Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Depreciation impact of buying a 2019 instead of a 2020

Denis54

Member
Oct 8, 2019
6
0
Montréal
I have always avoided to buy my cars in the last months of model year as it can have a significant impact on depreciation when you want to trade your car. Is it the same with Tesla?

I would not care to wait until January to order if it saves me one year of depreciation.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,596
Canyon Lake,CA
This question comes up often this time of year.

We have been trained to consider only model year to determine depreciation.

The depreciation for Tesla happens more with the introduction of new features than with clicking over to the next model year.

Configurations matter much more than Model year. Used buyers usually want the month and year of manufacture.

Battery size, range, Autopilot, Computer version (now V3) number of cameras, security, etc all set the depreciation calculation more than the year of origin.
 

LakeWorthB

Member
Jun 3, 2019
100
73
Lake Worth, FL
I think your concerns are valid. Sure everyone above says there are no real model years, but when you see a used one for sale, like a 2014 Model S, or a 2015 Model S, if they have the same mileage and features, you would expect the 2015 to get more money. But is it significant I don't know, you could look at some used teslas and figure that out. I would just buy now.
 

super20g

Member
Jun 28, 2018
911
623
United States
Tesla does not use the traditional manufacturing model year system. Tesla continuously improves its vehicles. It makes no difference whether a Tesla is manufactured on Dec 30 or Jan 1 of the following year.
It probably makes little difference if you sell it to someone pretty knowledgeable with Tesla's... To the standard buyer, newer model year will always command more money... I mean, who wouldn't prefer a 2020 over a 2019 build?
 

Nocturnal

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2018
6,718
36,698
Deepening Crisis!
The interesting thing is that model year has always been a stand in (if a rough one) for the age of a vehicle. The main barrier I see to getting around the model year involved in deprecation is how cars are advertised. If you list your car for sale on autotrader, you will have to describe it as "2018 tesla" rather than "1.5 year old Tesla".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phlier and afadeev

afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
775
928
NYC
I have always avoided to buy my cars in the last months of model year as it can have a significant impact on depreciation when you want to trade your car. Is it the same with Tesla?

Yes.

But you can also snag significant end-of-year discounts from most OEMs, including Tesla, as they are pushing to get the inventory out the door. Also, dealers/sales-people, including Tesla's, are pushing to meet their quotas in December, so expect extra incentives (free supercharger miles, free feature upgrades, etc).


I would not care to wait until January to order if it saves me one year of depreciation.

It will.


We have been trained to consider only model year to determine depreciation. The depreciation for Tesla happens more with the introduction of new features than with clicking over to the next model year.

Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?

Model year (MY) is a proxy for age, mileage, and wear an tear. As imperfect as it is, it has stuck for a reason. All wear considerations are fully valid when shopping for a used Tesla, as with any other automotive OEM.

If anything, features are less of a factor with Tesla's due to over-the-air upgrades, and loosely documented hardware evolution milestones.


Used buyers usually want the month and year of manufacture.

Not true.
I've bought and sold multiple vehicles on Autotrader (have one listed right now).
Not once has anyone ever asked me for a month of manufacturing.

a
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,173
2,977
Los Angeles
It's tricky with Teslas as they don't have true model years but even though the cars will most likely be the same, waiting for the MY 2020 will have a higher value later on (but keep in mind you will lose the remaining $1,875 federal kickback that expires at the end of the year).

Even on the Tesla page, the used inventory shows MY only, you can't find the month of manufacturing. In addition, as the 3 becomes more mainstream, there will be less "enthusiasts" buying the cars and the average consumer will not know that a MY '19 and a MY '20 are the same cars.
 

MRGEDU

Member
Sep 15, 2019
95
60
DELMARVA
Model year depreciation is usually a combination of mileage and year. If you do not put many miles on a car then it is best to buy at the beginning of the year. In turn, if you are a high mileage person, then buying at the end of the year is your best bet. If you keep the car for more then 6 years it hardly matters at that point.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,149
709
az
Based on my experience buying a used S, “MY” still matters to both buyers and sellers.

S had huge refresh and AP changes from 16-17. But I didn't care b/t say a 14-15.

I don't think the 3 will have this by 20. I think the Y release will be a bigger factor to 3/ X depreciation than "MY"
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top