Is now the best time to buy a Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model Y broke the internet this weekend. The Model 3 broke Le Bon Coin. Does this signal the end of speculation surrounding 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 their estimates, which are less simplistic than they seem, 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 capabilities, but if the Model Y starts gaining ground, it’s far from the mark: the RAV4 is the world number 1 sold with over 1.13 million copies in 2021! However, the madness surrounding Tesla isn’t about to run out of steam, as the entry-level Tesla Model Y’s appearance in Europe proved to us.

An appealing version, equipped with a single rear engine (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, all-wheel drive and 533 km of autonomy. Unless you prioritize coverage at all costs, make regular use of your SUV in the mountains in winter, or want to reassure yourself with additional range that would likely be useless in the real world (it’s above all the distance between seasons that matters) , the Model Y propulsion weighs heavily in the balance when it comes to choosing.

Especially since it manages to be cheaper than the entry-level Tesla Model 3: the SUV is more affordable than the sedan at around €3,500! A good discount, when it costs €2,500 more for the Long Autonomy version and €3,500 for the performance version. In a world where the masses think in relative terms and not in absolute terms with regard to the price of products, this makes “cheaper” seem “cheap”. Offering the entire Tesla universe in the form of an equally stylish SUV, the Model Y therefore has every chance of finding success.

Used Tesla Model 3 overloaded classifieds

And Friday was proof of that. Shortly after the announcement of the American brand ran in our columns, the little hedgehog that validates orders on the Tesla website had his work cut out in the face of the delirious flow of orders. Even drivers who obviously had no plans to drive an SUV, or even a Tesla, were seduced. Side effect? Classifieds sites 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 website. A 362% increase over the previous 24 hours (Thursday to Friday morning, therefore), where only 37 new ads were posted. A real tidal wave in the second-hand market, then strained by speculation and the recent price increase. Does this new, more generous offer allow you to make good deals?

More than the law of supply and demand, it is the aggressive price of this new Model Y that will be able to redistribute the cards. Therefore, buyers would be more tempted to buy a new SUV than a pre-owned sedan weighed down by an owner considering parting with a Ferrari 250 GTO. Also, the prospect that such a good deal won’t last long has prompted other buyers, in particular Model 3 owners, to rush as they resell their sedan at more consistent prices to accelerate the sale.

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Lowest prices with the latest ads

Since the first researches, these theories are confirmed. And some obviously didn’t wait long to part with the Model 3, as out of the 500+ listings listed, nearly 100 2022 copies have less than 20,000 km on the odometer. There are even nearly new models with less than 5,000 km, with prices hovering around the new ones. With higher mileage, most prices eventually drop, if not remain less tied to Tesla’s pricing grid.

But it is in fact the price differences that are surprising depending on the posting date. Example with this Model 3 SR+ 2022 published a few weeks ago, with 10,000 km at a price of €54,000. It’s almost €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, against an example with 14,500 km that has not found a buyer for more than a month.

Of course, the differences are not always so marked and the classification of models is sometimes well maintained. The fact is that with the most recent ads filter, only two Model 3’s are close to €50,000 out of almost 40 ads on the front page. On the other hand, with the older ads filter, even older SR+ models go over the €50,000 mark. This leads us to believe that the Tesla Model 3 rating could slowly drop in the coming weeks.

Which used Tesla Model 3 to choose?

Autonomy Standard Plus, Long Autonomy or Performance, only you can choose the version that best suits your needs and desires. Also lashing out at aggressive pricing (this has been less true since the start of the year), the Tesla Model 3 SR+ is the most widespread and least exclusive by definition. It is she who presents the most affordable prices for a recent model and low mileage: count €46,000 (average of prices shown) for models between 20,000 and 25,000 km. But where the problem is, higher-mileage copies aren’t necessarily more affordable with equivalent equipment: the Model 3 SR+ with nearly 50,000km is shown on average with €3,000 less.

The Long Autonomy version seems to be the most interesting. On the one hand, with its technical sheet (bigger battery, greater charging power, four-wheel drive). But on the other hand due to the price difference with the nine. Because with a higher selling price at origin, it was much more protected from speculators, who instead rushed to SR+ with a maximum bonus at stake. On the Tesla website, this version is presented with a new price of €62,490 with deliveries scheduled for early 2023. On the second-hand market, you can trade models with around 50,000 km for around €48,000.

Also, when searching, don’t be fooled by the community’s name Unicorn. It features the transitional Tesla Model 3s, which have an LFP battery and an older generation motor that is more powerful and more responsive (0-100 km/h in 5.6 s versus 6.1 s for subsequent models). The best of both worlds, but the legend a little overrated compared to the actual earnings.

Tesla Occasion pages are no longer really competitive

If your budget is tight, be aware that no Model 3s are displayed below €40,000 at the moment. At that price, you can get away with an SR+ version of 70,000km on average, or with a Long Range that has already passed the 170,000km mark. At the other end of the table are the Model 3 Performances with thousands of kilometers already driven at €70,000, or €3,000 more than new!

Whether good plays are to be made through classified ad sites for individuals or professionals, Tesla Used’s offerings still reflect the state of the market a few weeks ago and are no longer really competitive. Because if the complete overhaul of the cars and the one-year warranty extension or an additional 20,000 km once the initial warranty has expired were serious advantages over the rest of the ads, the prices are now perched. Example with this SR+ from late 2021, with 13,000 km on the clock, offered at €56,900. It’s too 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?

Just two days after its appearance, the Tesla Model Y RWD calms the game over the used Model 3. Its price positioning makes it possible to lower the prices usually practiced until now. It is true that there are still some speculators in the market, but the trend is confirmed. And it should continue to track its deflation in the coming weeks: because even if the Model 3 drops from time to time, its prices are still close to those of a new SUV. And it has to be said that the latter’s arguments are much more seductive, with more generous habitability and, let’s say, an even more rigorous quality of finishes when leaving the factory in Berlin. In short, as long as the entry-level Tesla Model Y doesn’t suddenly increase (which isn’t absolutely impossible with Tesla), the Model 3 can get more and more interesting from time to time. Still a little patience to save a few thousand euros.

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