Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Tesla? The Murky Math of Price Fluctuations, Incentives, and Market Saturation

Today I want to talk about when is the best time to buy (or sell) a Tesla because I really need to figure this out.

Spoiler alert: it’s kind of impossible to know! Prices, incentives, and the market are always changing.

Let’s start with prices – Tesla adjusts their prices a LOT. Like in 2023 alone, the base Model 3 went up $2,000 in January, down $1000 in April, then back up $1000 in July. Are you dizzy yet? Their pricing is super volatile, so it’s hard to predict if you’re getting a good deal or not!  I’ve had my Tesla Y for 3 years and I often get Carvana price points that go up and own as much as $10k over a month.

Then you have tax credits for electric vehicles. Right now that’s $7500 for Tesla, but who knows if it will stay or go away soon when Tesla sells more cars. It only is available on new Tesla’s. So why buy an old one when the new one could be nearly the same price after credit. More uncertainty!

Tesla also refreshes models every so often, so if you buy right before, your resale value may drop. The Model 3 is getting a refresh currently and the Y is coming soon after. And if location matters to you – state-to-state or city-to-city pricing can vary quite a bit too in the used market.

When Tesla ramps up production, more used Teslas may lower used prices but soften new demand. Rental agencies are sell a lot of their used inventory. And Tesla pushes hard to sell cars at quarter end with discounts. So many factors!

At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice if getting a Tesla is right for you now at today’s prices or if you want to play the waiting game a little longer. I have saved something close to $6k in gas by going electric and having solar. Do your homework on price history and ownership costs. And don’t feel pressured by the market hype!

In the coming weeks, I’ll explain how I think the EV market can play out based on Tesla’s pricing.

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