Used: Is now the best time to buy a Tesla Model 3?
Aug 30,2022 | Chloe Lacour
The Tesla Model Y broke the internet this weekend. The Model 3 broke Le Bon Coin. Does this signify the end of speculation around the sedan?
Elon Musk made the assembly laugh by announcing that the Tesla Model Y would be the best-selling vehicle on the planet. According to his estimates, which are less simplistic than they appear, combining the market shares of SUVs and the evolution curve of the Tesla Model 3 would be enough to confirm that the Model Y can dethrone the Toyota RAV4. Tesla wants to reassure itself by relying on its production capacities, but if the Model Y is starting to make its way, it is far from the mark: the RAV4 is the world's number 1 sold with more than 1.13 million copies in 2021! However, the madness around Tesla is not about to run out of steam, as the appearance in Europe of the entry-level Tesla Model Y proved to us.
An appeal version, equipped with a single rear motor (284 hp according to our official sources ), a smaller battery (with an estimated capacity of between 55 and 60 kWh), a WLTP range of 455 km and, above all, a reduced price: €49,990. Or €15,000 less than the Grande Autonomie version, which promises 395 hp, four-wheel drive, and 533 km of autonomy. Unless you give priority to covers at all costs, have regular use of your SUV in the mountains in winter, or want to reassure yourself with additional autonomy which would probably be useless in the real world (it is above all the distance between stations that matters), the Model Y propulsion weighs heavily on the scales when choosing.
Especially since it manages to be cheaper than the entry-level Tesla Model 3: the SUV is more affordable than the sedan by around €3,500! A nice discount, when it takes 2,500 € more in the Long Autonomy version and 3,500 € in the performance version. In a world where the mass thinks in relative terms rather than in absolute terms when it comes to the price of products, this makes the "cheapest" look like "cheap". Offering the entire Tesla universe in the form of an equally fashionable SUV, the Model Y, therefore, has every chance of meeting with success.
The overloaded classifieds of used Tesla Model 3
And Friday was proof of that. Just after the announcement of the American brand relayed in our columns, the little hedgehog who validates orders on the Tesla site had his work cut out for him in the face of the delirious influx of orders. Even drivers who obviously had no plans to drive an SUV, or even a Tesla, were seduced. Collateral effect? Classified sites have exploded with a massive influx of used Tesla Model 3s. In the space of just 24 hours, 171 Model 3 ads were published on the famous Le Bon Coin site. An increase of 362% compared to the previous 24 hours (Thursday to Friday morning, therefore), where only 37 new ads were posted. A real tidal wave on the second-hand market, then tense by speculation and the recent price increase. Does this new, more generous offer allow you to do good business?
More than the law of supply and demand, it is the aggressive price of this new Model Y that could well redistribute the cards. Therefore, buyers would be more tempted to go for a new SUV than a used sedan overcharged by an owner thinking of parting with a Ferrari 250 GTO. Also, the prospect that such a good deal will not remain one for long has prompted other buyers, in particular Model 3 owners, to rush in, while reselling their sedan at more consistent prices to accelerate the sale.
Lower prices with the latest listings
From the first research, these theories are confirmed. And some obviously did not wait long to part with their Model 3 since, out of the more than 500 listings listed, nearly 100 copies of 2022 have less than 20,000 km on the odometer. There are even almost new models with less than 5,000 km, with prices gravitating around that of new. With higher mileage, most prices finally fall, if not remain less pegged to Tesla's price grid.
But it is indeed the price differences that are surprising depending on the date of posting. Example with this 2022 Model 3 SR+ was published a few weeks ago, with 10,000 km at a price of €54,000. That's nearly €6,000 more than this other copy, Gris Nuit and also from 2022, with 9,000 km and put online on Friday. At an equivalent price, it will also be possible to recover a 2022 sedan with 6,200 km on the clock, against a copy with 14,500 km which has not found a buyer for more than a month.
Of course, the differences are not always so marked and the rating of the models is sometimes well maintained. The fact remains that with the filter of the most recent ads, only two Model 3s are close to €50,000 out of the nearly 40 ads on the first page. Conversely, with the filter of the oldest advertisements, even older SR+ models pass the €50,000 mark. This leads us to believe that the rating of the Tesla Model 3 could slowly drop in the coming weeks.
Which used Tesla Model 3 to choose?
Autonomy Standard Plus, Long Autonomy or Performance, only you can define the version best suited to your needs and desires. Also attacking with an aggressive price ( this has been less true since the beginning of the year ), the Tesla Model 3 SR+ is the most widespread, and the least exclusive by definition. It is she who displays the most affordable prices for a recent model and low kilometers: count 46,000 € (average of the prices displayed) for models between 20,000 and 25,000 km. But where the rub is that the higher-mileage copies are not necessarily more affordable with equivalent equipment: the Model 3 SR+ with nearly 50,000 km is displayed on average with 3,000 € less.
The Long Autonomy version appears to be the most interesting. On the one hand with its technical sheet (larger battery, higher charging power, four-wheel drive). But on the other hand by the price difference with that of the new. Because of a higher selling price at the origin, it was much more sheltered from speculators, who instead rushed on the SR+ with a maximum bonus at stake. On the Tesla site, this version is displayed at a new price of €62,490 with deliveries scheduled for early 2023. On the second-hand market, you can negotiate models with nearly 50,000 km at around €48,000. on average.
Also, when researching, don't be fooled by the community's Unicorn name. It characterizes transitional Tesla Model 3s, which have an LFP battery and a more powerful old-generation motor with more responsiveness (0-100 km/h in 5.6 s against 6.1 s for the following models). The best of both worlds, but the legend is a bit overrated compared to actual earnings.
The Tesla Occasion pages are no longer really competitive
If your budget is tight, be aware that no Model 3 is displayed below 40,000 € at the moment. At this price, you can leave with an SR+ version of 70,000 km on average, or with a Long Range that has already exceeded the 170,000 km mark. At the other end of the table, there are Model 3 Performances with already thousands of kilometers on the clock at €70,000, or €3,000 more than new!
If good moves are to be made via classified ads sites for individuals or professionals, Tesla Used offers still reflect the state of the market a few weeks ago, and they are no longer really competitive. Because if the complete overhaul of the cars and the extension of the warranty of one year or 20,000 additional km once the initial warranty has expired were serious advantages in the face of the other announcements, the prices are now high perched. For example with this SR+ from the end of 2021, with 13,000 km on the clock, offered at €56,900. It's very expensive to pay, even for a Unicorn, when recently published equivalent models are trading around €47-48,000.
Used Tesla Model 3: take it or leave it?
Only two days after its appearance, the Tesla Model Y RWD calms the game concerning used Model 3s. Its price positioning thus makes it possible to lower the prices usually practiced until now. Admittedly, there are still a few speculators on the market, but the trend is confirmed. And it should continue to follow its deflation over the next few weeks: because even if the Model 3 drops on occasion, its prices are still close to that of a new SUV. And it must be said that the arguments of the latter are much more seductive, with more generous habitability and, let us specify, quality of finish moreover more rigorous leaving the factory in Berlin. In short, as long as the entry-level Tesla Model Y doesn't surge (which is absolutely not impossible with Tesla), the Model 3 could be more and more interesting on occasion. Still, a little patience to save a few thousand euros.