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 2018/19 company car cost (20%/40%)
50 48 months / unlimited miles 12 months / 12,500 miles £2,476.50 / £4,953.00

Starting from over £73,000, even the most basic Tesla Model S isn’t cheap. The Jaguar I-Pace starts from just over £63,000, 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 Tesla Model S 75D could be topped up at home for around £10, 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. Unsurprisingly, Model S policies won’t be cheap.

Warranty

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.

Servicing

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 CO2 emissions at all. Ordinarily, this would exempt it from road tax, but given that its list price is above £40,000, it costs £310 to tax annually for the first five years of its life. After that, you won’t need to pay road tax on it.

The Model S incurs a Benefit-In-Kind rate of 13% for the 2018/19 financial year, rising to 16% for 2019/20 and then dropping to 2% in 2020/21. For 20% taxpayers, this results in annual fees of £1,909.70, £2,350.40 and £293.80 for the basic Model S 75D. Meanwhile, 40% taxpayers pay £3,819.40, £4,700.80 and £587.60 respectively.

Depreciation

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 75D will be worth 60.73% of its original value after three years of ownership from new, making it one of the best cars on the market for retaining value.

However, the Model S P100D doesn’t fare quite as well: the same guide predicts it'll be worth just over £60,000 after 36 months, less than half of its original price.

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.