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Tesla Model 3: Should You Buy, Lease, or Subscribe?

Tesla Model 3: Should You Buy, Lease, or Subscribe?

August 25, 2022

Tesla Model 3: Should You Buy, Lease, or Subscribe?

The cheapest Model 3 payment is out there.

Today, the Tesla Model 3 is the vehicle of choice for those looking to ditch fossil fuels. After all, standard models have a range of up to 272 miles and a zero-to-60-mph time of just 5.8 seconds. It’s a great value, but how do you make sure you’re getting the best value? Let’s compare a lease, a loan, and a Tesla Model 3 car subscription. You’ll then have an answer to one of the most popular car shopping questions: How much does it cost to get a Tesla Model 3? 

How Much Does It Cost to Lease a Tesla Model 3?

According to the Tesla lease calculator, standard leasing for a Model 3 RWD directly from Tesla requires $5,714 due at signing and a $519 monthly payment. You’ll need to provide a one-time $250 order payment. Over three years, you’ll spend $24,129 before tax. If you need to cancel your lease early, you’ll either need to pay the remaining balance or the difference between your adjusted lease balance and the current market value of the car to return the vehicle. Transferring your lease is possible if you have more than 13 months remaining in your term.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 starts at $49,690 before incentives, taxes, and other fees. That’s a straightforward number if you’re buying with cash, but the reality is that most car shoppers finance their vehicles. With a $4,500 down payment, a $250 order payment, and an APR of 4.49% over a six-year term, your monthly payment would be $718. Including your interest payments, you would end up paying substantially more than the MSRP over the course of the loan: $56,446.

How Much Does It Cost to Subscribe to a Tesla Model 3?

Wondering how a Tesla Model 3 subscription works? With Autonomy, it’s like a lease with way more flexibility. You don’t have to worry about routine maintenance since you don’t own the car. And after three months, you can return the vehicle with 28 days’ notice. The lowest monthly payment is $490 a month* with a $5,900 start fee. After three years, this adds up to just $23,540, making it the cheapest way to get a Tesla Model 3.

What Is the Cost to Own a Tesla Model 3?

Driving any electric vehicle will help you save on fuel costs. The average driver in California spends over $2,000 on gas each year, while the cost to drive on electricity is far less. There’s also basic maintenance, such as brake pads, vehicle inspections, and even windshield wipers. Don’t forget about normal wear and tear on tires, which can cost hundreds if you need to replace all four at once. The good news is that all this is covered with an Autonomy subscription.

If you’re buying a Model 3, you may also need to consider its market value. Whether you sell to a dealership or a private party, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting a fair price. An Autonomy subscription presents a more flexible alternative, one in which you don’t have to worry about anything except your monthly payment and where you’re headed next.

Start your Tesla Model 3 car subscription here.

*Pricing for Model 3 RWD in white without additional upgrades. Excludes $500 security deposit, taxes, and additional fees.

Picture of Michael Chen

Michael Chen

Michael writes about the automotive industry and sustainability. He has also worked with brands like Acura, Honda, Kawasaki, Toyota and TrueCar.

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