Why Not to Buy a Tesla Model 3: Previous Owners Share The Truth

By Muhammad Hassan •  Updated: 11/10/22 •  9 min read

“Do not buy a Tesla!” says an experienced Tesla owner.

As Tesla normally receives a joyful and enthusiastic response from its owners, this subject may be an odd hit for some of you — but don’t worry, I’ve no intentions of deterring you from buying a Tesla Model 3; it’s solely up to you.

In this article, I’ll just be focusing on critical issues that Tesla Model 3 owners faced, prompting them to exclaim, “IT’S A DEAL BREAKER!”

So if that seems intriguing, let’s hop into it.

Case Study #1: Why Alex Decided to Sell His Tesla Model 3

Key Reasons for Goodbye:

First and foremost, Alex felt the Model 3 was draining more money out of his pocket monthly as compared to the budget that the ICE car required from him.

But wait a minute! Isn’t Tesla supposed to be greener and more economical? 

Yes, you’re right, but considering Alex’s arguments, he isn’t wrong either. 

For instance, he had to spend not just $409 per month for 10,000 miles as a leasing payment but also substantial acquisition and insurance fees. 

That took his Tesla’s monthly dollar drainage up to $1,000 — well, that’s no less than a bomb on an owner’s head every month! 

Secondly, Alex didn’t like long charging sessions. What if he’s in an extreme rush? Thirty to forty minutes will feel like ages.

Lastly (if you’re a hardcore Fast & Furious kinda person, you’ll agree with him), Tesla isn’t as loud as a gas-powered car. I mean, who doesn’t love engine roaring?

But that’s a subjective thing — a family man will pick quieter over noisy anytime, any day!

So these are the reasons why Alex decided to finally sell his Model 3 and opted for an ICE car over a Tesla.

Case Study #2: Why Jared Decided to Sell His Tesla Model 3

Key Reasons for GoodBye:

While he disclosed several reasons for why he sold his car, one that stroked me the most was the profit he was getting from selling his car.

As the used car value went up, he got an insane deal, and he went right away for it, and you know what? He ended up getting another Tesla — only an upgraded model.

So was his problem exclusively with Tesla? I don’t think so!

Limited Tesla warranty, expensive repairs, low Tesla inventory… I concur he could live with all these drawbacks as long as he got profit and an upgraded Performance model.

Case Study #3: Why Navid Decided to Sell His Tesla Model 3

Key Reasons for Goodbye:

Now Navid got some valid reasons for selling his Tesla SR+. He made a very fair argument as he suffered from a problem many Model 3 SR+ owners who live in colder areas do.

What was his problem? Range anxiety!

In colder climates, Tesla Model 3 SR+’s range decreases drastically due to several technical reasons, and owners often get range anxiety.

What’s the solution Navid opted for? He sold his SR+ and got the Performance model, which offers more range and endurance in colder climates.

Case Study #4: Carlo’s Logo Verdict of Tesla Model 3 After Two Years of Ownership

Major Demerits in Carlos’s Opinion:

Carlos didn’t sell his car, but he argued reasonably over some drawbacks of the Tesla Model 3 that might bug you in the long run.

If you are a new Tesla owner or want to become one, this video will prove to be a gold mine.

Below, I’ll discuss some of the significant drawbacks in Carlos’s opinion, with the video timestamp so you can easily navigate to the said part.

@ 03:12 Center Screen Operations

Tesla lacks knobs and buttons like ordinary ICE cars and pushes you to control everything from the center screen. But operating the center screen might be a little complicated for non-tech-savvy people.

Having said that, driving on the road and operating the center screen for adjusting air vents or windshield wipers, etc., simultaneously makes it challenging for people to focus on the road, and that makes driving on the road really dangerous! 

@ 05:07 When Our Model 3 Broke While Parked 

Carlos further mentioned an incident when his Tesla broke while parked.

He claimed he couldn’t drive it back on return from a party, kudos to some systematic malfunctioning.

Thus, he was forced by Tesla to seek help from Tesla’s roadside assistance.

This might appear really bad, but every cloud has a silver lining. Carlos was seen as content with Tesla’s push notification system that readily informed him about the fuss and proposed the call for action.

Even though cars often require a few recalls and frequent maintenance upgrades, the sheer number of recalls since 2021 has been a persistent issue with Tesla.

