We’re going to assume that I paid the sales tax plus the 20 percent down on the Model X in cash, and financed the rest. That’s a $24,198 cash payment, and $96,792 financed.
According to Statista, average new car loan terms in November 2022 were around 6.05 percent APR. We’re going to assume that I scored a 72 month loan, and that would put my monthly payment at $1,606.41.
Sales tax is going to vary based on where you live, by state and city. For example, where I live sales tax is eight percent, so on a base Model X last year I’d have paid an extra $9,679.20 in sales tax. Title and license fees is another $50 for the year. Insurance,
according to Nerd Wallet, is pretty expensive at $3,861 annually on average for a Model X.
I wanted a rough idea of the value lost in all those Teslas. So I did some math. I wanted to know not only how much Tesla has driven value out of their cars, but the owners as well. How much could be attributed to the drop in new car prices, but also how much of a price drop could be settled through regular daily use, too. Using some national searches from CarGurus and AutoTempest, I went looking for 2023 model year cars with fewer than 10,000 miles, clean titles, and no recorded use as a rental car. Just regular cars with regular miles. CarGurus has a nice tool that tells you if a price is fair based on its calculations of the market, and AutoTempest can search multiple sources at once and provide links to the cheapest examples in the country. Both of these tools are helpful!
Keep in mind that this doesn’t account for finance interest, taxes, title fees, licensing fees, insurance, electricity, maintenance, or insurance costs. So let’s dig into that!
The world’s most successful electric automaker has been completely dicking over its customers for the last year by dramatically dropping prices across the board. Hundreds of thousands of Tesla cars all over the country, and indeed the world, have completely tanked in value. After a continual upward trend in pricing across 2022, the ostensibly Texas-based company has been dropping prices left and right in 2023 in attempts to keep demand for new vehicles high.
Tesla buyers have been feeling the pinch as they watched the brand new price of their second-most expensive asset get squeezed. As a result of the new prices coming down—and new incentives being introduced for which they were not eligible—used prices have tanked and these buyers are more upside-down in their cars than previously thought possible. A new Model X Dual Motor buyer today is paying $41,000 less than someone who bought the same car this time last year.
Let’s Do Some Math
To recap, a Tesla Model X Dual Motor buyer in early November 2022 is now looking at an average of $41,000 loss if they were to sell their car. The good news is, they could basically sell it and immediately turn around and buy another one brand new today. Faced with the same scenario, a Model S Dual Motor owner is looking at losing about $34,000, a Model Y Dual Motor Long Range owner would lose about $20,000, and a Model 3 RWD owner is hacking $10,000 out of their net worth.
It doesn’t really take all of that math to come to a conclusion, either.
Tesla delivered 405,278 cars to new owners in Q4 of 2022. By dropping the prices on each and every car sold since then, the company has collectively cost its customer base billions of dollars. For the sake of argument, if all of those cars were the best-case-scenario Model 3 RWD with no options, paid for in cash, and sold a year later at the average $37,000 price (that’s a $9,990 loss on 405,278 cars), Tesla’s price drops cost the global economy a collective $4.05 billion.
A Model S Dual Motor is pretty similar to its X counterpart. It was originally $104,990, and the price has dropped precipitously to just $74,990 today. CarGurus says a used 2023 is worth around $71,000, but the least expensive example I could find was just $68,986. Bought one year ago,
this seller is . prepared to lose at least $36,000 for the privilege