tesla model y

I’ve had my Tesla Model Y for almost 4 years and I’ve driven over 65,000 miles in it. Having a Tesla or any electric car, is usually cheaper than internal combustion engine (I.C.E) vehicles due to the lower cost in electricity and no engine maintenance. But the real question is, how much did I actually spend on my Tesla Model Y over the last few years?

I also created a Youtube video of this, so check it out here

PURCHASE PRICE

Tesla is constantly changing their prices on their website. When I bought my Long Range Model Y in 2021, the base price was $49,990. Since then, the price increased significantly in 2022 and 2023, but then decreased in 2024. 

Tesla released a Long Range Rear Wheel Drive with 320 miles, that starts at $44,990, and the Tesla Long Range All Wheel Drive costs $47,990. All the Model Y’s qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit, so if you qualify, it instantly drops the car down to as low as $37,490!

DMV REGISTRATION FEES

I live in California, which is notorious for high taxes and fees, and that unfortunately includes DMV registration fees. In 2024, my 2021 Tesla Model Y registration still costs over $700! 

The Tesla Model X costs around $1,110 for vehicle registration fees in California. I thought that was the end of all the Tesla surprises, but when I opened my mail for the Cybertruck DMV registration, I was shocked! 

The Cybertruck, which was cheaper to purchase than the Model X, was $1,276 for registration. Also, because the Cybertruck is a pick-up truck, it is considered a “commercial vehicle” and therefore, registration fees are more expensive. You can make it cheaper if you add a camper shell, but you have to take it to the DMV to get it approved.

INSURANCE

Tesla has their own insurance policy that is affordable compared to other insurance companies. However, based on reviews, the service and claims aren’t the best. 

In the past, I had AAA, but they quoted my Tesla Model Y insurance to be $3100, which was so expensive. I switched to State Farm, which is still expensive at $2500 per year. 

I spoke to an AAA agent, and he told me that AAA classifies Tesla vehicles as “luxury and exotic” cars, because it’s difficult to get parts and you have to go to certified Tesla repair shops due to the cameras and sensors, so that is why the insurance costs much more. 

The cost of car insurance varies greatly and there are many factors including where you live, your age, driving history, etc, so keep that in mind as well. 

MAINTENANCE

Since Tesla vehicles have no engine, you don’t have to worry about doing oil changes, timing belt, or changing spark plugs etc. 

Majority of the maintenance needed for a Tesla can be done by yourself. For example, air filter changes, I have a blog post and a video on how to do it yourself

Also because Tesla vehicles have “regenerative braking,” where it uses the motors, instead of the brakes, to slow down the car, brakes and brake pads rarely need to be replaced. 

So in my 4 years of owning my Tesla Model Y, my only maintenance costs have been air filters and windshield washer fluid. 

AIR FILTER

The Model Y Hepa filter needs to be replaced every 3 years, and costs $90 for the filter on the Tesla website. The Tesla Model Y also has 2 cabin air filters that need to replaced every 2 years, which costs $34.

Tires need to be rotated every 6,000 miles, but America’s Tires (also known as Discount Tires) rotate your tires for free, even if you didn’t buy your tires from them. I know this because I brought my Tesla Model X, with stock tires, and got a free rotation from them.

TIRE REPLACEMENT

However, because Tesla vehicles are heavy due to the battery, and because of regenerative braking, the tires wear down faster compared to I.C.E cars. I replaced my Tesla Model Y tires at 35,000 miles with the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4’s, and it cost $1,400 for 4 tires. I love these tires, and I now have 30,000 miles on them, but still have plenty of tread left. 

So in my 4 years of ownership, spent around $200 in maintenance and $1,400 for tire replacement, which is amazing.

WARRANTY

Tesla has a 50,000 mile or 4 years basic warranty. I had a few close scares like my seat sensor not working, and my autopilot cameras dying, but it fixed itself.

Also, my high voltage battery actually died (video on that here), however it was covered under warranty, so Tesla replaced it for free.  

Tesla’s battery warranty is one of the best. For the Tesla Model S, X and Cybertruck it’s 8 years or 150,000 miles. For the Tesla Model 3, and Model Y Long Range it’s 8 years or 120,000 miles. For the rear wheel drive models, it’s 8 years or 100,000 miles. 

However, if you have to pay out-of-pocket, the cost to replace can range from $15,000-20,000.

CHARGING COSTS

One reason we chose to go electric was no more filling up gas. 

However, with the rising costs of electricity and depending on where you live, electricity costs can be expensive. I always avoid charging during peak hours of 4-9pm, but in southern California, the base price is now $0.27 in 2024. 

 

Even with solar panels, I am still paying for electricity. In the past year, I’ve driven ~14,000 miles in the Tesla Model Y and paid about $1,030 in charging costs. However keep in mind your price can vary greatly based on where you live, where you’re charging (supercharger versus home), and what times you charge.

DEPRECIATION COSTS

Although the Tesla is easy to maintain, I was surprised to see how much more the Tesla depreciates compared to other cars.

 

This is likely due to two things. First, with higher miles in electric cars, the battery health is usually decreased and eventually it has to be replaced if it can’t hold proper charge anymore. Secondly, Tesla is constantly changing their prices, and in the last 6 months the prices have dropped significantly. So when the price for a new car is lower than the price you paid, regardless, your resale value will suffer.

ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES

On top of electricity costs, if you want to charge at home, you’ll need to buy a wall connector. Yon can buy the Tesla Wall Connector ($450) or Universal Wall Connector ($620) from the Tesla website. Also, you’ll want to have an electrician to install it. That cost varies but can be from $500-1000, and maybe even more depending on your set up. 

Also, Tesla doesn’t provide a mobile connector kit with your purchase anymore, so you’ll have to pay $250 if you want that. I do recommend this because you never know if you need a quick charge in case your Tesla dies.

PREMIUM CONNECTIVITY

With the purchase of a Tesla, you get 1 year of premium connectivity, but afterwards if you want to continue it, it costs $9.99/month or $99/year. 

Premium connectivity is nice to have because it has useful features like Navigation, Live traffic visualization, Sentry mode – live view camera, Video and music streaming. I did a Youtube video about Premium Connectivity and if it’s worth it, so check that out.

CONCLUSION

Now after owning our Model Y for almost 4 years, here’s how much I actually spent on the car.

  • Basic annual recurring costs  (insurance, DMV registration) –  $2788 yearly
  • Maintenance cost  $40 /year
  • Tire replacement $1400 (one time)
  • Electricity $1,000 / year

So in almost 4 years of having a Tesla Model Y,  my out of pocket costs was around $18,152.

Overall, even though the cost of electricity has risen, the cost to own a Tesla is still cheaper than owning a I.C.E car. Tesla vehicles are great cars to drive with the software constantly improving, and not to mention, it’s one of the safest vehicles around.

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information.

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