Survey ranks used Tesla Model S as #1 in retained value and fastest selling among peers

The cost of owning a car involves much more than how much it costs to buy. To get to the bottom line, it is necessary to consider depreciation, insurance, property taxes, cost of fuel, and maintenance. Of them all, depreciation may be the most important. A new survey by, an online car shopping service, finds the Tesla Model S depreciates less than cars from competing manufacturers. They also sell faster than other models.

Autolist compiled data from Volkswagen, Audi, Toyota, Lexus, and Mercedes as well as vehicles from Ford and General Motors, and found that a used Model S sedan takes an average of 87 days to sell — about 5% faster than competitors like the Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, BMW 6 Series, Mercedes CLS, and Lexus 460.

Average selling price for a used Model S was between 3% and 5% above the average of other cars in their peer group over the past year, after factoring in price differences among the models. “We would expect top performing vehicles in a peer group to have prices [about] 2% above our adjusted expectations for the segment. But 3% to 5% above, and maintaining that level of performance over the past year? That’s surprising,” Alex Klein, Autolist’s vice president of data science, said in an email comment to Market Watch.

Light duty pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado are favorites of American buyers, but the prices for used examples vary only slightly from similar vehicles. A typical Ford F-150 takes 104 days to sell. A used Chevrolet Malibu stays on the market for 103 days on average while a used Ford Fusion needs only 88 days to find a new owner.

Higher resale value, lower insurance premiums, and lower cost of fuel all add up to significant savings for Tesla Model S owners compared to other luxury cars. Everyone likes paying less to purchase, operate, and maintain a vehicle and Model S fits that bill.

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