for a cheap Model S, this article is a good way to start your search.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Tesla and other authoritative sources, including JD Power.


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How Much Can You Save On A Used Tesla Model S

While the Honda Insight may be seen as the EV precursor and the Nissan Leaf claims the title of the first mass-produced electric car, it is without a shadow of a doubt that the Tesla Model S is the one that changed the way we look at electric vehicles. First introduced back in 2012, this sleek electric sedan brought cutting-edge technology to the market, together with an actually usable range. It introduced us to new levels of performance, until now reserved for the fastest supercar owners – all at a relatively attractive price.

Depreciation Is Your Friend In The Used Tesla Model S Market

Rear three quarters shot of a parked 2015 Tesla Model S117-scaled-1
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The Performance version of the Tesla Model S went on sale in 2012 for $87,400 – not really chop change by any means. Its 416-horsepower electric motor powering real wheels with 443 pound-feet of torque meant a 0 to 62 mph sprint in 4.4 seconds – a tenth of a second behind the $90,000 (back in 2012) BMW M5 F10.

Thankfully, Tesla vehicles are not immune to depreciation. That means significant price reductions over the years and a chance to find a very quick and very comfortable Model S and save potentially thousands of dollars in the process. Yes, the rate of depreciation depends on many factors – mileage, wear and tear, and the wider market demand – but even a few-year-old Model S can save you a bunch of cash, if you can find the right model.

Play The Numbers Game Right

Front three quarters shot of a parked 2015 Tesla Model S
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While it’s next to impossible to predict the future prices of the used Tesla Model S, we have an absolute treasure trove of data courtesy of JD Power. Here are some average first generation Tesla Model S prices, without taking mileage or equipment into account:

Used Tesla Model S Gen-1 Average Prices

Model S 40

Model S 60

Model S Performance

2012

$11,267

NA

$18,075

2013

$13,850

NA

$16,850

2014

NA

NA

$17,875

2015

NA

$15,375

$20,650

2016

NA

$18,675

$28,675

(Source: JD Power)

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Tesla Model S vs. Tesla Model S Plaid – Ultimate Showdown

Rear three-quarters shot of a parked 2021 White Tesla Model S Plaid
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The Tesla Model S shook up the automotive world and it became the ultimate sleeper. In 2021, Tesla introduced the long-awaited Palladium update – a third generation of the Model S. It meant a major power boost and, for the first time, a tri-motor high-performance Plaid version. You no longer needed bottomless pockets to become a king of the drag strip. The Model S Plaid was made to obliterate competition, and it went on to break countless speed records.

The One To Rule Them All

2015 Tesla Model S parked
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No one has ever said that the civilian Model S was slow. The 2015 P90D already boasted a respectable 772 horses and was capable of dealing with the 0-62 mph spring in 3.3 seconds. The second generation introduced P100D with the same power output and increased torque of 723 pound-feet with the 60 mph sprint taking only 2.5 seconds. The Plaid version took it to a whole new level in 2021 – 1,020 horsepower, 1,047 pound-feet of torque, and two-second sprint time became notorious specs.

If the Plaid is what you always wanted, but couldn’t quite stomach the original $119,990 – today may be your lucky day. According to JD Power, early units of Model S Plaid retail for as little as $62,425. If you can stretch your budget a little, then $70,000 can buy you a clean 2022 model, with low-mileage examples demanding as much as $76,270.

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Why Is Tesla Cutting Prices And What It Means For Used Cars

Red Tesla Model S rear
Tesla


Tesla made headlines early in 2023 when, out of nowhere, the company started slashing prices for its cars. These weren’t just minor adjustments – thousands of dollars were lobbed off to initial applause from the customers. Finally, Tesla has become affordable for many more people. After the initial joy, the shock of used Tesla prices plummeting caught unsuspecting owners by surprise.

The Domino Effect On Used Car Market

All Tesla wanted was to boost its sales, but as a result of its drastic price cuts, the value of used Teslas fell to the lowest levels on record. For a short while, it was possible to buy a brand-new Tesla for less than a two or three-year-old used model. The used prices had to adjust and many people who bought their first EV before the 2023 price cuts, ended up feeling short-changed.

Not All Teslas Are Created Equal – Which Models Offer The Best Resale Value

Tesla Model S interior
Tesla


Even when you factor in the recent price cuts and the value of used Teslas falling down as a result, they actually keep their value remarkably good. Some models stand out above the rest, holding on to a higher percentage of their original price, even after a few years of ownership. If you pay attention and choose your Model S wisely, it can mean a potentially better resale value when you decide to sell it.

The Resale Kings Revealed

Red Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla


When it comes to the Model S, there are clear crowd favorites. The usual used car rules apply – the lower the mileage and the higher the spec – the higher the resale value. In the case of the Model S, it is the battery size and whether it’s a single or dual-motor model that matters. The Tesla Model S is in its third-generation, and the first-gen vehicles offer the lowest ticket prices, but their batteries are old and on a small side of things – and the battery replacement can be an expensive adventure. The Model S had its reliability issues and 10 years in the EV world is a long time while some of the older Teslas may be tempting, their tech is nothing like the one we have today.

The second generation Tesla Model S, with a 95 kWh battery pack and two electric motors seems to hold on to its value the best. The models with smaller batteries were originally cheaper to buy, but customers now prefer vehicles with a longer range. Some used Model S vehicles come with free Supercharger access for life, making the car essentially free to run, and that is reflected in higher asking prices.


Any Model S with the latest FSD hardware will hold its value better and will demand better prices. The prices of used Model S without the hardware and with smaller batteries, will keep falling at the fastest rate. And although the Plaid versions will always demand the highest premiums, their prices will fall by the biggest percentage. But if you want the ultimate EV experience, Plaid is the way to go.

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Getting The Best Deal On Your Used Tesla Model S

Side profile shot of a 2015 Tesla Model S
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There is so much more to finding a good deal on a used Tesla than just browsing popular car-selling websites. You should always consider Tesla’s own certified Pre-Owned program. While the private seller may offer a slightly lower price, going the official way may mean an extra warranty, maybe even a servicing package. Private Tesla owners forums are a great place to look for your next Model S and some EV-specialized dealerships will have a decent selection. Then there is always a question: what happens with your current vehicle – trade it in or sell it on your own?


Know What To Look For

Rear three quarters shot of a parked 2015 Tesla Model S
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This is where articles about buying used electric cars become very useful. Before you fall in love with the Model S you want to buy, give a good thorough mechanical inspection – if you can’t do it, hire someone. Have the battery health inspected and check the service record. Look for the usual cosmetic damage and spend some time on the owner’s forums – they are the best sources of information when it comes to things that can go wrong.


The final step is the art of negotiation – do not be afraid to ask for a lower price. Do your homework on used Model S prices, and look for other vehicles in the same area. Always check the vehicle’s history and make sure there is no outstanding finance secured on it. Be prepared to walk away if the price is outside your budget – there are always other Model S vehicles out there. And don’t forget that Model 3 and Model Y offer as much fun but are newer and often more affordable. Then, there’s always the Model X for the ultimate wow factor – nothing says “future” like its gullwing doors, and in the Plaid version, it simply has no competition.

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