Don’t waste your time by going to a Tesla store or showroom and asking if you can negotiate the prices. You can’t.
Do you want to purchase an electric vehicle? A Tesla is probably on top of your list. They’re one of the top EV makers worldwide, and they operate in a unique way, which includes their purchasing process.
If you’re wondering if Tesla prices can be negotiated, the simple answer is no.
Brand-new Tesla vehicles are sold to customers at a set price. They also sell used EVs at a cheaper price, but any price they offer is final.
As some Tesla customers say, “What you see is what you get.”
In this article, we’re going to find out why Tesla doesn’t negotiate its prices and other ways you can get a good deal on a Tesla.
Does Tesla Negotiate on New Cars?
If you’re used to buying cars from a traditional dealership, you might be surprised when you purchase one from Tesla because you won’t be able to negotiate or get a discount on any of their coveted EVs.
You may be wondering why. Sure, most dealerships or car lots are open for any bargaining or haggling over the price.
Tesla has a more efficient and more streamlined buying process, but it comes at the cost of not being able to negotiate the rates. All the prices you see on their website are fixed.
It’s actually a good thing because not having a middleman means Tesla can keep selling directly to consumers with lower prices while retaining top-notch craftsmanship.
Does Tesla Negotiate on Used Cars — and Are They Worth It?
The pricing for used Tesla cars is also non-negotiable.
But if you can get a used, yet elite vehicle for a lower price, then this is a good alternative. After all, the major reason for purchasing a secondhand vehicle is to save money.
Any used vehicle is substantially cheaper; thus, this may be a perfect loophole for individuals who are yearning to get behind the wheel of a Tesla but lack the financial means to do so at full price.
However, it’s best to shop around because there will be more expensive and less expensive variants available depending on the seller’s desired pricing.
Though you can’t negotiate the price of a used Tesla car, you still have plenty of options from their inventory that are worth checking out.
If you do opt for a used Tesla car, accept the fact that it comes with its own set of obstacles, such as checking if the car and its powerful battery pack are still in good operating condition, which may be challenging.
Besides taking it for a test drive, ensure that the car was well-taken care of and is still of great quality.
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Do Tesla Employees Get Discounts?
Working for this car company has a lot of advantages, and one of those is that employees can save up to 35 percent off the initial price of a Tesla vehicle or product.
This allows them to know the advantages and disadvantages of owning the vehicles themselves and makes them more knowledgeable about the EVs, which helps them perform their job better.
Aside from that, employees can purchase company stock at a discount, allowing them to make more money as the stock climbs.
Aren’t Tesla employees so lucky? With that said, finding a job at Tesla is one of the best ways to get a Tesla at a discounted price.
Why Tesla Prices Are Fixed — And Why That’s a Good Thing
Tesla stores are not like dealerships where you can wait, sit in an office, and speak with a salesperson or manager whom you can discuss and negotiate prices with.
With Tesla, you simply go to Tesla.com, select a model, configure it based on your preferences, and select your mode of payment for the fixed prices listed on the website.
Despite constant battles with car dealers over direct sales to consumers, Tesla is able to keep their costs low. The savings gained by cutting out the middleman are passed on to the customers.
And manufacturing these outstanding vehicles that hold their value for a long time leads to their fixed pricing. Not only against gas engine vehicles, but also against other electric cars.
It also makes these cars an excellent investment if you decide to sell or trade in your EV.
Keep in mind that Tesla plays by different rules depending on the location.
In some states, Tesla can’t offer a test drive or discuss pricing, while other states will have you buying your Tesla across state lines. Although getting a Tesla will be state-dependent, Tesla has found ways to ensure that everyone gets a positive experience when purchasing one of their cars.
Let’s not forget how you can lessen your ecological footprint and have a fantastic vehicle when you choose Tesla.
Does Tesla Negotiate on Trade-In Value?
Tesla trade-in offers are also non-negotiable. There have been talks between Tesla owners that the company used to match bids from other vehicle retailers such as CarMax, but this is no longer the case.
The company doesn’t negotiate on trade-ins because it’s more of a convenience offered to consumers, but it’s not their main source of income or primary business. Their goal is to move as many cars in and out of inventory as quickly as possible.
