Expensive Tesla Repair Costs Cause Insurers to Write Them Off
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more widespread, especially considering recent government actions. For example, Oregon plans to phase out all gas-powered vehicles by 2035, following California’s decision to do the same thing. The better mileage and avoidance of high gas prices also make EVs significantly more attractive to consumers.
This attractiveness also extends to luxury model EVs. After all, the initial cost is more justifiable considering all the savings EVs can bring. When it comes to Tesla EVs, however, that no longer seems to be the case. Repair prices are becoming so expensive that some insurance companies total Teslas with fewer than 10,000 miles.
How expensive is it to repair a Tesla?
The exact repair costs of Teslas will naturally vary depending on the scope of the damage. Still, let’s look at some recent examples to give you an idea of how expensive repairs have become.
According to Autoblog, one “2022 Model Y Long Range involved in a front collision…had a retail price of $61,388 and estimated repair cost of $50,388.” Another Model Y that was in a side collision had a “retail price of $72,667 and estimated repair cost of $43,814.”
For the first Model Y, the repair cost was 82% of the retail price, and for the second, it was 60%.
What do car repairs normally cost?
You may need to fix the front bumper, windshield, and paint for a front collision. According to LendingTree, each repair should only cost a few hundred dollars to a few thousand on average. If you add up the maximum repair estimates for each, it would total $4,500, including both parts and labor.
Meanwhile, for a side collision, you’ll typically need to repair or replace the car door and get a new paint job. Adding the maximum cost estimates up, it would cost $3,500. All of this data speaks to the unusual nature of Tesla repair costs.
Insurance companies are writing Teslas off
Insurance companies are finding expensive Tesla repair costs difficult to justify. Even low-mileage Teslas (ones with fewer than 10,000 miles) are getting totaled. Insurance companies will typically total vehicles when the cost of repairs is close to the original retail price. Then, they will send them off to salvage auctions. There, the vehicles are sold for below retail value, and people can purchase them if they want to repair the damage.
As mentioned, the cost of car repairs is usually only a few thousand dollars, not $43,814+ like Tesla repairs. They will usually only get this high when the car is severely damaged, like a car caught in a flood. So, why are Teslas different?
There are a few reasons why Tesla repairs are significantly more expensive. These include a lack of replacement parts and a few Tesla Service Centers.
Elon Musk is attempting to make Teslas cheaper to fix
Elon Musk has responded to this recent data with a few solutions. First, he plans on making changes to the software and design of Tesla vehicles. He believes these changes will significantly lower the costs for Teslas in collisions. He was quoted as saying, “It’s remarkable how small changes in the design of the bumper (and) providing spare parts needed for collision repair have an enormous effect on the repair cost.”
Second, Musk is incentivizing third-party insurance companies to lower premiums. Tesla has its own insurance arm called Tesla Insurance. Musk plans to lower the rates for Tesla owners, which may prompt third-party companies to lower their rates to stay competitive.