What kind of income would you need to afford this?

What kind of income would you need to afford this?

Considering that the lowest end Model S still falls in the 50k price range I don't think this is something everyone will be able to afford so I am curious about what kind of income you would need to be making to afford one of these without running into financial problems. I don't totally foresee myself making six figures a year but I would say I intend to be within the high end of five figures.

Dan5 | 4 February 2011

Technically, it's not 50K if you factor in all the tax rebates:

In NJ, it would be around 44 K when all the tax rebates are factored in.

In terms of affordability- that's kind of a loaded question since you have to consider debt (house, taxes, credit cards, student loans, etc). The basic rule of thumb is 15% of your income, so if you take out a loan for 60 months, a salary of 65 K to 70 K should be in the budget for the car. Honestly, the last Ford made car I had was a money pit, it was 24 K, but over the course of 8 years the total cost of ownership was around 56 K (on par with a Model S). That 15% can change based on your monetary situation (no debts vs lots of debts, how much you spend on other things). If you have NO debts, (Very rare) you could in theory spend upwards of 45% of your net income on a car without getting into financial trouble.

Timo | 4 February 2011

Too difficult question to answer without knowledge of your expenses and assets.

Without my home loan which I still need to pay back for next 8 or so years I could afford Model S easily now and I don't have anywhere near six figures income. In fact I probably can afford it even with that loan after just couple of years (I live a bit spartan lifestyle).

ckessel | 4 February 2011

As Timo mentioned, it depends on your other obligations. School loans, house payment or rent, etc. Tesla has said somewhere I think that a 50k EV car is about the same total cost of ownership as a 35K ICE car. So, if you can afford a 35k ICE then the low end Model S would be within the realm of reason.

Depends some on what's important to you as well. Financially, it'd make way more sense to buy a really cheap used Toyota Corolla or some other inexpensive used car that's well regarded for reliability. How much does how you get there matter compared to just getting there? I love a nice car, so it matters, but I have friends that really don't give a crap about their car and so even if they can afford a Model S, it'd make no sense for them to get one.

Vawlkus | 4 February 2011

Besides, you're missing the point: The model S ISN'T meant as a car for everyone; Tesla is still in the high end of the market, the luxuary cars.

When the Bluestar comes to market, THAT will be the "car for anyone".