Tesla Tips

Should You Buy Or Lease A Tesla In 2024?

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Last Updated on January 14, 2024 by Rose Morah

If you are torn between buying and leasing a Tesla, this article highlights the advantages of buying and leasing a Tesla to help you decide.

Related: Best Tesla Financing Options.

Should you lease or buy a Tesla?

This will depend on your lifestyle, financial status, and a lot more that we are going to be discussing, including what to expect when you either decide to lease or buy a Tesla.

Who should buy a Tesla?

1. Buyers looking to sell the car in the future

Tesla cars, especially Models Y and 3 have more resale value compared to most cars in the market. 

This is because they have a huge demand and most people are willing to pay more for a used Tesla because they don’t want to wait in line for a new one.

Additionally, Tesla has been known to hold its value very well over the years, and this makes leasing an unfavorable option compared to buying the Tesla Model 3 and Y.

Leasing a car is usually a great move for buyers who want to protect themselves from excessive depreciation. However, Tesla has proven to have very minimal depreciation.

For instance, I bought my Model 3 LR RWD for $43,000 in March 2019. At about 25k miles, ‘it had not depreciated’ because the used Tesla Models 3 LR RWD that had 25k miles were still going for $43,000.

This year, I have also seen Tesla Model 3 vehicles on the used market costing more than what most people had originally paid when the car was new. 

This has made some owners sell their cars for a profit due to the high resale value and buying the latest model.

However, I know of a Tesla owner who bought his Tesla Model 3 for $61k and sold it 3 years later for $55k. So, that’s about $6k of depreciation.

Therefore, you never know what the used Tesla market will look like in the next 3 years.

Key Take Away
Currently, financing a Tesla and then selling it in the future would potentially save you more money compared to leasing it, but the future remains unknown!

My recommendation:

Buyers who plan to lease a Tesla because they don’t like owning a car for more years could also benefit from buying and then reselling it because at least this way they will get some of their money back compared to leasing where the money just ‘evaporates’.

See also:

Used Tesla Delivery Checklist (Inspecting A Used Tesla).

How To Finance a Tesla (Tips and Tricks).

Complete Guide To Buying A Tesla (What to Know Before Ordering A Tesla)

Tesla Delivery Checklist: Model 3 & Y.

2. People who want to own the Tesla for more years

After financing your Tesla, you are left with equity.

On the other hand, leasing is like paying into a depreciating value (assumed depreciation).

When you return the Tesla at the end of the Lease, you are left with zero equity because you don’t get to own it at the end of the lease. And again, Tesla does not have a buyout option.

According to financial experts, leasing a Tesla is not a good financial decision for most individuals.

See also:

Tips For Buying A Used Tesla (What To Look For).

Tips For Selling A Used Tesla.

Model Y vs Model 3: Which One Should You Buy?

3. Buyers who don’t mind dealing with out-of-warranty repairs and expenses

However, you can also buy the Tesla and avoid the out-of-warranty repairs and expenses by selling it before the end of the warranty and then buying a new one.

Additionally, you can purchase an extended warranty for your Tesla.

Read more:

Is The Tesla Extended Warranty Worth It? (Read This Before You Purchase It).

How Much Does A Tesla Maintenance Cost?

4. Buyers who drive a lot/cover more miles in a year/month

When financing a Tesla, you are not limited to the miles you cover on your Tesla, considering how fun it is to drive it. 

That said, you can cover as many miles as you can compared to when you lease the car.

This is because leasing has a cap on mileage/mileage limitation, and you could end up paying more per mile when you go over.

I have seen people who reported having covered more miles in their Tesla compared to all their previously owned cars, because of how enjoyable it is to drive the car.

5. Buyers who desire to modify their Tesla

When you buy a Tesla, you can modify it however you want with no worries unlike when leasing.

This is because, when you lease Tesla the money you use to modify the Tesla (like FSD, PPF, e.t.c) can’t be recouped, and sometimes Tesla may end up charging you an additional fee for the removal of those additions.

I have read reports of some Tesla owners who were charged additional fees for the modifications done on the leased Tesla.

See also:

Tesla Model Comparison: Which Tesla Should You Buy?

How To Transfer Tesla Ownership (Common Transfer Issues).

How To Transfer Tesla Reservation.

6. Buyers who don’t want to deal with the process of returning the Tesla at the end of a lease

When financing, you won’t have to deal with the process of returning the Tesla at the end of a lease. 

Most people who have leased before say that the return process is usually not that fun, especially during the inspection. 

Who should lease a Tesla?

  1. Buyers who are looking for lower monthly payments.

Leasing is considered a great option for people who mainly want lower ongoing monthly payments because they tend to be lower compared to financing. 

Additionally, when you lease, you get to enjoy the car and pay less per month.

  1. Buyers who don’t like to stay with one car for many years can consider this a good option, especially those who tend to buy a new car in 3 or fewer years.

Therefore, instead of buying you can lease and upgrade to a newer vehicle at the end of the lease.

  1. Leasing is great for buyers who don’t like to worry about battery degradation and longevity.

See also: How Long Does a Tesla Battery Last? (Tesla Battery Degradation)

  1. Buyers who don’t like to deal with out-of-warranty repairs and expenses should also consider leasing.
  1. Leasing is a great option for buyers who don’t like to worry about the resale value in case the vehicle gets into an accident.

An accident could potentially lower the resale value.

Final Word

I normally advise most people to check the insurance rates of the Tesla model before buying and calculate how much it will actually cost them to own the car. 

You might discover that the insurance cost is higher than you ever expected. Therefore, buying would then be a regretful move if you can’t afford the Tesla.

Is Tesla Insurance Good? See its Pros & Cons).

Tesla Insurance VS Geico: Which Is Better?

What I’d also recommend is to never extend your finances when you want to own any car. Be patient, take time to save up, and earn more money.

In the end, you will be happy with the purchase when you are in a comfortable position to either buy or lease the car.

Key Take Away
Don’t lease or buy if you can’t afford to buy the car.