Forums

How Were You Able To Afford a Tesla Model 3?

How Were You Able To Afford a Tesla Model 3?

I replied to another thread just now that asked what people drove before they bought their Tesla Model 3. I was surprised how most people drove cars that are much less expensive than the Model 3 such as Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and Jeeps. Thread I am referring to: https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/what-car-did-you-used-drive-model-3

That got me thinking that the Tesla Model 3 is probably a budget stretch car for many of us. What did you do to be able to afford the Tesla Model 3? I especially want those who did something that someone else could replicate to answer this question and post in this thread. If you inherited the money, please do not reply as I killing myself and reincarnating as a wealthy person's child is not an option for most of us. LOL.

Here is how I was able to afford to buy my Tesla Model 3:
https://youtu.be/AziTh2qs8to

Rykemapo | June 1, 2019

I did it by driving a manual transmission Honda Civic for almost 14 years and not having a car payment.

JarvisM3 | June 1, 2019

I sadly lost my mom to cancer. I used some inheritance.

Revelate | June 1, 2019

My burn rate isn't especially high anyway (no kids, don't spend much, and bought a condo which only put my backend DTI at like 120% or something small).

It was more than I needed but I wanted it, and I could afford it. As is 7 months in I'm nearly halfway through the loan anyway but working two gigs at the moment I'm admittedly more cash flush than usual.

Revelate | June 1, 2019

Er, 20% backend DTI, not 120% sowwy typo!

M3phan | June 1, 2019

Day 1 reservation holder, saved money like crazy for two years, didn’t have another car payment, also traded in a mint condition paid off car (legacy import), also secured a very low interest rate from a credit union. Monthly payment for my 3 is lower than my previous.

kessler | June 1, 2019

Silicon Valley engineering career.

Teslanene | June 1, 2019

Got a personal loan from in-laws at 2%.

jellyb34 | June 1, 2019

I am using my Super self managed fund on first year for my dream car Model 3 Standard Range Plus version.

leo33 | June 1, 2019

Some work, some skill, and a lot of luck.

walnotr | June 2, 2019

Sold paid off RV, added some savings and paid cash. No payments, no gas. Saving for whatever else catches my fancy.

BTW, for the last 40+ years have paid cash for almost everything or paid off loans ahead of time. Tens of thousands saved on interest. Zero credit card debt.

shawncordell | June 2, 2019

Healthcare professional!

Fuzzball | June 2, 2019

The question appears somewhat presumptuous. Folks may have been driving budget friendly cars because they are prudent and savers. Not necessarily because that was the limit of their budget and hence by extension they stretched to buy a model 3. There probably are some folks who made the decision to stretch for a model 3, but they could have been stretched already with other expensive cars and this may have been actually more budget friendly move....
Anyway i am out of the scope of this question. I already paid off other cars and had also paid cash on a used Leaf as a bridge to M3.

ODWms | June 2, 2019

I’m a multi millionaire, retired young from business and many years of real estate investing. Have always lived well below my means though, even now. I always bought personal homes and cars way less than I could afford, paid cash, etc. I’ve owned everything from Jaguar and Mercedes to Lexus and BMW, but always used. For my wife I’d bought a few new cars over the years, but never for myself.

When the Model 3 came up I was so impressed and compelled to get in on the Tesla train that I went full boat, paying cash for the Performance + 3, and haven’t looked back. Never even paid half that amount for a personal car, but it was more than worth it. I look forward to buying again. I’m also pretty heavily invested in the company through its stock. I believe in the company and it’s mission. I’m excited for its future.

Magic 8 Ball | June 2, 2019

I can't afford it but you only live once.

Magic 8 Ball | June 2, 2019

BTW, my wife had open heart surgery a few months back and if she died and I did not get her the car she wanted I would have never forgave myself.

meni | June 2, 2019

Years ago when Elon announced the idea of a mass market Tesla I decided to keep my current car for much longer than originally planned and use the saved money for the Model 3. Worked out great. Bought the P3 cash last December. I do well financially but still feel good about saving so much by planning far in advance.

Magic 8 Ball | June 2, 2019

Another thing, I buy for long term. The TESLA during our life of ownership will be cheaper to own than our super economical Cmax Energi was to own.

TCOO Many people do not pencil out total cost of ownership over life of car.

TranzNDance | June 2, 2019

I agree with Firaz.ashraf. While some people could have stretched, others could have afforded much more expensive vehicles but did not believe it was worth paying more than a particular amount of money on a vehicle. Remember that one easy way to remain rich is not to spend money frivolously.

gabejmilian | June 2, 2019

Bay Area contractor rate

steveishere | June 2, 2019

Yet another Bay Area engineer here. Words of mouth spread fast here in the valley.

I didn't own a luxury car because I had no need to prove that I can afford a luxury car, and didn't feel traditional luxury cars worth the price. M3, on the other hand, went way beyond a luxury car to make it worth the money.

