How Much Does an Original Tesla Roadster Cost?

With the big promises and hopeful soon release of the new Tesla Roadster, we are reminded of the original version of the car that many people forget even existed. While we know the electric car brand for its more popular Model S, Model X, and Model Y, the Tesla Roadster was the original vehicle. Based on a Lotus Elise, the Roadster was a unique and rare electric sports car that came out in very limited production. In fact, you might be hard-pressed to see one on the road today. It may be a collector’s item that comes at a high price, but it might not be as expensive as you think.

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A Tesla Roadster | Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

How rare is the original Tesla Roadster

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Tesla roadster launched from the Falcon Heavy rocket | SpaceX, Getty Images

The original Tesla Roadster was only produced for a handful of years between 2008 and 2011, with as few as 2,500 ever made — and, if you remember, one of these was launched into space on a SpaceX rocket, where it continues to orbit the sun today piloted by an empty Astronaut suit that is forced to listen to Space Oddity on repeat until the car’s battery is depleted. This already low number has likely decreased over the years due to accidents and breakdowns. In fact, I was able to find an original 2008 Tesla Roadster in a junkyard in upstate New York for just $16,000 — and, as you can imagine from the location and the price, it was completely totaled, and the electric motor was not running (we bought it anyway).

How much does an original Tesla Roadster cost?

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The Tesla Roadster, | Vince Bucci, Getty Images

If you aren’t lucky enough to find an original Tesla Roadster sitting in a junkyard (if you want to call it luck), chances are you’ll be looking at much higher prices. You can occasionally find them wrecked on auction websites such as Copart or even FaceBook Marketplace, but they often still go for tens of thousands of dollars. Because of how rare these vehicles are, rebuilding them isn’t inexpensive or easy. If you want one in good running condition, however, you can expect to pay less than some high-end luxury cars. Price on these vehicles ranges depending on mileage, condition, and battery life, but they often range from around $50,000 to as much as $150,000 in the best condition with relatively no mileage. This price increase is due in part to the current hike in market prices for used vehicles.

Where can you buy an original Tesla?

Because they are no longer in production, you will have to look to private sellers to find a Tesla Roadster, and due to the fact that they don’t come up for sale often, the market and pricing for these vehicles aren’t necessarily competitive, which isn’t a good thing for frugal buyers. For buyers interested in purchasing one of these iconic electric vehicles, the best thing to do is to keep an eye on the market over a period of time and to watch several marketplaces such as auction websites and other online marketplaces.

For its rarity, the original Tesla Roadster is surprisingly inexpensive, due in part to the limited availability of parts that make it difficult to maintain and repair these vehicles. Like many other used collector cars, the best way to get a good deal is to keep an eye on the market over a period of time, rather than just buying the first one you see for sale.

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