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The HIDDEN Costs of Owning a Tesla

Andy Slye

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Published on May 31, 2021
My grand total cost of my Tesla Model 3 after 3 years of ownership!
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Total Tesla Model 3 Maintenance Cost:
Total Tesla Model 3 Charging Cost:

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This is every dollar I've ever spent on my 2018 Long Range Tesla Model 3 after 3 years of ownership and 75,000+ miles. Many electric vehicles in the US still qualify for a $7,500 tax federal tax credit, and there may be a new upcoming tax credit in the US that will allow for even more manufacturers, such as Tesla and GM, to take advantage of a tax credit for customers. I’ve owned Tesla’s cheapest vehicle, the Model 3, for just over 3 years now and in this video I’ll go over every single dollar I’ve ever spent on my Tesla up to this point.

The front bumper on a Tesla is flat so there is a decent sized area of paint where a traditional grille would be on a gas car, and after seeing many other Tesla owners recommendations I decided to get the entire front end of my Model 3 covered in a clear paint protection film called Xpel. This is not necessary for all Tesla owners, but I’d guess that the majority of Tesla owners get some type of PPF and since I drive way more than the average driver and plan to keep my car for a long time I wanted to protect the front of my car from rock chips and bugs, and to be honest it’s been worth it for me.

That’s the thing with EVs and especially Teslas, they have such quick instant torque and can get up to high speeds without even realizing it because they’re so smooth and quiet so that speeding ticket cost me $203 which is why I hate driving in Indiana now. I’m not a speed demon by any means, but I usually set autopilot to 10 miles over the speed limit on freeways and the radar detector helps alert me of hidden speed traps which hopefully saves me some money going forward. I also had to pay a $500 deductible a couple years ago when something flew up and hit my bumper which went through the paint protection film and through the paint so my insurance covered the cost to have a body shop replace the bumper and have the PPF re-installed on the front bumper.

My annual renewal fee for my Tesla Model 3 was $470 in 2019 and $423 in 2020 and if we estimate $400 for this year that comes to a total of $1293 for annual registration fees so far. Up until now I’ve gotten free rotations at a local tire shop, but due to my schedule I was forced to finally pay for a Tesla mobile technician to come do it at my location, but it’s only $50 which isn’t bad especially since they’re coming to me.

Last but not least, I love being able to track my Tesla’s charging stats and see useful info about my car with the Tesla Stats app which cost me $20 when I bought it years ago. So I’ve spent an additional $14,000 after the initial upfront cost, which is an average of about $4,600 per year with most of that being large one time expenses like the charger installation, paint protection film, and full self driving software along with big recurring expenses like insurance, annual registration, and charging. But my plan is to keep my Model 3 for at least 7 more years and see if it can eventually make me money with Tesla’s future robotaxi service.

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