Residual value after 3 years?

Residual value after 3 years?

Tesla makes two contradictory statements in my opinion

First, they guarantee 50% residual value after three years for the base 60kW model and 43% for options and upgrades. This takes the guaranteed value to about 47% for the 85kW with moderate options.

Second, they make the claim that Tesla will have equal or better residual than any of the brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes etc.

I believe that some of the models of the above brands have better than 47% - 50% residual after 3 years (15,000 mi. per year).

risquared | 6 May 2013

It's hard to find a reliable source of residual values (unless one pays a subscription to This is the best I could find, however it is for 5 years ! Big difference 3 years vs. 5 years. Still one BMW model has 52.8% residual after 5 years ,15K miles per year.

This tells us that Tesla has long way to go to put their money where their mouth is if they guarantee only 47% on average after 3 years.

Benz | 6 May 2013

Does BMW give the customer a certificate that they will buy their car back at a certain price? No, they don't. You have to go and look for a buyer. Is that correct?

Well, at Tesla Motors they do give the customer a certificate that they will buy their car back at a certain price (even if it's a bit below 50%). And that is a big difference my friend.

Peace of mind, it's very valuable, you know.

c.bussert67 | 7 May 2013

Nothing residual about this car in my mind. Residual in meaning, what might be left in the end. I think it will appreciate. This will be the cheapest car I have ever bought. When I have to sell it because I'm no longer able to drive, it will have made money for me. It has so many of the characteristics that collector cars of the past have had, I find it hard to believe it won't do the same.
It's classy, exclusive, fresh, different, and more muscle than any muscle car has, which makes it fun. If you can pull in front of a shop and you draw a crowd, I think it's going to be one of those cars. I see adults, as well as teenagers drool, which is good for the future of Tesla.

AlMc | 7 May 2013

The guaranteed residual is a nice benefit/insurance in my mind. I look at it that in three years if they have come out with a 200kw, all wheel drive S, 0-60 in about 3 seconds and 500 mile range I will use it as a trade in.

Now, I just have to figure out how to qualify for it as I do not live in one of the eight states that offers the program....But I have a plan :)

penguino35 | 8 June 2013

The residual values for a ton of vehicles are listed in this chart. It shows the value for 24, 36, 48 and 60 months for a ton of vehicles. The BMW 5 series are all about 54% to 58% at 36 months.

I think that the guarantee buyback simplifies things, but I also believe, as is so often the case, that Tesla owners may get more for their vehicle in the open market than through the buyback program.

petero | 8 June 2013

Just remember the TM guarantee is only for those who financed through TM.

edoubler1 | 8 June 2013

admjr - what's your plan? I'm in the same situation.