Photos provided by Steve Sasman
All cars require maintenance and refueling or recharging. The higher the mileage, the more maintenance costs tend to increase. Tesla's electric cars are no exception, however, the cost difference is enormous.
Let's take a look at a Model S P85, which has driven 250,000 miles and is still in great shape. The second car owner, Steve Sasman, has detailed his experience and cost of ownership in his blog.
Six years ago, Steve realized his dream of owning a Tesla and bought a used 35,000-mile Model S P85 for $79,000. In new condition, the price was over $100,000.
It should be noted that Steve did not go out of his way to keep his Model S in pristine condition. In just 5 years, he covered more than 200,000 miles in his car. During this time Steve worked at Uber/Lyft, rented his car to strangers on Turo, turned it into a "hotel for one night,” went on a 27,615 mile, 132 day Tesla Road Trip in the summer of 2015–hitting all lower 48 states and Canada—and became the first person to visit 200 Tesla SuperChargers. In addition, he occasionally used it to tow heavy loads.
After 200,000 miles, Steve spent about $5,415 on maintenance. The main costs were:
Other costs included Tesla's relatively inexpensive standard maintenance, two sets of tires, replacing the door handle, replacing the 12-volt battery, and other minor expenses that Steve did not detail.
"All in, after 200,000 miles I’ve spent about $5415. Good luck spending that little on a 100K German luxury car. Your total will probably be 2 to 4X that total to make it to 200K."
As a result of all the calculations (Turo Earnings, Uber/Lyft Earnings, Tax Savings and the sale of the car to the next owner), after 5 years of ownership, Steve actually earned $17,000. On top of that, he calculated that he saved over $20,000 on gas by driving a Tesla compared to a gasoline car.
This example demonstrates that Teslas are not only reliable vehicles, but also make for very sound financial decisions.
"I think the numbers from 100,000 to 200,000 miles bear out the fact that buying a Tesla is not only incredibly fun and rewarding from a driving standpoint, but also a smart financial decision. Couple that with the spacious cargo room, ability to camp in the car, it’s record as the safest car ever tested make it a complete no brainer. Will I ever consider going back to a gas car? LOL," said Steve.