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Tesla vehicles still hold values better than competition on used market, study shows

Due to Tesla being a new brand and the variables of EV battery loss unknowns and subsidies, there were some initial concerns about how the vehicles would hold their value over time, but a new study shows that Tesla vehicles still hold their values better than competition on the used market.

Autolist, which previously released a report suggesting that the Tesla Model S is retaining its value better than gas-powered cars in its segment – losing only 28% after 50,000 miles, released an updated version of its report showing that the trend is holding.

The new report is based “35,442 listings of unique, used Model S sedans.”

Autolist now states that “the Model S declined on average by 27 percent after accumulating 50,000 miles.”

In comparison, the firm says that “the overall segment declined by an average of 36 percent after 50,000 miles.”

Here they charted the depreciation of the Model S versus several other premium full-size sedans:

While Autolist claims that Model S depreciation is improving, another report from Thinknum says that the electric vehicle’s used value is actually depreciating faster.

But Thinknum based its report on only Model S vehicles listed on Carmax, which only had a dozen Tesla sedans listed.

This year, Autolist also added the Model X to its study and the vehicle is doing ever better than Tesla’s flagship sedan:

“A Model X with 50,000 miles on it saw its value decline 23 percent from its original list price. The next closest model in the segment was the Lincoln Navigator, which dropped in value by an average of 34 percent. The BMW X5 faired the worst in this segment, slipping an average of 37 percent.”

The used market for the Model 3 is still too new to get some good data, but Autolist is predicting that Model 3 is going to have best-in-class depreciation.

Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen says that they designed the Model 3’s interior to “age gracefully”, which could actually help with its resale value in the long-term as cars are expected to change a lot in the next few years with the advent of self-driving and car-sharing.

Electrek’s Take

I found this to be mostly true about the used market for the Model S.

I even had two offers over the price that I paid for mine, but it’s a Signature Model S and some people see added value with collection potential attached to it.

In my opinion, the over-the-air updates are a big reason behind the value retention. The user experience is actually improving over time.

Like Apple with the iPhone, Tesla will have to drop support for older vehicles at some point, but my 6-year old Model S has still improved this year.

As for Model 3, it’s definitely too soon to have a good idea of the depreciation, but I think it will indeed be fairly good. Although it will definitely take a drop once Tesla releases the base version.

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