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Tesla Model Y: Should You Buy, Lease, or Subscribe?

Tesla Model Y: Should You Buy, Lease, or Subscribe?

August 1, 2022

Tesla Model Y: Should You Buy, Lease, or Subscribe?

Here’s the cheapest way to get a Model Y.

The Tesla Model Y is the latest and greatest model the automaker has to offer. With an estimated range of 330 miles, standard all-wheel drive, and a spacious interior, this compact SUV has versatility where it counts the most. But how much does it cost to get a Model Y, and what’s the cheapest way to get one? Let’s take a closer look at how a lease, a loan, and a subscription stack up.

How Much Does It Cost to Lease a Tesla Model Y?

According to the Tesla lease calculator, the lowest cost to lease a Tesla Model Y consists of a monthly payment of $817, an order payment of $250, and $6,012 due at signing. If you do the math, that’s $34,857 spent over a three-year contract. And that contract means you won’t be able to cancel your lease early without either paying the remaining lease balance or the difference between your adjusted lease balance and the current market value of the car. You may be able to transfer your lease with more than 13 months remaining on your term, but first, you’ll need to find someone who is credit approved and willing to take it over.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Tesla Model Y?

Starting at $67,990, the price of a Tesla Model Y is fairly straightforward to understand, but the reality is that most people aren’t buying with cash, and will need to get a loan. With a down payment of $4,500, an order payment of $250, and an APR of 4.49% for 72 months, your monthly payment would be $1,028. After paying off your car in six years, you’ll end up paying $78,766. That’s way more than the Model Y’s original MSRP, and it’s now a six-year-old depreciated asset. 

How Much Does It Cost to Subscribe to a Tesla Model Y?

If you’re wondering how a Tesla subscription works, the concept is pretty simple. With Autonomy, it’s like a lease that’s much more flexible. After just three months, you can return the vehicle with 28 days’ notice. Because you’re not buying the car, there are no loans and no interest payments. Routine maintenance and tire replacement for normal wear and tear are included at no cost. And a Model Y subscription starts at just $690 a month* with a $7,900 start fee. This adds up to $32,740 after three years, making it the cheapest way to get a Tesla Model Y.

What Is the Cost to Own a Tesla Model Y?

Maintenance is another overlooked cost to consider with any vehicle. It’s true that EVs have fewer wear items than their internal combustion counterparts, but you can’t escape basic maintenance, including brake pads, vehicle inspections, and even windshield wipers. And since EV tires typically wear out faster due to increased torque and acceleration, they often need to be replaced in sets of two or four. All of this is included with an Autonomy subscription.

No matter whether you lease, buy, or subscribe, driving an electric vehicle costs less where it counts most. The unpredictable nature of gas prices makes it hard to manage fuel costs, but average California drivers spend over $2,000 on gas each year. The cost in electricity is dramatically lower, helping to offset the cost of getting an electric vehicle. 

*Pricing for Model Y Long Range in white without additional upgrades. Excludes a $500 security deposit, taxes, and additional fees.

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Michael Chen

Michael writes about the automotive industry and sustainability. He has also worked with brands like Acura, Honda, Kawasaki, Toyota and TrueCar.

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