LA-Fohlen | June 2, 2019

The reason why I had a Kia Rio Hatchback MT was not because I couldn't afford more but I didn't want to. Until I got my Model 3 I had a few requirements for a car

1. Good gas mileage and the Kia was ok
2. Four doors so I can use the car as a family car for short drives and sometimes a bit longer (to fit in my wife and our two kids)
3. Manual transmission (which if there is anything I miss on the Tesla it is that)

charles.a.braun | June 2, 2019

Had the cash to pay for our Tesla's (S & 3) but took loans at great interest rates. Put $20K down on each. The rest is in savings at the institutions where we have the loans and the monthly payment just transfers to the loan each month with no interaction needed. Banks are paying me .76% (paying 2.25% on savings vs 1.49% I pay on the loan) to have our S financed through them. Other bank is paying us .20% (2.4% paid on savings vs 2.2% I pay on car loan) to have our 3 financed.

It's good when the bank pays me to borrow their money.

charles.a.braun | June 2, 2019

As a couple of others have said, being frugal is also key. There was another thread started late yesterday by a person looking to swap a phone cable on this site.

Pretty sure I was the first on this site to propose such a trade as I had no need for a lightning cable but wanted a 2nd USB C cable.

I seem to recall getting some crap from people along the lines that I should just pay Tesla $15 through their website and buy a cable instead of trying to trade.

Why would i want to pay $15 for something though that i could get for free while also helping out a fellow Frugal Tesla Owner that needed a lightning cable?

$15 would have been a stupid waste of money.

jdcollins5 | June 2, 2019

I drove a 2010 Prius for 9 years and my wife drove 2007 Honda Accord for 10 years.

I had never paid more than $30k for a car. I was still very hesitant in paying $55k for a Model 3. I recently retired and my wife and 2 daughters convinced me I had spent my whole life taking care of them and now it was my time to treat myself! I happily took their advice:)

jefjes | June 2, 2019

Saved a 3rd of the cost after putting down the reservation money March 2016 up to taking delivery in June of 2018, then my wife saw how bad I wanted it so loaned me the rest to pay cash to avoid interest on a loan. I'm paying her savings back but interest-free to me and she's just missing out on the small amount of interest her savings would have paid her over the time it takes me to pay her back. My love for her and Tesla plus her love for me. She loves the car now too but since she doesn't drive she calls it my car even though she's on the title. Love is grand!

ken.lunde | June 2, 2019

Perhaps a more interesting thread would be entitled "How Were You Able To Afford Two Tesla Model 3s?"

FISHEV | June 2, 2019

A loaded Camry is $38K.
A LR/AWD AP only M3 is $52K
A mid-range, loaded F150 is $56k

Middle of the road with the two most popular vehicles in US. Most states have EV credit of $2.5-$5k so Model 3 is right there.

Average US new car is $36k.

Mike83 | June 2, 2019

troll flagged

M3NOICE | June 2, 2019

+1 @lunde

jjgunn | June 2, 2019

JarvisM3 | June 1, 2019
I sadly lost my mom to cancer. I used some inheritance.
----------
Good for you Jarvis! Life is way too short. That's the way to do it.

I stretched for not 1 but TWO Tesla's. MX 100D & P3D

Sillycon Valley has lotsa money for employees.

Mike83 | June 2, 2019

Made money in TSLA stock and a few other companies investing profits in a P85, MSD and a LR M3. Now back into stocks for the maybe a Roadster 2.0 or Tesla Pickup. I can wait and enjoy my rides

jefjes | June 2, 2019

@Mike83- I like the way you think!

howard | June 2, 2019

Money saved driving an EV the prior 6 years. Still saving!

mymoneyjenny | June 2, 2019

I got a PhD in accounting and a tenure track position at a good university.

Otherwise, it would have been my Prius 4ever <3

Mike83 | June 2, 2019

@jefjes Thanks. Its taken me decades to learn how to enjoy life and that is living the present and living today. The shorts are psychologically interesting in that they waste their life waiting and making up lies and misconceptions so they can make money in the future. Must be painful to live like that. In the meantime your life passes by and dying with a large bank account doesn't seem smart.
I believe we have about 100,000 miles now with no gas costs, no oil changes, no smog checks, no mufflers, and best of all FREE time to travel. Tesla has been a life changing event for us. Too bad it takes a long time for people to learn how to live.

jimglas | June 2, 2019

my wife said "You never buy anything for yourself, you deserve it"
So I bought a P3D for me and an MX100D for her
No regrets

Mike83 | June 2, 2019

Jimglas. Smart move. Your wife must be very happy; probably as much as you. My wife loves her Tesla and now she has become very technical loving the Nav on AP. We await the next updates with pleasure. Never have seen such warm customer support as Tesla.

FISHEV | June 2, 2019

M3phan "Day 1 reservation holder"

From: Tesla reservations@teslamotors.com Subject: Your Model 3 reservation is confirmed
Date: April1,2016at11:56PM

THREE YEARS! Took deliver May 2019.

