Tesla Model 3 running costs
The Tesla Model 3 looks expensive to buy, but it's cheaper to own than most combustion-engined alternatives once you factor in fuel and tax costs
|Insurance group||Warranty||Service interval||2021/22 company-car tax cost (20%/40%)|
|48-50||4yrs / 50,000 miles||Variable||From £82 / £164|
The Tesla Model 3 isn’t a cheap car to buy, but given its performance, desirability and rock-bottom running costs, it’s a compelling financial prospect. After all, while it has few direct rivals, something like a BMW 330d or Audi S5 Sportback (both of which are close to the Model 3 Standard Range Plus on performance, executive swagger and price) will cost a similar amount on finance.
But they can't boast Congestion Charge exemption, zero road tax and well under half the fuel costs of a diesel car. The Tesla also benefits from only 1% Benefit-in-Kind company-car tax in the 2021/22 financial year, rising to just 2% in 2022/23 and 2023/24.
Tesla Model 3 insurance group
Insurance groups for the Model 3 are pretty high: 48 for the Standard Range Plus and the highest possible rating of 50 for the Long Range and Performance models, so coverage won't be cheap.
Tesla offers a standard four-year/50,000-mile warranty, which is a bit low on the mileage side, but does exceed the three-year warranties offered by rivals Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar. The car's batteries get an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty and will also be refurbished or replaced by Tesla if they fall below 70% of their as-new performance within that time. That’s unlikely to happen though, given Tesla’s excellent reputation for battery longevity.
Tesla doesn’t state specific servicing intervals – the car will inform you if it needs attention. However, Tesla recommends checking the interior air filter and brake fluid every couple of years.
Thanks to its zero tailpipe emissions, there’s no road tax to pay on the Model 3 right now – or any other purely electric car for that matter.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Tesla Model 3 is one of the best electric cars on sale, delivering great real-world range, tidy dynamics and a tech-filled interior
- 2Range, battery & chargingAs the name suggests, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range boasts one of the longest driving ranges on a single charge of any electric car currently on sale
- 3Running costs - currently readingThe Tesla Model 3 looks expensive to buy, but it's cheaper to own than most combustion-engined alternatives once you factor in fuel and tax costs
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceThe Tesla Model 3 is anything but slow, even in entry-level form – although it doesn't really handle like a sports car in corners
- 5Interior & comfortThe Tesla Model 3 has one of the most minimalist interiors going, complete with class-leading touchscreen technology and hidden air vents
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Tesla Model 3 isn't the roomiest of cars in its class, particularly for rear-seat passengers, but it should be adequate for small families
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Tesla Model 3 sets the benchmark for active safety features and has earned the top five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating