Should I get a Model S Certified Pre-Owned or Model 3?

As more CPO Model S cars become available, prices are starting to drop, which has some people wondering if they wouldn’t rather drive a used Tesla now rather than a new Tesla sometime in the future.

Certified Pre-Owner (CPO) Model S have started hitting the market in the low $50,000 range making the decision difficult on whether one should hold out for the Model 3 or stretch on a Model S at a deeply discounted price.

Theories abound for why the number of low priced (CPO) cars have increased in December. Some speculate that Tesla may have an important new announcement pending that have caused Model S owners to trade in their vehicles ahead of any perceived update.


CPO Model S listed in the low $50k on


That speculation is driven by rumors of a major update to the Model S coming soon. Since the Model X is based on the Model S chassis and has features the sedan lacks — features such as the a Bioweapons Defense Mode climate control system and a self-opening driver’s door — adding them to the Model S seems almost a foregone conclusion.

Would the addition of those features convince a lot of people to trade the car they have now for an updated car? That’s the subject of a lively debate.

Several users on Reddit have mentioned that prices for used Model S cars are getting close to what the Model 3 is expected to cost. Elpcavy21 says, “Now it’s getting to the point where I’m debating on not waiting for the 3 and jumping on one of these pre-owned model S. There’s a P85 for $57k in my state. Getting kind of hard to not explore that as an option.”

Jonjiv agrees. “Myself and many others are in the same boat. Most of us will probably make our decisions following the Model 3 unveiling in March. I’m personally leaning fairly heavily towards CPO Model S, but if the Model 3 is impressive at base price, that could change my mind. I’m guessing most of the things that will make it interesting will be expensive options though.”

When Tesla first started selling certified pre-owned cars, the prices were not all that much less than new cars. Now that more used cars are coming on the market, prices have naturally started to fall. As cars come available that are close to the expected price of a Model 3, some will feel the urge to drive a used Tesla now rather than a new, smaller Tesla later.

It’s an enticing decision to make and one that probably has no down side attached to it.

Feature Image: Electric Jen

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