Want some proof that Tesla vehicles can appreciate in value over time? Look no further than one Tesla owner who was stunned to find out that her car’s value didn’t decrease, but increased, in the past month.
“Tesla Joy” shared a screenshot from Credit Karma on the value of her 2018 Tesla Model 3. It increased by almost $3,000 since last month. Its current value is $34,500. The type of Model 3 she has is a Long Range.
I asked her to share her thoughts with me. “My thought is I’m shocked. (Emoji with tears of joy) I’ve only known cars depreciating as soon as you drive it off the lot but not appreciating after 2 years of ownership,” she said. The first emotion she felt, she told me, was disbelief. “I had to do a double-take to make sure I read that right,” she said.
Tesla Joy isn’t the only one getting these notifications from Credit Karma. On Reddit, user srgmodel3 shared a screenshot of their notification. Their 2018 Tesla Model 3 AWD Long Range increased $3,225 in value from last month. “Got this notification via Credit Karma today. I know this isn’t ‘official’, but still pretty cool to confirm Tesla’s hold their value much better than any other car. Not one regret!” wrote srgmodel3.
One commentator noted that their car appreciated by $7,000 in value due to stealths starting to be an option at the price of a performance ($50,000 to $57,000). Stealth refers to a Model 3 Performance without the red brakes, tape on the spoiler, and metallic petal covers. They do have the Performance software and red line under the badge. Looking through the comments, it’s clear to see there is a debate going on. Some believe Credit Karma doesn’t really count while others confirmed their values going up. PaleInTexas noted that toward the end of 2018, Carmax offered them $34,000 for their 2018 Model 3 Performance. The car had 13,000 miles on it. They noted that the valuation can be all over the place.
It still stands to reason that the Tesla Model 3 holds value better than other vehicles. While having the highest number of preorders of any car ever made, it has proven to be the vehicle that loses the smallest amount of its initial value after a year. “The Tesla Model 3 had the highest numbers of preorders of any car ever produced and its backlog of orders helped further drive the high demand for the vehicle,” said Ly Phong of iSeeCars in an email sent to CleanTechnica earlier this year. iSeeCars had found that the Model 3 had — by far — the lowest depreciation of any model on the US market after one year. How much lower? Check it out:
Yes, its value depreciated, on average, 5.5% after one year, according to iSeeCars, whereas the second best Ford Ranger had seen its value drop by 11.4%
The BMW 3 Series saw depreciation of 38.2%. Thirty-eight point two percent! Is there any wonder the Model 3 dominates midsized luxury car sales?
In addition to depreciating more slowly, several CleanTechnica analyses have shown that used Tesla Model 3s are on the market for a much shorter time than their competition, which surely contributes to their lower depreciation in general.
Tesla is known for making EVs that are durable, stylish, beautiful, and that last. Last year I wrote an article that covered a Reddit chat about a Model S. The owner shared that his battery was at 98% capacity 7 years after he got his car. It is true that Tesla vehicles, like all cars, lose some of their value over time, but there is a chance that changes for a short period of time. Once Full Self Driving is implemented, and in a world where regulations allow robotaxi services, Elon Musk and many others think that Tesla vehicles could appreciate in value (a great deal even) compared to their initial purchase price.
What keeps these cars from losing value as their competitors do is an array of things that range from how they are made to the software installed in them. The latter is an ocean of wonders for anyone to dive into. It enables a car to do more than regular cars do. For example, I don’t see a BMW making fart sounds and you can’t sing karaoke in them. For many, these are features that have been added since their purchases their cars — as well as the ability to watch Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube in the car; several video games; and much more advanced Autopilot. The biggie, though, is going to be if Full Self Driving is achieved and your car can suddenly moonlight as a robotaxi.
“I’m extremely confident that Level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen, and I think will happen very quickly. I think, at Tesla, I feel like we are very close to Level 5 autonomy. I think — I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for Level 5 autonomy complete this year,” Elon Musk said in his video presentation at the virtual World AI Conference held last month.
Just think, 50 years from now, the value of these cars will increase due to just how historical they are. The Model 3, especially the older ones, will be considered “OG” by the newer generations. Other automakers will most likely build their own versions of electric vehicles based on the roadmaps that Tesla has set up for them. Tesla has already set the bar high — when it comes to not just electric cars, but cars in general. Many associate Tesla with luxury, and even a used Tesla would be appreciated over new models from brands such as Mercedes-Benz or Audi.
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