What’s the deal with cheap used Teslas? Is there a deal?

What’s the deal with cheap used Teslas? Is there a deal?

We here at EVANNEX are all gear heads.  Some with EVs and some with ICEs, but everyone here loves a good deal on a used car.  Right now, we can’t help but notice the sub $20k high-trim Model S vehicles hitting the secondary market.  Are battery fears real?  Is a 100k mile Tesla a ticking time bomb for expensive repair bills?  Well, we think they are the best deal on the used car market – and we are not alone.  First, we must understand why the market is the way it is…

It's hard to imagine a used car market offering deals in 2024!  During the pandemic, we saw EV’s skyrocket in price, especially Tesla units.  Many people were selling their orders before even taking delivery, and making cash hand-over-fist.  So what has changed this year?

For starters, there was the big Hertz Rent-a-Car sell-off.  Range anxiety was a real thing for renters, but for Hertz and rental agencies in general, the repair bills for collision damage kept mounting.  Coupled with Hertz’ lack-luster reputation for keeping up on repairs, one can imagine why financially the company had to unload their Tesla inventory.  Hertz has reported that it expects to write off $245 million across their Tesla fleet.  In a basic supply/demand industry like used cars, this recent unloading of inventory has helped dropped used Tesla values dramatically.

The other elephant in the room is battery health.  The original Tesla batteries are somewhat known for individual cell failure, which leads to high repair bills.  However, the newer Tesla batteries seem to garner a more favorable reputation on forums and social media for durability and longevity.  A keen shopper will look for a used Model S, but with a warranty replaced battery.  An even better buy would be an early Model S, with a replaced battery, and lifetime supercharging.  Many hobbyists, enthusiasts, and YouTubers are taking gambles on these cars with favorable results.

Samcrac, a popular car-flipping YouTube channel, has recently picked up a once $120k P90D for a under $12k, including repairs on sloppy OEM control arms.  EVANNEX offers a host of control arm replacement options for Tesla to make those repairs simple and easy.  Sam also tackles this easy DIY control arm replacement on his P90D in the video.

For auction buyers, the gamble may be worth it! But for the less mechanically inclined, are these cheap used Tesla options a good buy, or a ticking time bomb?  A quick nearby search on used car sites finds dozens of used but functioning Model S options for under $20k. 

Even if the dreaded high voltage battery failure were to affect a used Tesla purchase, replacement options for batteries continue to grow every year.  Some repair facilities like Electrified Garage have found ways to replace individual battery components to avoid total battery replacements from Tesla, and can bring that worrisome $15k total battery replacement cost in to more manageable services.

We believe that maintenance and replacement parts for Tesla are widely available and affordable on EVANNEX.com , and are we think these high mileage cars may be the buys of the year!