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I'm an idiot...advice needed!


For the last 2 years, I had owned a S75d, which I loved (other than the payments as it was a bit of a stretch but i loved it). Originally my intent was to buy a M3, however I purchased the MS before the M3 released expecting that the 3 was years out. When Tesla released the car early, I wasn't able to get out of my MS because I would have to return the original $14k rebate I received on my S.

A couple months ago, right before the new federal rebate, I made a bold move to try and reduce my monthly payments and move into either a SR+ or LR rear wheel 3, I was also worried about the long term values on the S as they were rapidly falling with Teslas wonky price reductions and still owed quite a bit on my finance. Tesla majorly lowballed me on the trade offering me $15000 less than literally every other car dealership for my S. I ended purchasing a BMW X3 M40i, slightly used, figuring it would retain somewhat of a resale value and I could move into the 3 when the market allowed.

I picked up the BMW yesterday and absolutely HATE IT!!!! It sucks in every way that I was worried about. Its loud, oversized, clunky, and the interface is super counter intuitive. Its overly complicated feels like a truck...not my thing at all. Yesterday I was pretty down about all of it.

Now...the upside...I took my day old purchase into Tesla today for a trade value towards the M3 (which I test drove again and was reminded how awesome it is)...turns out it may not have been such a bad thing. Trading my Model S, BMW buried a lot of the negative equity, and the Teslas trade value on the X3 was shockingly way more favourable. It looks like I can buy the M3 for similar money to what this X3 is actually costing.

A few questions:

1. Is anyone here taking advantage of Tesla's 96 month financing or is that crazy talk?

2. I'm debating between the inventory SR + and one of the inventory LR RWD. The difference is $13k when you factor in the rebate, which is pretty significant. I live in a condo...no charger here, but in the building 1 over. Thoughts on whether it's worth the extra investment? My primary concerns are the range obviously, but also the live traffic feature which I used a ton on my S, and is not available on the SR

3. The only other variable,, is anyone concerned about the long term values on the 3? Tesla is flooding the market with them...more so than ever with the S. Is anyone concerned that this can potentially kill values in a few years? The company doesn't seem very concerned with preserving residuals.

Sorry for the long winded posts. A little spun here, and would appreciate any insights. My friends aren't Tesla ppl and don't really get the dilemma.
Color me confused. Are you concerned about how much the car is costing or whether it's got live traffic display? It seems to me you need to decide what your budget truly is, THEN decide what features you can afford. I would personally call 96 months a little crazy, you'll be paying more interest than you will principal by the time you're done if you're not careful.

If you have easy access to charging one building over, I would personally consider that sufficient enough to not worry too much about range. I wouldn't mind walking that much, but only you know whether that is an issue or not and more importantly how many miles you are likely to drive on an average day.

Edit: In the spirit of "stop being an idiot", they way you've jumped from car to car sounds even crazier than a 96 month loan. I suggest looking at the total amount you are spending (including interest) instead of concentrating on a monthly payment.
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Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
NE Tennessee
If this is a second car or an around town car then the SR+ is great. But if this is to be your only car and you take trips more than once a year I would get the LR RWD. 96 month is a crazy long lease so I would future proof if possible. As for resale value from what I have seen is Tesla’s are a bit better than average but still not great. A car is a depreciating asset.
Strange that it seems you bought the BMW without test driving it, since you hated it right away? But as you said, it looks like that may have been a roundabout way to have traded your S in for a 3 for a decent price :)

In my opinion based in what you said, I would go with the SR+ over LR. It will save a tonne of money and it sounds like that is one of your main objectives. Your S75 probably doesn't get that much more range than the SR+, and with charging across the street you'll do fine every couple days to top up assuming you are only driving 100km or so per day.

Live traffic and such isn't worth 13k imo. As far as depreciation goes, that only factors in if you plan to sell the car in a few years. If you keep it for the long haul, it is irrelevant so that's a difficult one to suggest since you didn't indicate how long you plan to keep the car.

As others have said, 96 month lease is crazy. If that's truly what you need to do to make the car affordable, you probably can't 'afford' it. I abhor paying interest on things, and would hate the thought of paying for 8 years. Depending on the rate you get you will probably end up paying 10-15% of the car price in interest by the time it's all said and done.