Aside from that, they can’t sell non-Tesla cars, and they can’t fix or replace non-Tesla parts. Come to think of it, it makes no sense to negotiate prices.
Non-Tesla vehicle trade-in values are calculated using industry-standard resources and procedures and are based on your car’s age, history, configuration, and mileage.
If you are curious and want to learn more about trading in your vehicle for a Tesla, check out this YouTube video by CyberFuture:
Can You Negotiate a Tesla Lease?
No, a Tesla lease cannot be negotiated, although putting money down on a Tesla lease may be less expensive.
After one to three years, if you’re eligible, you’ll be able to upgrade to that brand-new Tesla you’ve been coveting.
Each prospective customer’s decision to lease a Tesla is personal. An important factor usually considered is mileage.
It’s safer to buy if you drive more than 15,000 miles per year. However, if you know you can keep within the limits of a Tesla lease, leasing will slightly help you save money over the term you chose.
Besides, everyone can look forward to a better leasing experience.
I came across this YouTube video where you can see Tesla’s different payment options and how the leasing process works:
What Other Discounts or Benefits Can You Get With Tesla?
As if having a Tesla isn’t already a jackpot, you’ll also get a few benefits or discounts just because you have an electric vehicle. Although it varies per state, doing something good to help our environment really pays off.
According to the US Department of Energy, “all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that were purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500.”
When you buy a Tesla or any other electric vehicle, you will not automatically receive the full tax credit. “May be eligible” and “up to $7,500” are the critical terms here.
In actuality, the amount you are eligible for is determined by your income tax and the size of the electric battery in your vehicle.
Also, if you don’t get the entire $7,500 tax credit, you won’t get a refund or a credit for next year’s taxes if you don’t get or spend it all.
Don’t anticipate that these federal tax advantages will last in your state or country indefinitely. They may have already expired for the vehicle you want. Sales of electric vehicles are pushing certain manufacturers over the predefined barrier of qualifying sales as demand grows.
And as of January 1, 2020, that tax credit is no longer available for Tesla buyers, leaving them to rely on state tax credits.
The tax credit may be as much as $2,500. It depends on the state you live in, but it could also be less or nothing at all. California, Colorado, Delaware, and even Maine are now leading the way in providing large tax incentives for new Tesla consumers, although there is a lot of variety between states.
For example, in California, due to recent price increases, Teslas are no longer eligible for its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), except for those who placed an order on or before March 15, 2022.
Some jurisdictions only offer the incentive for automobiles that cost more than or equal to a particular amount. Other states restrict which Tesla models are eligible for incentives.
If the extent of your tax credit is a deciding factor in whether or not a Tesla is right for you, do your homework and check the state and local-specific incentives in your area after checking Tesla’s website regarding electric vehicle and solar incentives.
Saving money on gas is one of the best aspects of driving a Tesla.
Even if you take into account the cost of gasoline for a somewhat fuel-efficient yet similar-sized vehicle, the savings for this part are substantial. A great example is a Toyota Camry that gets around 32 MPG on average.
Driving a Camry with a yearly mileage of 15,000 will have you spending more than $1,500, given the current average gas costs of $3.5 per gallon or higher. You’d spend more money if you drive a car that’s less fuel-efficient.
A Tesla Model S, on the other hand, has an electric charge cost of $0.037 per mile, which is nearly the same as the cost of charging it at home. This puts the cost of driving the equivalent distance of 15,000 miles at $555.
With that said, you can really save a lot of money on gas if you switch to an electric vehicle.
Let’s factor in the expense of setting up a charging station at home, which you’re more likely to do than relying on a Supercharger.
Installing a charging station at home has an average cost of $1,200, according to Fixr’s home repair specialists. So while you’ll save money on gas every year you own your Tesla, you’ll also have to consider the up-front cost of the charger.
And even if we factor in the cost of the charging station into the gasoline cost, driving a Tesla for two years still wins:
|Fuel cost for 15,000 miles||Tesla||Camry|
When it comes to maintenance, a Tesla doesn’t need frequent visits to the shop because it doesn’t require fuel filters or oil changes. Software upgrades are perhaps the most important service you’ll need from Tesla.
