Buying a Used Tesla

Douglas A. McIntyre

Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) oldest cars are not very old. The first Model S was sold in fall of 2014. And the Tesla is such a great car. Who would want to part with one? But people do, and used Tesla’s are for sale in several places, although the company would like to be the sales conduit for its own used cars.

The Tesla site has a section for the sale of pre-owned models. These have the typical aspects of “certified” cars sold by their manufacturer: a new warranty for four years or 50,000 miles. And the list of used cars Tesla holds in inventory are sorted by, among other things, the price. The least expensive is a Model S60 for $46,000. It has been driven 41,034 miles.

What Tesla does not want is to lose its ability to sell its own used inventory. But Tesla vehicles are available at sites across the web. Truecar lists dozens. So does AutoTrader has over 500 for sale through private owners or dealerships for other car brands. CarGurus has over 300. People can even by used Tesla cars on eBay.

When a dealer or individual outside of Tesla sells a used model, the company loses one of its most prized possessions, which is quality control over cars that have quality control as one of their primary selling points.

As of the time of this writing, you can buy a Tesla on eBay now:

2013 TESLA MODEL S P85 PERFORMANCE TECH PANO NAV 27K MI #P25581 Texas Direct, 2013 Tesla Model S 27K MI

The current bid is a pathetic $15,100, with only four hours and eight minutes to go in the auction. With a price of $64,980, the bid level has a long way to go before time runs out.