But, I do feel for you being back in an ICE car and not liking it. Hope you find a way to justify/make the model 3 a reality. Good luck!
If this is a second car or an around town car then the SR+ is great. But if this is to be your only car and you take trips more than once a year I would get the LR RWD. 96 month is a crazy long lease so I would future proof if possible. As for resale value from what I have seen is Tesla’s are a bit better than average but still not great. A car is a depreciating asset.
With the notable difference of a day trip within the range of the car, there is practically no difference between a LR and SR+ on long trips. you will save a few minutes over the course of the day. I did the math with ABRP and determined that is just was not worth the money to save 30-40 minutes for a full days driving. Here is Ottawa-Nashville in a SR+ A Better Routeplanner and in a LR A Better Routeplanner Over a 2 day drive the difference is small 20:39 vs 19:25.
When my first S was written off I took a number of test drives to compare: BMW X3, 3 series touring, Audi A4 Avant, Volvo V90, Mercedes E wagon. I agree with the X3, which taking it onto the DVP/Gardiner ruled it out quickly - my wife's Subaru Forester handled better as far as I'm concerned. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, was the Volvo - and primarily it was a few features I liked (although surprisingly, the seats weren't nearly as comfortable as I expected compared with test drives I had done years ago). However, going with any of these felt like a major step backwards. I would not, however, look at a 8 year loan - it's just prohibitively a waste of money on a depreciating asset. If you're tight for payments, then review and perhaps wait it out a bit longer to be able to put a bit more down towards the Model 3 to make the payments more amendable.
Depends on your commute. For stop-and-go driving at low temperatures (25 minutes to do a 12.5km commute) when the temperature hit -30 even though I have an insulated garage, the power for cabin heat and the cold battery means that the range dropped by 3x the actual distance. Mind you, 120k/h on the 401 may not be the same thing. (But who does 120 during rush hour?) People I knew in Toronto typically could be commuting 20 to 50km each way. Just for that reason I would suggest a LR. (Note that during moderate summer temps so far, the range consumed is not much different than distance driven, even with stop-and-go traffic.) Also I have put a NEMA 14-50 plug in the garage, so I can completely charge starting at 1AM every night, starting every morning at 80% (400km). How you plan to charge should be an important part of your decision.

And I'll re-iterate. You lose serious money every time you sell a car that's still relatively young and functional. My first car - Civic - i traded in because it needed an top end repair after 5 years. My second Civic after 9 years when it began seriously burning oil. My next was a 2000BMW 323i and after 11 years, it started needing a nagging number of minor repairs; my third was a leased BMW, which I traded for the 328xi GT I currently just bought out the lease - and I thought I had been stupid switching cars after 3 years. (MY wife had an Acura for 7 years, then an Audi for 6 until the oil screen clogged and the engine wore out, then a Camry for 10) But... especially BMW (or Mercedes, or Audi) figure in not just premium gas, but the high cost of regular maintenance once that initial "free maintenance" is used up. Even the annual checkups cost. Annually you'll pay a couple of hundred for oil change and filters. Brake pads after 4 years were $600 at the dealer. My philosophy was that when reliability was an issue and repairs started to really cost, time for a new car.

Many of these expenses I simply won't need, won't see with my Model 3 (technically, my wife's Model 3) - no oil changes, no oil pump or water pump, no power steering fluid or pump, no valve work, no timing, no fuel injectors to worry about, no alternator to burn out, no belts, no rear differential, no transmission issues (a replacement transmission on a 323i was about $5,000 and they refused to admit that reverse failing after 6 years was a manufacturing defect), no loss of compression or worn crankshaft bearings. The simple fact that you're not heating a big block of metal hundreds of degrees just to get moving makes a huge difference in maintenance. We haven't even mentioned gas prices yet. (I saw a post where someone in the USA was whining about premium being over $4 a gallon). The savings to be had for driving an electric car just in simplicity of the machine and the maintenance savings cannot be overstated.
Buy the SR+ as the range matters less as the SC network gets built out. Take the 96 month loan @ the lowest rate you can find to lower your payment. Use weekly payment schedule plan & make principal payments monthly to retire loan early. Most home & auto loans allow principle payments. Keep your 3 for 20 yrs as Elon said Tesla’s are an appreciating asset,lol.
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Here are my 2 cents:

1. I think it's better you get a HELOC if you already own a home. 4.9% is insane IMO.

2. I would make some sacrifice to get the SR+ since you're getting the $5k rebate. I'm pretty sure this rebate will not last after October.

3. Like any other cars, Tesla is also a depreciating asset. If you worry about depreciation, I strongly suggest you buy a property rather than a car.

Sorry, I have to say this... what were you thinking? Why would you pick a X3 over a model 3 after driving the model S for years.... Now, I never go back to an ICE car even if it is given to me for free!
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Don't worry about range with an SR+. I have a X75D that basically has the same range as a SR+, but charges slower. If you take long road trips, it'll cost you a little extra time, but it'll be fine. Having chargers next door, but not in your condo, is unfortunate but liveable.