The typical cost of maintaining an engine-powered automobile such as a Toyota Camry is $996 per year, but the cost of maintaining a Tesla Model S is roughly $298 per year.
This isn’t to say that electric vehicles are free of problems. While you can get significant annual savings, replacing your car’s battery pack might cost anywhere from $12,000 to $16,000.
But the Tesla battery warranty lasts for eight years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. So in the short run, there’s no reason to be concerned about this expense. That’s definitely a plus.
In this YouTube video, an owner compares the cost of charging a Tesla Model 3 and getting gas for his Toyota Celica:
Unlimited free Supercharging was one of Tesla’s main bonuses to consumers for the first few years of the Model S and Model X.
However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the benefit was not sustainable and would be discontinued. He even admitted that the incentive should have been terminated sooner, saying,
Sorry, it’s not sustainable at volume production and doesn’t incentivize optimal behavior. We probably should have ended this earlier.
I think this YouTube video about the end of free unlimited Supercharging is interesting and well worth your time:
Exclusive Lane Driving and/or Toll Reduction
HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes, sometimes known as carpool lanes, are open to carpools, vanpools, and buses in most locations. But certain inherently low-emission vehicles (ILEVs) can access these lanes, such as alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), regardless of passenger capacity.
Several states employ HOV lane exemptions to encourage the purchase of specific car types to cut mobile source emissions even more.
High-occupancy toll (HOT) roads or lanes, which are open to single-occupant cars for a fee, may offer toll discounts or even fee exemptions for AFVs or ILEVs.
You can avoid heavy freeway traffic if you get a license plate or sticker that shows your automobile is eligible to access the HOV lane.
To see if you can get one, check your state’s laws and incentives and updates.
Negotiating a Tesla With a Third Party
If you can get a Tesla through a private seller or dealership, then you may be able to find some wiggle room.
You can check out the listings on your preferred vehicle marketplace or make contact with folks who have reasonable posts and come to an agreement.
Purchasing from a third party, however, can be time-consuming and costly because they add a percentage on top of their selling price so they can still get profit.
Consider whether it’s worthwhile going through this process to negotiate rather than buying directly from Tesla.
When negotiating with a third-party dealer or individual, being prepared and bypassing all the extras they try to sell you can help you get the best offer possible. Here are some pointers on how to be a better negotiator:
- Show them that you are aware of what you’re buying by knowing the trim, year, model, and make of the car you want to purchase.
Read User and Professional Reviews
- You can learn about the experiences of real owners via websites and forums like Reddit. Some auto buyers even pay a subscription to review consumer reports.
Don’t Ask for Any Recommendations
- Your priority should always come first, which is to find a great bargain on a quality car that fits your lifestyle while staying within your budget.
- When you negotiate, your willpower will be tested to see who will cave in first. And it should not be you.
Ask for the Out-the-door price
- To persuade customers to sign, dealers always mention monthly payments rather than the total cost. To avoid this trap, make it clear that you’re only interested in the final price, including all fees and taxes.
Start a Bidding War Between Dealers
- Find nearby dealers that have the car trim, year, model, and make you want in stock. Take note of each other’s stock numbers when you’re at the dealer. This will not only save you time but also show them that you’re not easily duped. Call and inquire about dealer 1’s all-in price and then inform dealer 2 of dealer 1’s offer and see if they can match it, and so on. It’s worth it if making a few phone calls can save you thousands of dollars.
Test Drive Your Top Pick
- Check the interior and exterior of the vehicle and then take it for a test drive just like you would when buying a brand-new car. While driving, listen for strange noises or anything else that can make you reconsider your decision. After all, you deserve the finest, whether you’re buying a new or used Tesla.
There are several reasons to buy a Tesla, but knowing that their prices are non-negotiable may make you reconsider.
Others may find the inability to negotiate ridiculous, but if you consider the vehicle’s quality and the long-term savings in gas and maintenance, the price won’t seem so outrageous.
If buying a Tesla is too expensive for you, you can look into their other options, such as lease and trade-in.
You can also shop for a used car instead, which is definitely less expensive than a new one.
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
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