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Why Are Used Teslas So Expensive? [5 Reasons 2023]


Tesla cars have become popular in recent years. These cars are entirely electric, so they are great for the environment.

At the same time, they have unmatched safety and performance features. They are custom-built to order and are usually in high demand. 

Teslas, in their own right, are very expensive cars. However, recently there has been an uptick in the prices of the used Teslas. Currently, some Teslas are selling for more than what they initially sold for!

But why are they so expensive?

Photo: Ivan Radic / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Used Teslas are so expensive because of production delays and shortages of computer chips for cars. These cars use advanced technology and people are willing to pay a premium for a car they can get immediately. A low supply of new and pre-owned Teslas also helps increase their resale value. 

This article explores why used Teslas are expensive and how they manage to maintain (or increase) their value.

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1. Waitlisted For A New One 

As the demand for Tesla cars has increased, so has the waitlist.

Teslas are unique in the fact that they are not sold on a dealership lot like most other cars. While you can go to a showroom to see a Tesla, you will not be able to drive it home. 

Teslas are built to order, and with the ever-increasing demand for a new Tesla, the waitlist times are growing too. This is making a used Tesla more expensive now than some of the used ones. 

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Used Teslas are available for someone to have right now. There is no wait time and no having to go in and build your features yourself. 

Being able to offer it to you right now gives the seller of the used Tesla an advantage because if someone wants something bad enough, they are willing to pay top-dollar for it. 

2. Low Inventory For Used Cars

Recently there has been a very low inventory of used cars available for purchase. This has driven common cars up in price, and of course, the price of Tesla cars. 

Tesla Model 3. Photo: Todd Shoemake / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

In the case of Tesla, not only is their cost higher due to the general low inventory, but owners also monetize on the fact that those who want to buy a Tesla have to wait for upwards of 6 months to get a new one. 

With more people wanting a used Tesla and fewer available to be sold, this naturally will make the cost of a used Tesla go up. 

3. Global Chip Shortage 

Like all electric cars, Teslas have a chip that keeps them running. Currently, there is a global chip shortage that has affected most automakers that manufacture electric vehicles. Tesla is no different. The global chip shortage has halted the production of the newest models

As the new Tesla production is put on hold, people want the used ones even more. This has a direct impact on the price of a new Tesla. 

Many people do not want to have to wait months or even years to get their hands on a new model because of manufacturing delays. This is helping drive the cost extremely high for a used Tesla. 

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4. Unmatched Technology

Tesla’s technology is completely unmatched in the car industry today. The company has a reputation for being innovative and cutting edge.

In a typical car, there can be somewhere around 200 moving parts to keep the car functional.

In comparison, a Tesla has about 17 moving parts. Not to mention they are all electrical. There are no knobs and buttons.

There is a screen with all the car’s functions. This keeps maintenance costs relatively low because just about everything can be fixed through software maintenance.

However, this cutting-edge technology is expensive. In conjunction with the high demand for the used car, the unmatched technology continues to drive up the price.

5. Continuous Updates

Typically, when you buy a car, you have the newest technology until the next best thing comes out. However, that is not the case with a Tesla.

Tesla charging stations for electric cars. Photo: Marco Verch / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Since a Tesla car is entirely electronic, the updates also get installed onto the old cars.

So this makes Tesla different because you don’t have to have the newest model to have the newest technology. 

So, waiting for a new car offers no benefits other than the fact that it is a newer year model. 

Because the 2016 Tesla will have the same cutting-edge technology as a 2022 made Tesla, many consumers don’t mind spending money on an older model. 


The technology and quality found in Tesla cars, in conjunction with the current market situation, explain why used Teslas are so expensive. With the unmatchable technology and continuous updates, it can be almost like having a new car anytime new technology comes out. 

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Additionally, due to a low inventory and long wait times, it is understandable why a used Tesla costs so much.

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