Tesla Model X running costs

The Model X is an expensive car for private buyers regardless of how you buy it, but running costs are low and it's good value for business users

Insurance group Warranty Service intervals 2018/19 company car cost (20%/40%)
50U 48 months / 50,000 miles 12 months / 12,500 miles £3,529.90 / £7,053.80

The Tesla Model S is an expensive car – that’s the long and short of it. Prices start at £91,650, rising to well over £130,000 for the range-topping P100D. Even by Range Rover standards, that’s pricey for a retail buyer. Monthly prices aren’t cheap, either, and Tesla seldom offers interest-free finance.

Business users, however, might find the Tesla a more affordable proposition. For the lucky few whose company-car allowance will stretch to the Tesla’s lofty P100D price, it’s well worth considering against alternatives like the Range Rover Sport TDV6 and Audi Q7 e-tron – if only for the huge saving you’ll make on company-car tax.

A total absence of CO2 emissions means the Model X sits in the lowest bracket for BiK company-car tax, which mean that it’ll cost £5,000 a year in tax from April 2019, for a 40% taxpayer, which is actually some £700 more than an Audi Q7 e-tron will cost and only £400 less than a Range Rover Sport PHEV. But the Tesla’s BiK tax then drops to just £633 a year for the 2020/21 tax year, which is loose change compared to what you’ll pay for any diesel SUV – even the plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 e-tron. Even before the planned fall in company-car tax costs from 2020, the Tesla is good value as a business car given its performance, practicality and upmarket appeal.

Of course, the Tesla gets free access to the London Congestion Charging zone, and you’ll pay far less to fuel it than a diesel car. It should cost around £12.50 to charge the Tesla at home, depending on your tariff, while public pay-per-charge rapid chargers are likely to cost around £18. Tesla Superchargers cost of 20p per kWh, after you’ve used up an annual free allowance of 400kWh (around four full charges).

Tesla Model X insurance group

All versions of the Tesla Model X fall into the highest insurance group – as do many performance SUVs – and therefore will be expensive to insure. Make sure you get a quote before buying.

Warranty

The Tesla Model X is covered by a four year/50,000-mile warranty, which is supplied by AXA insurance rather than Tesla itself, and it can be extended up to eight years. The batteries are covered by an eight-year/unlimited-mileage warranty.

Servicing

A lot of electric cars have long service intervals, since there’s less to check, as their motors have far fewer moving parts than a diesel or petrol engine. However, Tesla recommends an inspection every 12,500 miles or 12 months; a routine interval for most combustion-engined cars. Tesla also recommends that you connect the Model X to your home wi-fi in order to get the fastest download times for automatic software updates, which will see certain functions and systems in the car changing and improving overnight – just as your phone does when you update the operating system. 

Road tax

Being emissions-free means the Model X is also free from VED road-tax obligations, but because it costs more than £40,000, it's subject to a £310-a-year surcharge the first five times you tax it.

Depreciation

Most expensive luxury SUVs and saloons lose their value very quickly, and the Model X is no different. Used-car experts reckon it’ll lose more than half of its value in the first three years and 36,000 miles; the P100D could lose even more than that, shedding some £80,000 in value over that initial period.