Is it risky to buy a used Tesla Model 3?

When the Tesla Model 3 was launched in France in 2019, two versions were offered from the outset: Grande Autonomie and Performance. The Standard Plus version followed soon after. The initial prices (respectively €59,500, €64,890 and €48,600) continued to fall between 2020 and 2022, going as far as falling to €43,800 for a Model 3 Standard Plus (measured city/road/highway ranges: 318/278/233 km)€52,990 for a Long Autonomy (autonomy city/road/motorway measured: 445/393/320 km) and €59,990 for Performance. But since the beginning of 2022, it’s been soaring: at the publication of this article, the basic version is not trading for less than €49,990the Grande Autonomie at €58,990 and the Performance has almost returned to its initial price, displayed at €62,990.

If we limit ourselves to vehicles sold new in France, there is approximately 45,000 Model 3s in circulation today. Most of the fleet was registered in 2021 (25,000 models), but all Tesla Model 3s are still covered by a guarantee today. It actually lasts 4 years or 80,000 kilometers, with the battery and “drive mechanisms” covered by an 8-year or 192,000 kilometer warranty, except in the case of the Standard Plus, which expires after 160,000 kilometres. This 8-year warranty promises a replacing the battery if it drops below 70% of its original capacity and it is transferable with the vehicle like all warranties. It should also be noted that Tesla offers a one-year or 20,000 km warranty on used vehicles sold through its network. The only concern is that at the moment there are no vehicles for sale. No more new than used. The return to the dealership should take place in February 2023!

Tariff speculation

While waiting for the Model 3’s comeback, prices are reaching new heights on second-hand items: the first price noted for the purposes of this survey was €33,000 for a 3-year-old Standard Plus with 50,000 kilometers at the counter. A version Great Autonomy does not seem accessible for less than 55,000 € for a one-year-old car, knowing that with the bonus deducted, it sold for €48,990 twelve months ago. The same phenomenon affects the version Performance: no classified ad falls below €60,000 for a car, bonus deducted, that you could buy for €56,990… The Model 3 has become an object of speculation equivalent: “As there will be no delivery before next February and the versions in circulation today are €10,000 more than before, it is easy for a dealer or an individual to display the car 3000 € above its value, thinking that if someone is looking for one, he will pay the price” analyzes Yoann Taitz, director of securities for Autovista, a company specializing in the quotation of vehicles. “But be careful, for vehicles that will be delivered from 2023, customers will not agree to pay more,” he warns. In sum, Model 3s are probably at their highest today, values ​​should drop when new car registrations pick up.


The Model 3 sells for gold… And yet. Reliability does not seem to be the first quality praised by the owners. Recall that Tesla was ranked 30th (out of 33) in the list of the most reliable brands in 2021 by the American firm JD Power. This recognized annual survey across the Atlantic is based on thousands of opinions from recent Tesla owners. The Model 3 has also already been the subject of three recalls notified to the authorities. In July 2021, all of these Teslas manufactured between December 2018 and January 2021 were recalled for a problem of fixing the brake calipers to the spindles. In the process, Model 3s produced between July 2018 and March 29, 2021 were also recalled for faulty belt supports. Last December, finally, the workforce manufactured between January 2019 and June 4, 2021 was returned to the workshop due to suspension arm attachments that do not comply with homologation standards in Europe. When the recall measures do not relate to safety, Tesla sends emails to its customers. Recently, Model 3s were called back to dealerships to modify the cable that connects the rear camera.

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A world bell

More than the “official” failures recognized by Tesla, there are dozens of testimonials that look the same from all over the planet, giving an idea of ​​the general reliability of the Model 3. Some models are well born and only rarely fail. talk about them. But often, the little Tesla is the subject of computer bugs: updates that crash at 50%, GPS that disappears, accidental switching on of the lights in broad daylight, indicators that no longer work, etc. The Autopilot software is also the subject of a federal investigation in the United States because more than 300 testimonies of untimely braking have been collected. All this could be in order if Tesla had not chosen a culture of opacity. Furthermore, only mechanics duly authorized by Tesla can intervene on cars, knowing that there are only 16 Tesla centers in the whole territory. Ditto for the bodywork: any car not repaired by a garage approved by the American brand can see its warranty jump! In addition, spare parts are rarely available and mostly overpriced. Testimonials from owners waiting for new spare parts abound, which is not the best way to permanently establish the brand on the French market.

In conclusion

The Tesla Model 3 is an efficient toy: top-notch performance in absolute silence and a certain comfort, not to mention an efficient charging network, users are asking for more. But between a reliability still in the making, an after-sales service described as absent subscribers by the owners and gold prices, the Model 3 is not the most serene electric choice.

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