Tesla’s has started selling certified used cars to consumers. Not everyone can afford a Tesla straight from the assembly line. After all, the Model S 70D has a cash price that starts out at $75,000.
The electric car company hasn’t made a big deal about the new venture, while most of the world is buzzing about the stationary battery systems Elon Musk just unveiled. But for anyone who has said “I love Tesla, but a Model S isn’t in my price range” this is big news.
When people go to the Model S page on Tesla Motors’ website, they can select a “Buy Pre-Owned” link that will take them to the used car selection. The bad news is that the program so far is limited geographically, with only areas such as Hawaii, San Francisco and New York on the list.
The move comes at what some are calling a key strategic point. Considering that the Model S first launched in 2012, many leases are running out. An anticipated high number of Model S owners are also expected to trade in their car for the new Model X when it launches toward the end of 2015.
Vehicles in the program are often trade-ins from when owners have opted for newer versions of the Model S, such as the new all-wheel-drive “D” variants. Tesla attaches a four-year, 50,000-mile limited warranty to each certified vehicle. Some of the options have incredibly few miles.
Car shoppers should be aware that the Federal tax credit for buying an electric car, which right now is set at $7,500, and other government incentives don’t apply to used vehicles. Buying directly through Tesla Motors does provide a benefit, says The Wall Street Journal, which noted that the company’s prices were generally lower than those offered by private parties or independent dealerships.
The fact that so many used Teslas are floating around signifies that the company is growing up in many ways. It will have more competition in the coming years as Fisker has been brought back from the dead recently, and a number of traditional automakers are working on “Model S fighters.”