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Owning a Tesla Model 3 for free? Trading Tesla Model 3 For The Model Y!

A video was recently uploaded to YouTube describing the ownership experience of a Tesla Model 3. The owner of the car isn’t a car person by any standards. However, the owner had to spend as little as $250 over 18 months to own the Model 3. The video tells us how this happened and how they were able to use a brand new Model 3 for 18 months and not pay anything to do that. The owner also describes her experience of owning an EV for the first time in her life

Trading Tesla Model 3 For The Model Y

Owning a Tesla Model 3 for free? Trading Tesla Model 3 For The Model Y!

The Ownership Experience

This was the first EV that the lady in the video has owned. However, due to her son’s and husband’s insistence, she opted for the Model 3. Like most first time EV owners, she wasn’t sure whether the range would be manageable. But after she learned how to alter her driving style to suit an EV, it was quite easy. The supercharging network was particularly helpful in erasing range anxiety. That and the added green image of Tesla was a big plus for the owner of the car. The experience of owning the Model 3 was so good that she traded in her Model 3 for a brand new Model Y.

Owning the Model 3 for free

This was a particularly interesting part of the video. The owners of the car explained how they were in fact able to own the Model 3 for free. The car was purchased on June 30th, 2019. At that time they paid $35,400 for the base Model 3. The Standard Range Plus spec cost an extra $4,500 and other customizations like the interiors and the exterior paint cost another $2,500. Adding other taxes and fees, the total amount paid for the car was $43,600. But, since they already had extra credit for Tesla Powerwall, they were able to cash it in and received a $5,500 discount on the price of the car. This brought the net price of the car to $38,100. After paying a Sales Tax on the car, the net price was $40,519.

Federal Tax Credit

However, since this car was purchased on June 30th, the owners were eligible for the Federal Tax Credit. The Federal Tax Credit program provided EV and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) owners with a tax credit. This basically gave the owners a tax credit of up to $7,500. However, since Tesla reached its sales target of 200,000 in 2018, the credit was capped at $3,750 in June 2019. From 1st July to 31st December the credit cap was $1,875. Since the beginning of 2020, no tax credits are given to Tesla owners. Since the car was bought on 30th June, the owners received a Tax Credit worth $3,750. Thus the net price of the car was $36,769.

Trade-in value

On 15th December, the Model 3 was valued at $33,900 for a trade-in. The car had 22,720 miles on it. Since the new Model Y was purchased in Connecticut, they received further tax savings worth $2,627. Thus the Model 3 was traded in at $36,527. Considering that the net price of the car was $36,769, the owners spent a mere $242 to own the car over 18 months. This is without factoring in the amount of money that was saved by not paying for petrol. The average car in the USA has a fuel economy of 25 mpg (10 kpl). If we equate this with the Model 3 in question, the owners saved $2,272 in fuel expenses. Thus they were practically paid $2,000 to drive a spanking new Model 3 for 18 months.

This is mind-boggling. While the owners of that car received extra discounts and tax credits, even if those are disregarded, they would have had to pay no more than $10,000. This amount is no exaggeration and is a mere 1/4th of the actual cost of the car. This could potentially change the way people look at Tesla and its cars. This could change the way people look at EVs altogether.

Rutwik Tasgaonkar
Rutwik Tasgaonkar
Just a normal guy who fell in love with cars when he was 3 years old. Now trying to share that with others.


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