Buying a Model S or Model 3

Buying a Model S or Model 3

For someone who makes around 70-80K a year, and got a price quote of 75,700 for a Model S 60? Would it make sense financially to go for this model or a Model 3? I currently have no loans, rent, mortgages, nor credit card debt. I always pay my credit card bills on time.

hoffmannjames | April 17, 2017

Go for the S without a doubt. You can easily afford it. The only reason you would get the 3 is if you really prefer a smaller car with less nice stuff.

murphyS90D | April 17, 2017

If you don't already have a model 3 reservation there are 400,000 people ahead of you. Probably 1.5 to 2 years before you could get one.

Efontana | April 17, 2017

I can't speak to finances, but see if it fits in your parking spot and check insurance costs, first.

vp09 | April 17, 2017

Buy both of them.

I wish I had bought a Model S four years ago.

We now have two Model S90Ds and two Model 3s on order.

jordanrichard | April 18, 2017

Financially it makes no sense to buy ANY new car, so what is the point here?

Rocky_H | April 18, 2017
Bradtc | April 18, 2017

Don't forget to take another $1000 off the price with the referral discount. Now you can afford it for sure!
Shamelessly, here is mine:

supersplashbros1130 | April 18, 2017

I'm just trying to figure out what's best for my situation, in terms of affordability. I do know there are some other rebates we can take advantage of in CA, through our utility company. Just curious... what would be starting range for the Model 3?

KP in NPT | April 18, 2017

The base model 3 is said to start at 35K. so, you could get a few options and still spend a lot less than the S.

I don't think you should take financial advice from strangers - (but here's mine haha) I'd say to figure out what your monthly payments will be based on the amount you plan to finance and go from there. Only you know what you can afford. But if I were you, I would be conservative and get the 3. Or a CPO Model S - you can get on the list for the 3 and get it later if you want.

holidayday | April 19, 2017

Super "in terms of affordability" then you want the 3. It'll be a wait, though. If you can *financially* handle it without busting your budget, then get the S. (wasn't that easy?)

SUN 2 DRV | April 19, 2017

Based on your question, you're concerned with affordability. So based on that you should focus on the Model 3, unless there's something specific that the Model S has that's a requirement for your needs.

Don't stretch yourself to buy a new car, there are lots of other more important things in life to enjoy.

Rutrow | June 5, 2017

If by "I currently have no loans, rent, mortgages" you mean that you are homeless... I'd get me a place to live first.

Sure you could live in a Model S, but you'd have nowhere to plug it in! :-)

danbry39 | June 5, 2017

If you're attempting to be financially responsible, go with the 3, especially if you are in on time for the federal tax credit. I live in California and with the federal tax credit, the state rebate, and the utility rebate, the final base cost of a 3 will be in the range of $23,800. That's almost unfathomable for a Tesla, especially considering the fuel savings.

Have you driven one? Just amazing to drive. Of course, there are other costs associated with ownership of this brand, such as if you were to have a NEMA 14/50 outlet installed in your garage.

Look, I've ordered the S75D. My daughter loves her Fit. My wife loves the Prius, one of which I bought her for her retirement present a couple of years ago. Still, I stood in line for one of the first day reservations of the 3 and am trying to think of any rationale to buy one at that price. In other words, I'm putting the hard sell on that daughter to get one. And, you'd better believe I'd borrow her car regularly if she ends up buying the 3. After all, the base cost of the Tesla 3 will be less than I spent on her Prius a couple of years back.

This is only my two cents. You'll have to make your own decision in the end. Good luck either way.

Rocky_H | June 6, 2017

@Rutrow, Quote: "If by "I currently have no loans, rent, mortgages" you mean that you are homeless... I'd get me a place to live first. "

Ha ha. This reminds me of when a sales person called my cousin several years ago trying to sell home equity loans. He started asking about who their mortgage was with.

Cousin: "We don't have a mortgage."
Salesguy: "Oh, so you rent. How much is your rent per month."
Cousin: "No, we don't pay rent. We own our house."
Salesguy: "Oh, so you have a mortgage. How much is that?"

This went round a round a couple more times with the sales guy not seeming to comprehend the idea that someone could actually completely own the home they lived in, without anything owed on it and not having to pay a monthly rent or mortgage amount.

bgbythsea | June 8, 2017

It's a personal decision, of course, but if somebody were to advise you they would probably need more information such as your age, what savings and expenses you have, and how much value you place on creature comforts. If it were a purely financial decision, a used Prius or Volt wold probably make the most sense. My decision was to keep the M3 reservation, just in case, but go ahead and lease a MS, but I'm "over the hill" and will be lucky to still be driving in a couple of decades. It was the right decision for me and I still relish in the warm and fuzzies whenever I mash the accelerator.

l_younis | June 9, 2017

Did you end up with an S or 3? Did you have any other questions?

s1 | June 23, 2017

If you haven't reserved a Model 3 yet, it's likely Tesla will have hit the 200k vehicles that causes the federal tax credit to begin expiring. Consider that in your calculations.