Re: 96 month loan, you'll pay about 5x more in interest payments because of the length of time. A $50k car will cost you $60k over that 8 year period (rough math). It'll cost you $53k in the instance of a 3 year loan. If you're already on the fence between 5 to 8 years, the 8 year loan won't cost you that much more so just go for the eight it that helps. Somewhere between years 5 onward you'll be able to sell the car and pay off the loan if you need to. I'd run the numbers using a loan calculator, and understand what you're getting into. But essentially, the government rebate will help you with half the interest costs. Not ideal, but hey... it's something.

Musk's theory is that the cost of self-driving will always value the car higher. So even if the car is worth $5k in 8 years, it still has some form of autopilot, and that self-driving mode is going to cost $10k (example) in a new car so if someone can buy an old car that drives itself for $15k, they will. Your mileage will vary on this logic, but once you buy the software, it's yours with the car and can potentially keep the value higher.

Hope that helps.
I remember your original thread and I commented that personally I could not go back to an ICE car.

Anyhow, the Model 3 SR+ has almost the same range as your Model S 75D did, so you should have a good idea if the range is sufficient for you or not.

For the traffic display, as others have pointed out, it's just the display on the map that's missing, the routing will still factor in traffic. If you want to see live traffic, you could use a phone, but having a LR AWD, I'll say I don't really pay attention to the traffic on the display. I do use it as my primary navigation, but I still run WAZE on my phone so I can get alerts. I enter my destination on both and Tesla's routing is usually simpler and ETA is similar. (I'm not going to sweat 1 minute difference on a 30+ minute drive.) In fact, I find Tesla's ETA tends to be more accurate than WAZE, with WAZE often being too optimistic.

For the loan, go with what you can comfortably afford. As has been suggested, you can go with a longer term for lower payments, but then make additional payments to pay it off early. Of course you need to have some discipline to do this.


Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 18, 2018
I don’t know if anyone can help you. You can’t reduce a payment by adding 13k to a lease payment carrying 4.6% apr. And you can’t reduce depreciation by adding 13k to a vehicle that will be competing with the SR+ in a few years time. Charging is easy, how did you charge your S? The range calculation is simple. Take the distance you travel between getting to a charger and find the vehicle that fits. And downtown that should be measurable in meters not km.
I’m not a financial expert but simple math I’m good at, start with a lower purchase cost = larger % down payment = more favorable interest rate = faster repayment.
Thankfully I live without all the gizmos like AP and FSD, Tesla app, and live traffic so the value in those certainly do not equate to higher payments to someone trying to reduce a car payment. Because the time when that technology is finally utilized you will have paid off your car and will be ready to buy what you want.
And after all it’s only a car, it’s not enough to struggle over. It’s one of 5000 identical items being made every week. Every week your car has potentially 5000 competitors in the used vehicle market. If you think you can recoup 13k in that market against that competition to make it worth the payments for the next few years, then I can’t wait to see the title of your next post.
Right now, the SR+ is hard to turn away from, the extra range you get from the LR will be spent waiting for it to charge somewhere unless you invest in a charging unit in your condo, but that again changes the argument back to the SR+. Plus you have infrastructure for another EV. But only you can decide what you are prepared to pay.
Appreciate the insight from everyone. All very helpful.
To be clear, all of these options, I can afford....Im just trying to be pragmatic. Typically I buy cars in $50 realm, buying the S at $96 less the rebate was a stretch, but was worth it as I loved the product and it was the only option at the time.

The Model 3 however was always the end game, its more my vibe, and achieved everything that I was looking for, at a price point that freed up more cash flow. To clarify, the trade value that BMW offered at the end of the day is close to what I originally paid for my S after the rebate, so essentially felt like I had driven the car for 2 years, without the depreciation...especially in the context of being worried about end values on the S I always saw the move to the BMW as very temporary, and figured I could deal w it for a year or 2....I did test drive it, in the pouring rain...seemed fine. Once I bought it, it felt like a different story.

Appreciate the advise on the s+. It seems like that makes the most sense. My plan was to put a bit down and finance on a 60 or 72 month, however the dealer was hard selling buying a higher model on the 96 term. The way it works out, a S+ on a 72 month is about the monthly as the LR on the 96 month...which is why I was considering it. Interest rate is 3.99 on both right now....on top of that you get the $5k rebate on the SR...might be a no brainer.

Question for those who own both LR and SR+...is it seemingly the same experience...are you noticing a major missing elements? +

I didn't realize that the S+ still factored in traffic into the nav routing. The dealer presented it differently, and that's all I'm looking for as I used it often in my S.

Range on the 75D was fine...sure I would have liked more, but it was never a major issue. I don't know if id notice the 30km range decrease from my 75D to the SR My condo in building is currently looking at the EV charger situation for residents, but its like 10-12 months out from getting sorted. its a little bit of a pain to charge next door, and sometimes means leaving it overnight, but not a big issue by any means.

Thanks all

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