Tesla Model S running costs

The running costs of the Tesla Model S are very low, but the asking price is sky-high

Insurance group Warranty Service intervals 2020/21 company-car tax cost (20%/40%)
50 4yrs / 50,000 miles 1yr / 12,500 miles £0

Starting from over £78,000, even the most basic Tesla Model S isn’t cheap. The Jaguar I-Pace starts from just under £61,000, and while that isn’t what you’d call affordable, it does at least highlight the premium you’re paying for Tesla’s technology.

The good news is that running costs are typically low. A Model S Long Range can be topped up at home for around £12, or even less using cheaper night-time electricity rates. The Tesla Model S is Congestion Charge-exempt in London, which could save you £11.50 every time you drive through the centre of the capital.

Tesla Model S insurance group

All versions of the Tesla Model S are in insurance group 50 – the highest possible bracket – mainly because of its rapid acceleration and high replacement cost. Unsurprisingly, Model S policies won’t be cheap.


The Tesla Model S comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty, while the battery is guaranteed for eight years and an unlimited amount of miles in that time.


Tesla recommends that the Model S be serviced every 12 months or 12,500 miles, whichever comes first. Tesla offers three and four-year maintenance plans for its vehicles, covering consumables such as wiper blades and brake fluid. These plans should help keep costs more transparent and manageable in the long run.

Road tax

As an electric car the Tesla Model S emits no tailpipe emissions at all, so there's no tax to pay. Company car users will be pleased to know that while the Model S used to incur a Benefit-In-Kind rate of 16% for the 2019/20 financial year, it's now exempt for the 2020/21 financial year.


As is the case with any electric car, the question of how much the Model S will depreciate is a case of who to believe. One well respected price guide suggests the Model S will be worth around half of its original value after three years of ownership from new. Depending on trim level, the Jaguar I-Pace is expected to retain between 50% and 55% of its original value, although its price range is smaller than that of the Model S.