@ 06:56 Special Tests

In this segment, Carlos hints about the significant vampire drain issue in Tesla. He briefly commented on different features and how much energy they leach out of your batteries.

@ 08:30 Full Self-Driving and Autopilot 

Carlos also claimed that despite charging a hefty amount for Full Self-Driving and Autopilot, Tesla still lacks a top-notch application of these features in reality. 

Per Carlos, the quality of Tesla Autopilot lies somewhere between being really impressive at times and being absolutely confusing sometimes.

@ 10:03 Maintenance and Repair Costs

Carlos nullified the sentiment that EVs like Tesla are more cost-efficient than ICE cars and require an almost-similar amount of money in frequent maintenance and repair sessions.

@ 11:47 Energy Consumption and Battery Degradation

According to Carlos, June was the most efficient month, with an average temperature of 81. He claimed that his Tesla provided 267 watt-hours per mile.

On the other hand, in December, his Tesla provided 354 watt-hours per mile with winter tires installed and an average temperature of 34 degrees.

In both cases, Tesla was plugged in overnight, which equates to a 20% swing in the expected range when fully charged, depending mainly on the temperature outside. However, one can expect an additional shed of 10 to 20 miles if not plugged in overnight.

Per Carlos, the battery degraded to about 7% or minus 22 miles in range over the last two years. 

Major Deal Breakers

While we saw several reasons why Model 3 owners sold their cars, two of them really stood out, and I feel them to be a real deal breaker in many cases.

#1 Expensive Repairs

Even though this might not be that much of a big deal, thinking if you can spend $50k+ amount to get your hands on a luxurious car like Tesla.

But still, frequent and expensive maintenance or repair sessions can be a real pain in the ass for potential owners. 

Masses believe Tesla is more cost-efficient and economical than other ICE cars or EVs. However, it’s certainly not the case! 

According to RepairPal, repair and maintenance costs for Tesla are 27% more than the typical ICE vehicles. According to their estimate, your Tesla might drain $832 per year out of your pocket for maintenance and repair. On the other hand, typical ICE would drain up to $652 per year. 

There are a few reasons that result in expensive Tesla repairs:

#2 Range Anxiety in Winter

Range anxiety in winter is a really scary thing for several Tesla Model 3 owners. To quote some:

Your range will absolutely shit the bed. Like 30-40% down easily. EVs are not good for range in the winter, at all (this isn’t specific to Tesla). Which brings me to my next complaint…The EPA estimates are insanely generous. We are talking 70 degree day, driving in a city. On a highway you’re going to lose a lot more range going anything above 65, this is inverse ICE cars. You’ll have to charge quite often on road trips. I stopped getting range anxiety basically a month in, I learned the limitations of the vehicle, and yeah there are quite a few. 


For sake of conversation.. I spend a good amount of time in northern NH. A teslas charging network sucks up there, and b if it’s -7 like I’ve seen a bunch this winter the car loses like 10 miles over night. When I visit friends and plug into their normal 110 outlet the car doesn’t gain anything at all. Just stays the same over night. So those week long trips up north driving a lot, the logistics of range anxiety sucks…


So is it a fair deal breaker for people living in colder areas? I’d say yes, but only limited to the SR+. The LR or Performance model performs relatively well even in colder climates.

They’ll also have a little range drop in winter, but it’s the limitation of EVs — not specifically a con. You’ll just have to get used to it!

Final Thoughts: Why Not to Buy a Tesla Model 3

Without any doubt, Tesla is the best EV in town. Its constantly improving adaptive tech and sleek design make masses spend a hefty amount on them. 

So in the end, I’d like you to question yourself.

Do you have any similarities with the case studies of Alex, Jared, Navid, and Carlos? What common grounds do you share with them or even any of them?

If expensive repairs and range anxiety aren’t a big deal for you, you must go for a Tesla! 

But if any of both major demerits don’t make you feel good, give yourself a little time to think… It ain’t like buying a simple meatloaf. It’s freakin’ Tesla!

Muhammad Hassan

Engineer by trade and writer by passion, Hassan is an automotive enthusiast who thinks EVs are the future. At TTU, he discusses the coolest features and products Model 3 owners look for -- so they can better experience their cars. In his free time, he enjoys tea, reading, and listening to podcasts.

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