Tesla Model S review: running costs & insurance
Certain drivers could save a fortune running a car like the Tesla Model S, but the asking price isn't cheap
Annual company-car tax cost (20%/40%)
The Tesla Model S has never been an affordable EV, and that’s not changed with this new 2023 version. But the good news is that running costs are typically low. A Model S Long Range could be topped up at home for around £30 at today’s energy rates, or less using a dual-rate electricity tariff. It's also Congestion Charge-exempt in London until 2025, which could save you £15 every time you drive through the centre of the UK's capital.
Tesla Model S insurance group
Before sales were paused in 2020, all versions of the Tesla Model S were in insurance group 50 – the highest possible bracket. This was mainly because of the car’s rapid acceleration and high replacement cost, and unsurprisingly, policies weren’t cheap.
We don’t currently have insurance group ratings for the 2023 cars, but it’s unlikely costs will have reduced significantly – especially given that all versions of the Tesla Model S are now left-hand drive.
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 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.
As an electric car, the Tesla Model S produces no tailpipe emissions at all, so there's no road tax (VED) to pay. However, from April 2025, EV owners will have to begin paying road tax, as well as the London Congestion Charge.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Tesla Model S set the bar that all other long-range EVs had to meet – but you can no longer buy a right-hand-drive car in the UK
- 2Range, battery & chargingLarge batteries and access to Tesla's Supercharger network makes the Model S a great long-distance car – but it's now left-hand drive only
- 3Running costs & insurance - currently readingCertain drivers could save a fortune running a car like the Tesla Model S, but the asking price isn't cheap
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Tesla Model S is exceedingly quick and performs well as a refined motorway cruiser; semi-autonomous features reduce the strain further
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentThe Tesla Model S feels spacious and elegant inside, although the fit and finish leaves a little to be desired
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThere’s a generous amount of luggage space in the Tesla Model S, and there's lots of room for passengers too
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Tesla Model S has a relatively clean record for reliability, and once again boasts a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating