We’ve covered the superiority of the Tesla Model 3 compared to other cars in its class in a number of different ways. Add to the list the fact that Tesla Model 3 buyers are holding onto their cars much more than people who buy competing cars in the midsize premium car market, and when cars do hit the used market, they apparently don’t stay there for long.
Before jumping into CleanTechnica’s new findings and some of the implications, let’s quickly remind ourselves of some of the neighboring pieces in this puzzle.
- The Tesla Model 3 holds its value far better than any other vehicle on the US auto market.
- Capital One has found that the Tesla Model 3 is “wreaking havoc on the pre-owned luxury car market.”
- Kelley Blue Book expects the Tesla Model 3 to hold a far greater portion of its initial cost 5 years down the line than any other car in its class.
- The Tesla Model 3 dominates the US premium-class small & midsize car market.
- Tesla Model 3 total cost of ownership over 5 years is expected to be far below the cost of ownership of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, etc.
- Consumer Reports has found Tesla Model 3 owners are much more satisfied with their cars than owners of any competitors — or any other automobiles at all.
With all of that in mind, it’s not too surprising to find out that, per car sold, there are 33× more 2019 Audi A3 & A4 on the US used car market than 2019 Tesla Model 3. On Earth Day, April 22, 2020, there were 128 used 2019 Tesla Model 3 listed for sale on Autotrader, compared to ~155,000 Model 3 sold in the US in 2019. At the same time, there were 1,001 used 2019 Audi A3 and A4 listed for sale, compared to 36,853 A3 and A4 sold in the US in 2019.
Running the analysis for the 2019 Tesla Model 3 vs. the 2019 BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, and 4 Series, those BMW models were on the used car market 15.5× more per 2019 sale than the 2019 Tesla Model 3.
Out of curiosity, I also ran the analyses for a more conventional, lower-priced model, the Nissan Maxima, and for the most iconic American muscle car, the Ford Mustang. The Model 3 bested the Maxima by ~31× and bested the Mustang by ~17× or more (possibly much more). In the case of the Mustang, it’s actually not clear how many used 2019 Mustangs are on Autotrader because the site shows a maximum of “1000+” and the Mustang reached that max. The ratio could be slightly worse for the Mustang than shown below, or it could be dramatically worse.
The one unfortunate thing here for Tesla fans is that it’s fairly difficult and costly to get a used Model 3. I know many people are waiting for used Model 3 prices to drop quite a bit more to join the electric and/or Tesla fold. Perhaps that will happen as more people receive a Tesla Model Y. Many Model Y buyers may be selling their Model 3 in order to get the Model Y. On the other hand, with Tesla just beginning to roll out automatic stopping at red lights and stop signs, something no other passenger car offers, high demand for the Model 3 — used and new — might accelerate rather than subside.
Thanks to Mike Barnard for doing the initial legwork setting up the framework for this analysis.
Want to buy a Tesla Model 3? Feel free to use my referral code to get some free Supercharging miles with your purchase: https://ts.la/zachary63404.
You can also use the code when buying a Model S or Model X, or can get a $250 discount on Tesla solar with that code. There is currently no use for a referral code when putting down a reservation for a Cybertruck or Model Y.
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...