Where Should You Look to Buy a Used Tesla?

Tesla does, in fact, sell used models without using or needing third-party used-car dealerships. In fact, if you stop to think about it, you aren’t very likely to see a Tesla sitting on any used car lot, and after a quick drive around town past over a dozen small lots, there wasn’t a single one. It made me stop and wonder — can you buy a used Tesla? The answer seems obvious that after some time, of course, people would want newer or different cars. But why are used Tesla cars so hard to find?

Used car dealership for EVs

Used car dealers do, for the most part, take some responsibility for the vehicles they are selling — excluding, of course, the small, sketchy local ones that over-finance vehicles. While buying a vehicle used can seem intimidating, most dealers do their best to inspect vehicles and ensure they are in a safe condition or will disclose any potential problems to customers. With vehicles like Tesla, the technology used is so new that most used car dealers don’t feel as comfortable buying or selling them, so you are less likely to see one on a used car dealership lot.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk points upward as he stands in front of a stainless steel Cybertruck
Elon Musk with Cybertruck | Frederick J. Brown AFP via Getty Images

Buying a used Tesla through the manufacturer

According to the Tesla website, you can order a used model directly through their locations or even place an order online. This includes a complete inspection of the vehicle before it is delivered, with a full 145 point inspection inside and out. If you’ve wanted to buy a used EV but were nervous about doing so, buying one directly from the manufacturer knowing it has been thoroughly inspected might be enough to settle your nerves.

Tesla crashed into store
A Tesla stands after an accident in front of the destroyed entrance of a hardware store | Kai Eckhardt/picture alliance, Getty Images

Should you buy a used Tesla?

Buying a used Tesla might seem intimidating at first, but there are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea. Once the vehicle has been completely inspected, especially by the manufacturer themselves, you can rest easy knowing that you’re buying a reliable car. Besides that, you can also get a significant discount in buying a vehicle used, and Tesla is no exception. So the simple answer to whether or not you should buy a used Tesla is the same when looking at many other used cars: as long as you do your due diligence in making sure the car is in good condition, buying a used Tesla is an okay idea.

An illuminated Tesla sign seen from outside
A Tesla store sign is seen in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China| Getty Images

Why Tesla Might Be the Worst Car to Buy Used

Some used car dealerships may already be prepared to inspect and sell used EVs like Tesla, and that means you don’t have to go directly to the manufacturer for purchase. But, if you’re more comfortable, or want more options, you can also go directly to the manufacturerto make a selection from their inventory of used vehicles, too.