It’s been a big year for Tesla. Model 3 and Model Y sales are soaring, rumors have it that Cybertruck pre-orders are very strong, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk found himself hosting Saturday Night Live. Tesla seems to be everywhere.
So why is it so difficult to find a used one?
That question likely has more than one answer. Let’s review a few of the potential responses.
- Parts shortages are limiting new car supply, which increases used car demand. (You’re not alone out there shopping!)
- Driver behaviors from yesteryear are returning as more people are back on the roads. Think: work commutes and summer road trips.
- Used Teslas are selling really fast, and our data shows it.
The last point, about Tesla sales, comes from a used EV report that we publish each month to monitor used car inventory across the US to explain trends with electric cars. This month we decided to dig deeper by comparing the inventory numbers, which are a snapshot of what is for sale, with 90 day sales figures, provided by our partner, Marketcheck. That's how we know that Tesla sells used cars quickly!
Used Teslas Sell Faster than Other Used EV
Think for a moment about all of the ways that people can buy and sell cars. In addition to thousands of dealers or dozens of popular classified-listing sites, drivers can also buy directly from Tesla. That's a lot of places to look.
We monitored vehicle sales across 50,000+ sellers to compare inventory over the last 90 days for various makes and models. Understanding the total number of listings by vehicle type and how that number changes each day gives us a relative proxy of used car turnover. With that data, we see that Tesla is turning over 4.5 used cars for each one listed. That's really fast, especially compared to the other end of the spectrum, where Nissan and VW are just shy of two EV sales per one listed.
Keep in mind that some of these brands sell several models. For example, Tesla offers the Model X, Model Y and others.
It’s the Tesla Model 3, the most popular EV in the world, that is really accentuating Tesla’s used sales turnover. The total Tesla turnover rate of current inventory is 5.5X over the last 90 days. The Model 3, by itself, sells even faster with 6.6X sales per vehicle in inventory. That means the other used Teslas are closer to 4X -- not bad at all -- and not as much of an outlier compared to popular electric cars from other brands.
While that does not help you find your next Tesla, it should help you better understand why buying a used Tesla can be difficult compared to other brands.