Tesla Tips

Hidden Costs of Owning A Tesla (First-hand Experience)

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Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Rose Morah

If you are looking to buy a Tesla and wonder what other costs you will incur after the purchase, this article will cover these costs based on our experiences and feedback from other Tesla owners.

Hidden costs of owning a Tesla

The following are the additional costs that you can expect after owning a Tesla:

1. Home charger installation

Installing a home charger is very convenient when it comes to charging your EV.

Depending on your situation, this can either be cheap or very expensive. 

What makes EV home charger installation expensive?

If you will have to rewire the house and do some major power upgrades, installing an EV home charger may end up being very expensive.

I have seen some Tesla owners paying $3000, $8000, and even up to $30,000 for EV home charger installation. 

The cost will mainly build-up:

If your main panel is far from the garage (it is 100A and you are at the max).

If you need to move the service, replace the panel, and add a sub panel and other upgrades. This will definitely be costly.

If you need to upgrade the service and all the lines are buried.

Our recommendations:

  1. Find out if your power company offers rebates for EV home charger installation and also check which chargers qualify. This can help reduce your installation costs.
  1. If the installation ends up costing you more, I recommend you consider getting a dryer buddy or looking for a plan B.

2. Tesla accessories

You will likely end up spending much on accessories that didn’t come with the car. 

Most of these accessories are great and not very expensive. However, the cost can add up so fast and you may end up spending more over time.

For example, I have seen people spending over $300 on accessories even before their Tesla has been delivered.

Some accessories are necessary while some are generally just good to have and not very necessary.

Some of the accessories that may end up costing you more are things like ceramic coating.

Be sure to go through our previous articles on:

3. Shorter tire lifespan

One thing that most EV owners spend a lot on even more than on any other vehicle they have owned before is the tires. That’s because EVs are known to “eat tires”.

You will replace tires within a short time mainly because of the torque, battery weight, and other factors.

For Tesla, this will depend on the trim. You will notice a shorter lifespan if you have the Performance trim.

However, some Tesla owners claim to not have experienced it.

N/b: Incase you are looking to install your next set of tires for your Tesla, visit Tirerack.com for the best tire selection.

You can also checkout a Complete List Of All-Season Low Rolling Resistance Tires.

4. Repair costs

Tesla repair costs can be expensive, especially bodywork repairs. For instance, since the cars are low to the ground, you may end up getting more dings (road debris, curbs, etc.), and hence need to do panel replacement.

You may also need to get a bumper cover panel to protect it.

I know of Tesla owners who have had to pay over $25,000 for repairs.

One other downside is the long wait to repair the Tesla.

From experience, I’d recommend getting more than one repair estimate.

How Much Does A Tesla Maintenance Cost? (Tesla Repair Costs).

5. Battery costs

This will mostly apply to buyers who are looking to buy a used Tesla because the new Tesla’s battery will normally be covered under the warranty.

Since the battery is the heartbeat of the car and tends to be expensive, you will hence need to put it into consideration before buying a used Tesla.

See also: Tesla Battery Replacement Cost (Per Each Model).

Other Tesla hidden costs 

6. Delivery fee. 

The delivery fee can go up to $1200 or more.

Check out Tesla Delivery Checklist: Model 3 & Y (Download Available).

See also: Used Tesla Delivery Checklist (Inspecting A Used Tesla) Download Available.

7. Acceleration Boost. 

This is for buyers who want to boost their car’s performance (acceleration).

8. FSD (Full Self Drive)

You can decide to either purchase the FSD or subscribe to the FSD.

See also: Is Tesla Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) Worth It?

9. Spare tire

Tesla does not come with a spare tire. Therefore, you may have to factor in this cost.

I recommend checking out the Tire Rack for tire comparisons of your EV.

10. Charging and insurance costs

Charging and insurance costs are to be expected. 

For more information on Tesla insurance, check out the following:

Is tesla insurance good?

Tesla insurance vs Geico.

Final word

Other than the cost of purchasing a Tesla, you should expect these and other costs that have not been included in this article

I hope this article was helpful and has given you a better idea of what to expect.