Hybrids & Electrics

Does the Tesla Model 3 Make for a Good Rental Car?

Electric vehicles are quickly becoming the norm for many owners, but the fact remains that they’re also still fairly new. There’s a lot we don’t know about how they’ll age. For example, how does the battery hold up after 100,000 miles? Will you still be driving this vehicle 10 years from now, or will it be sitting in a junkyard somewhere?

EatSleepDrive decided to examine a 2018 Tesla Model 3 that has been used as a rental car. It has over 60,000 miles, so it’s definitely been put through its paces. So how is it holding up? Here’s what we found out.

The exterior

The outside of the Tesla Model 3 was in surprisingly good shape. Most people tend to be more cautious with a rental, but there is always that one person who continues to drive recklessly no matter what they’re driving. That being said, the body stayed in great shape.

There were a few chips in the paints that most likely came from small rocks flying up, as well as a small mark in the back where someone backed into a pole. This is a vehicle that had over 85 different drivers, however, so that’s to be expected. You have to look very closely to notice these marks. It’s not obvious from a distance compared to a vehicle that has been in several wrecks and has the dents to show it.

Something else that surprised the host was the brake pads. You can’t see them clearly in the video, but he said that they look almost new. 

As far as repairs go, the taillights have been replaced as well as the upper control arm. It was creaking, so the owner replaced it. The upper control arm wasn’t under warranty, so he had to pay for that out of pocket, but everything else was covered. Overall, the owner only paid $400 in repairs, which is astonishing for a vehicle that has over 60,000 miles on it.

The Tesla Model 3’s interior

The interior looked just as good as the exterior. The Tesla Model 3 came with leather seats that were in impeccable shape. There were a few wrinkles on the driver seat that came from people sliding in and out, but that’s to be expected.

The steering wheel showed no real wear and tear. Other features like the door handle were the same. It didn’t exactly look like a brand-new car, but overall, it’s obvious that this vehicle has been well cared for. 

All the compartments and trays still opened and closed without becoming jammed, or worse, not closing properly. The infotainment screen still looks brand-new. There are no obvious smudge marks or dead pixels on it, so while there might be better tech out, owners won’t feel like they’re using outdated materials.

Speaking of which, the infotainment system updates frequently, so it’s never truly out of date. Owners will have the same software in a used Tesla Model 3 that a brand-new one does. 

How the Tesla Model 3 drives

The Tesla Model 3 still had a lot of get-up-and-go in it. The host was actually rather shocked at how quickly it accelerated without having to press on the gas hard. 

The suspension felt great, and there were no jarring motions as the car traveled down the highway. Something else that was noticeably missing was any rattles or squeaking sounds. As the car accelerates, you can hear the wind blowing, but that’s it. The driver reports that he heard a slight rattle, but it was so faint the camera didn’t pick it up.

He also didn’t notice any serious amount of battery deterioration. He admitted that this could depend on a wide range of factors, such as driving style, age, and other factors, so this was a little harder to determine.

The self-driving mode was impressive, but it nearly hit a pole. The driver had to resume control or face having a wreck, showing that there are no true self-automated cars yet. 

His overall impression was that the Tesla Model 3 has held up surprisingly well. For those looking to buy a used electric vehicle, or at least a Tesla, it’s probably going to be a vehicle that will last you years to come.