Tesla Offers Rare Rebate on New, Prices Plummet on Used

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

After what seems like an eternity of supply chain troubles and other assorted headaches driving the price of new and used vehicles through the proverbial roof, Tesla – of all manufacturers – could be signaling a reversal in market trends. According to recent numbers, the average price of a used Tesla has cratered – and there’s plenty of money on the hoods of new ones, too.


Yes, Tesla – long the darling of tech types and people who love to crap all over legacy automakers – is engaging in the type of manufacturer rebate shenanigans for which the likes of General Motors and Chrysler were once derided. Their website states that any customer taking delivery of a new Model 3 or Model Y between December 21 and 31 of this year will get a $7,500 credit plus 10,000 miles of free Supercharging. They might as well throw in TruCoat while they’re at it.


Digging into the fine print, the free Supercharging credits are tied to a Tesla owner’s account and cannot be transferred to another vehicle or person in case of an ownership change. Hilariously, they also say “Tesla shall not be liable if delivery of your vehicle does not happen before December 31, 2022”, meaning the company can accidentally-on-purpose bollox up your delivery date so they don’t have to honor this stipulation. Should anyone actually be on the receiving end of these credits, they’re good for up to 10,000 miles of driving, will be credited to the Tesla owner’s account in the month of January 2023, and will remain valid for a period of two years from the delivery date. Used vehicles and business orders are excluded from this promotion.


Speaking of second-hand Tesla models, a report from Automotive News says the average price for a used Tesla in November was $55,754, down 17 percent from a July peak of $67,297. While it is true the entire used car market is on the downswing, the overall picture has suffered a 4 percent drop during that same time. Inventory apparently hovered around 0 days in November compared with 38 days for all used cars (so sez Edmunds data).


The reasons for these blips will surely be debated in the comments, but the $7,500 rebate is likely a function of Tesla trying to ensure a strong finish to 2022 and post as many new deliveries as possible. This is why the consumer site currently highlights the ‘Browse Inventory’ tool in a presumed bid to nab deliveries right now instead of in a few months’ time. The same goes for the Supercharging credits. 


As for the used values, one can point to a softening of the market overall but – like it or lump it – Elon’s behavior at the helm of Twitter has likely taken some shine off the Tesla brand for a few people. Whether one agrees with his political takes is immaterial; Business 101 teaches us it’s a poor idea to alienate swaths of the country, especially in a volatile climate. Should his remarks impact Tesla sales? No. But will they? Most likely. We’ll see if these data trends carry into 2023.


[Image: Tesla Motors]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 01, 2023

    Part (and only part) of the reason that used Tesla prices are dropping, when you look at Tesla overall like Automotive News did in the linked article, is a little something called Model Mix. Model S launched before the less expensive higher-volume models. Therefore every month, the percentage of used Teslas sold which are Model S goes down a little. Get it? If you ever want to work for an automaker (don't do it), this is called "Model Mix."

    Next we will do "Trim and Option Mix" -- no, we won't.

  • El scotto El scotto on Jan 01, 2023

    @ToolGuy; Sir, trim and options? If it's something new on German iron; you can bet it will be available on a Hyundai/Kia within two years. Or so it seems.

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.
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