12 Reasons Why Buying a Tesla is a Bad Idea

Buying a Tesla can be fun, but beware of these potential drawbacks before you spend your hard-earned cash.
Updated April 13, 2023
woman holding steering wheel

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Should you buy a Tesla? It’s easy to marvel at the vehicle’s stylish look and features and feel a temptation to purchase the energy-efficient powerhouse.

However, before you spend a significant amount of money to buy a Tesla, there are a few things you should know about the car that might give you second thoughts.

Following are some of the most important reasons not to buy a Tesla. If the items on this list give you pause, perhaps deciding not to buy a Tesla — at least for now — will be a great way to avoid wasting money.

You don’t have a way to charge it at home

logoboom/Adobe electric cars in que getting charged at charging station

Having the option to charge your Tesla at home is convenient and saves you time. But this is not realistic for everybody.

If you cannot charge the vehicle at home, you might spend part of your day planning trips around visits to charging destinations.

Do you really want to leave for work early simply so you can find a place to charge your vehicle?

You drive long distances regularly

lightpoet/Adobe young man sitting at driving seat wearing blazer and wrist watch driving car on street at night

Those who often drive long distances might find owning a Tesla to be too limiting.

For example, you might discover that you need to charge a Tesla after driving it for several hundred miles. That is fine if you have a short commute.

However, if you’re heading across the state regularly, you will have to stop along the way to charge up. Some areas offer better access to Tesla Supercharger stations than others.

You live in a place with extreme weather

Wayhome Studio/Adobe man wearing jacket holding tumbler drinking hot beverage

Buying a Tesla if you live in an area with very cold weather isn’t ideal, as it might impact your driving range.

Studies have found that a Tesla's range can decrease significantly when temperatures fall to around zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Also note that when winter weather is bad, you may hope to rely on all-wheel drive. However, that feature is not offered on all Tesla vehicles.

You want an affordable car

suyujung/Adobe toy car on calculator showing car loan concept

Let’s be honest: The cost of a Tesla is anything but affordable.

Although some models are a little less expensive than others, a 2023 Tesla Model 3 starts at more than $40,000. The Tesla Model Y AWD starts at more than $50,000.

Don’t forget that you’ll also have to pay taxes. And if you get a loan for your Tesla, you will pay plenty in interest charges, too.

You want a car now

Studio Romantic/Adobe happy woman sitting in new car at car showroom signing papers

One of the most frustrating parts of buying a Tesla is that you have to order the car, then wait for it to arrive.

Today’s consumer is used to same-day or next-day delivery of just about everything. That includes buying a car off the dealership lot.

It’s not unusual for drivers to have to wait months before their Tesla arrives.

You don’t want to pay unexpected costs

Yuliia/Adobe angry african american man angry using smartphone

Tesla vehicles can come with added costs. For example, choosing a model with a long-range battery is likely to cost you more money than if you buy the entry-level model without such a battery.

Keep these costs in mind when deciding whether a Tesla is right for you.

You don’t want a car that’s hard to maintain

pathdoc/Adobe man standing on street staring at failed car engine

Unfortunately, Tesla vehicles might not always be easy to maintain. First, you’ll need to find a professional to service the vehicle who has experience with Teslas, and that can lead to some higher costs.

You might also have to wait longer for parts to come in. That could mean that you’re out of a car for a bit whenever you need maintenance.

You’re hoping to make a deal

DragonImages/Adobe man standing in showroom getting car keys from salesman for test driving

Here’s the bottom line when buying a Tesla: If you want to purchase one, you will pay the sticker price. There is no haggling the price down.

So, even if you are a master negotiator, don’t expect to find a way to drop the price by thousands of dollars.

You haven’t scoped out the charging stations yet

sheilaf2002/Adobe cars standing in charging stations at kettleman city

Before you buy a Tesla, find out if there are charging stations available where you live and along the routes you typically drive.

Not having a charging station on your route might mean finding a new, less convenient route to work each day.

You plan to get low-cost insurance

NAMPIX/Adobe man signing car insurance policy

Car insurance on a Tesla tends to be expensive. The cars can be more expensive to repair and replace, which sends auto insurance costs higher.

You will need to maintain insurance throughout the life of your Tesla, so this is an added, ongoing cost to consider. If you want to save on car insurance, a Tesla might not be your best bet.

You love a smooth ride

Marko/Adobe beautiful business woman driving car

Tesla offers a good-quality riding experience most of the time. But some owners have complained of a rattling sound in the door panels, likely due to loose wires or out-of-place clips.

It’s not unexpected, but it does require repairs. And that means that once again, you’ll be out of a car while you wait for the fix.

You don’t want to pay for an expensive battery

Koonsiri/Adobe man checking the condition of battery in car

The battery in a Tesla can last a long time — as long as 10 to 20 years.

However, should you need to replace the battery, the cost can be expensive. With labor charges included, you could be looking at $10,000 or more.

Bottom line

Rido/Adobe middle aged couple sitting at home using laptop and notebook to sort out finance budget

Driving a Tesla puts you on the cutting edge. These cars are impressive, but like all vehicles, they come with drawbacks.

The cars come with a high sticker price that makes it difficult to keep more money in your bank account. So, before you rush out to buy a Tesla, take a closer look at the items on this list and decide whether a Tesla is really for you.

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Author Details

Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.

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