On financing, Tesla/USBank gave me a 3.99% vs. my credit union of 3.75% and I went with US Banks for transaction ease. Also figure Tesla makes money from the financing so helps out a bit there.

jimglas | June 2, 2019

@Mike83:
now we are just waiting on our solar panels
We waited 10 months since our roof was destroyed by softball sized hail
retiring at the end of the year
We cant wait to do some road trips

Lonestar10_1999 | June 2, 2019

For me, a car is a necessity for getting to work and making a living. That’s why I couldn’t see paying more for transportation than what I was accustomed to (Prius, Camry, Civic, Altima, Grand Am). But the overall cost of ownership was favorable for the SR+ and put it in the same class as a well optioned Corolla.

The federal ($3750) and PA state ($1750) tax incentives brought the effective price down to about $32k. The real clincher was the free L2 charging at my place of work. For my daily 90 mile commute, I only charge at work and never at home. The SR+ has enough range for commuting and running local errands. It’s like getting 20 gallons of free gasoline every week. At $3 per gallon, that’s like getting $3000 net per year as a perk.

Unfortunately, as the M3 price is increasing and the tax incentives are decreasing, the cost of ownership may be too much for value conscious customers going forward.

Magic 8 Ball | June 2, 2019

You cannot put a price on being in the Safest crash tested car of all time.

Smalm | June 2, 2019

I was able to afford my 2016 Porsche Macan, through savings made after my 2005 Infiniti G35 Coupe was paid off after 4 years of driving, which I held onto for 13 years. While I loved the Macan, with the 4 year warranty coming to an end, and an $1800 40K service and $2100 brake job coming due soon, combined with changes in life circumstances (primarily private University tuition), it had me motivated to seek out something more practical, and no more gas (paying $4.30/gal for premium in CA) was enticing.

I wasn’t expecting much from the Model 3, after all it’s not an S, right? I mean how good can it be? One test drive changed that perception. Instant torque, at any speed, and refined ride and extremely responsive handling. Needless to say when I found out that for my initial “investment” on my Porsche would net me 3.5 years of enjoyment with that vehicle AND get me essentially a “free” Model 3SR+ (proceeds from selling my Porsche + incentives and rebates, not even considering gas savings and no more $400 oil changes), it made me feel like that lady from the IKEA ad.

https://youtu.be/NlWCLw75XnE

Ordered last Saturday, still waiting on my VIN. Does hitting refresh on my account 50+ times a day make the VIN show up faster??

rasmussje | June 2, 2019

Wife and I have good jobs in Biotech. Never spent so much money for a car (AWD). Fell in love with car after driving it. Put 30k down, will pay off loan next year. It was worth the cost and gas saving every month.

Magic 8 Ball | June 2, 2019

"Does hitting refresh on my account.....make the VIN show up faster"

Oh, the memories. : )

beaver | June 2, 2019

Similar to @rykemapo I drove a civic for 13 years then upgraded to my model 3. In other words... hustling :)

swanson21 | June 2, 2019

I "stretched" when I bought a WRX 10 years ago for 25k...a few home buying and selling for nice profits later as a blue collar postal worker and bought my 60k LRAWD last Sept. I am one of the most frugal people anyone has met, but will splurge on real estate and/or "life improving toys" such as the Model 3 and haven't looked back.

A co-worker of mine (whom I never talked to yet) just bought a new WRX and I'm like....dude, you coulda had one of these, faster, better, no maintenance etc for around the same price...I think he's regretting his decision.

FISHEV | June 2, 2019

"You cannot put a price on being in the Safest crash tested car of all time."

This is not the Mercedes or Subaru forums, those are the only two cars that have models in current production with 10 years with ZERO fatalities.

Teslas are good but not the top rated Safety Picks from www.iihs.org.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | June 2, 2019

FISHEV bought his M3 with proceeds from shorting TSLA. Time to cover!!!!

Magic 8 Ball | June 2, 2019

@FISHEV TESLA is the safest crash tested car of ALL TIME.

It is easy to put out car models that don't have any fatalities, just make cars nobody wants.

Tesla2018 | June 2, 2019

My old car was 18 years old and I paid for it with profits I msde in a few days from selling stovk in a company I worked at that was oversubscribed. My other car before that was 18 years old and was bought with a one time annual bonus . i have only had 6 cars in my life including the Tesla. And I still have one of my other cars that I paid 45K for 15 yrs ago and its worth 30k today so it had little depreciation.

My mom died and she wanted me and my siblings to keep her beach house for her grandchildren, but my siblings either needed the money or already lived by the beach and didnt want the hassle of another house, so I decided to use the money to buy the car and will retire at 63 1/2 and take Cobra for 18 months instead of retiring at 65. I was planning on buying the car anyway and had saved up for it, but figured that since Im not going to have to pay part of the money to keep up the house and since my money would just go to my siblings since I am single, that I would just spend it all. I want to be the happiest guy in the graveyard, not the richest

Pages