Tesla Cost of Ownership: How Much Does It Cost to Own a Tesla?

Tesla makes the world’s most popular electric vehicles. Before buying a Tesla, however, it’s important to consider the cost of ownership.

According to our research, it costs around $67,623 to own a Tesla for 5 years, or around $13,000 to $15,000 per year. This estimate includes the original cost of the Tesla (or your financing payments), the depreciation of the Tesla, maintenance, and “fuel” costs. However, your cost of ownership varies widely based on your model and other factors.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how much it costs to own a Tesla:

Tesla Cost of Ownership: Model by Model

The total cost of owning a Tesla varies based on your model. The more you spend on your Tesla, the higher your total cost of ownership will be.

Across all Tesla models, it costs around $67,623 to own a Tesla over a 5-year period, according to our research. However, rates vary based on individual models.

Overall, Tesla’s cost of ownership tends to be comparable to other cars in its class. However, KBB recently chose the Tesla Model 3 as the best in its class for 5 year cost of ownership. The Model 3 had similar maintenance, repair, and financing costs to other vehicles in its class (like the Audi TT and Volvo S90), although drivers paid significantly less to fuel their Tesla (roughly $2,000 over a 5-year period compared to $8,000 for gas-powered vehicles).

Here is the total cost of ownership for a Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and Tesla Model Y:

Tesla Model 3

Average new price: $59,700

5 Year Cost of Ownership: $41,239

Tesla Model Y

Average New Price: $58,800

5 Year Cost of Ownership: $49,219

Tesla Model S

Average New Price: $102,000

5 Year Cost of Ownership: $71,983

Tesla Model X

Average New Price: $112,000

5 Year Cost of Ownership: $72,011

What’s Included with Cost of Ownership?

Our Tesla cost of ownership calculations above are based on the total cost of owning your vehicle over a 5 year period, including any financing payments (or your initial purchase price), insurance, maintenance, and fuel costs, among other factors.

Here are all of the factors included in our cost of ownership rankings:

Financing or Purchase Price: The largest part of cost of ownership is the price you paid for your Tesla. Most drivers finance their Tesla, and you make monthly payments towards your Tesla. Whether you paid for your Tesla upfront or are financing your Tesla with any size of down payment, your initial purchase price is included in our cost of ownership calculations above, averaged across a 5-year period.

Depreciation: The 5 year cost of owning a Tesla is lower than the price you paid for the Tesla because you own a vehicle with value. Your Tesla is still worth a lot of money after 5 years. Although it’s worth less than what you paid for it, you still have an asset you can sell. We considered the value of your Tesla, minus depreciation, in our total cost of ownership. Stated another way, your Tesla loses value every year, and we included this depreciation in our cost of ownership.

Insurance: Tesla’s have relatively high insurance premiums compared to other vehicles. Your Tesla has specialized, high-end components that can be expensive to repair. This can increase risk for your insurer. Whether working with Tesla’s in-house insurance or buying your own insurance, you’ll pay an average of around $3,000 to $6,000 per year to insure a Tesla, depending on your model and driving record.

Maintenance: A Tesla, like any vehicle, requires maintenance. Although your Tesla requires different maintenance than a gas-powered vehicle, it still requires regular maintenance. Tesla’s recommended maintenance schedule includes tire rotation, brake fluid changes, and cleaning and lubricating brake calipers, among other recommended items.

Fuel Costs: Your Tesla requires fuel. It just uses a different fuel than a gas-powered vehicle. Your Tesla fuel costs are considerably lower than gas-powered fuel costs, assuming you pay average electricity prices in your region. On average, Tesla owners spend $2,000 to $4,000 on “fuel” (electricity) for their Tesla over a 5 year period, or around $400 to $800 per year, depending on mileage.

Repairs: Within a 5 year period, your Tesla may require repairs. Although you’re unlikely to require repairs within the first one or two years of ownership, drivers tend to require an average of $1,000 to $4,000 in repairs after five years of ownership.

Taxes, Fees, Tax Credits, and Rebates: Most drivers do not receive a tax credit for their Tesla purchase. However, we considered taxes, fees, rebates, and tax credits in our 5-year total cost of ownership.

Overall, after adding up all of these factors, the cost of owning a Tesla over a 5 year period tends to be significantly lower than the cost of owning other vehicles. 

Kelley Blue Book Ranks the Tesla Model 3 as Having the Lowest Cost of Ownership

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 5 year cost of owning a Tesla Model 3 is $11,000 lower than competing cars in its class.

In their 2022 rankings, KBB found it costs around $42,233 to own a Tesla Model 3 for 5 years, putting the Model 3 at the top of its class and ahead of competitors like the Audi TTT, Volvo S90, and Volvo V90.

Here are the results of KBB’s research into the total cost of owning a Model 3 over a 5 year period:

  • It costs $42,233 to own a Tesla Model 3 over a 5 year period, putting it first in its class for total cost of ownership
  • In comparison, the next best cars in the class were the Audi TT ($53,972 total cost of ownership over 5 years), the Volvo S90 ($55,225), and the Volvo V90 ($57,623)
  • The Model 3 had similar maintenance, insurance, and estimated repair costs compared to competing cars in its class
  • However, the Model 3 had much cheaper fuel costs than competitors, with $2,200 in total fuel costs over a 5 year period compared to $8,000 to $9,500 for its competitors
  • The Model 3 also had cheaper state fees and financing than its competitors

KBB’s total costs of ownership included all of the following estimated costs over a 5 year window of owning a Tesla Model 3:

Fuel: $2,208

Maintenance: $3,115

Insurance: $3,545

Repairs: $1,551

Financing: $2,635

State Fees: $4,097

Total Out of Pocket Expenses: $17,151

Depreciation (Loss in Value): $25,082

If you add up all of these numbers, you get a total cost of ownership of $42,233.

How Much Does Tesla Insurance Cost?

Whether you’re buying a Tesla or any other vehicle, insurance is one of your biggest expenses. Tesla’s tend to be slightly more expensive to insure than similar vehicles in their price range. However, Tesla insurance can also be relatively affordable – especially if you shop around.

Here’s how much it costs to insure each type of Tesla:

Model 3: $2,683 per year

Model Y: $3,908 per year

Model S: $4,132 per year

Model X: $4,189 per year

Your actual Tesla insurance premiums vary based on many factors, including your age, state, insurance company, mileage, and driving record. An 18-year old driver in Florida could pay over $15,000 per year to insure a Tesla, for example, while a 55-year old driver from Idaho could pay as little as $1,800 per year.

Final Word

The total cost of owning a Tesla tends to be lower than similar cars in its class. You spend significantly less on fuel for your Tesla, which could save you thousands per year compared to cars with a similar retail price.

Tesla vehicles also tend to have comparable maintenance, insurance, and repair costs to other vehicles in their class.

To learn more about the total cost of Tesla ownership, visit today.





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