New data reveals that the Tesla Model 3 is leading the current fall in used vehicle prices, particularly in the used EV segment.
The used car market has seen dramatic movement over the past twelve months. At one point, vehicle prices were still spiking, largely thanks to the constrained production of new vehicles. But since this rapid climb in price, new vehicle inventories for many leading brands have recovered significantly. Hence, the used market has begun to collapse in reaction. Now, according to pricing data released by iSeeCars, the Tesla Model 3 has been leading this price collapse over the past six months.
Overall, iSeeCars found that used vehicles had contracted in price by 4.7% over the past six months and contracted 8.7% over the past 12. But leading that charge is the Tesla Model 3, which has seen its average used price fall by 21.5% over the past six months, the fastest of any model from any automaker in the industry. The Model 3 was the fourth most rapidly depreciating vehicle over the past 12 months, down 19.3%.
Strangely, the average used Model 3 was sold for $41,337 in February, which, despite the rapid price decline, remains more expensive than a base model new Model 3.
In context, the entry-level Tesla was one of four vehicles that had its price drop by more than 13%, joined by the Nissan Armada, Infinity QX80, and Land Rover Discovery.
Surprisingly, not all vehicle segments collapsed equally, and in fact, some have continued to appreciate despite the return of new inventory. The Mercedes S-Class was the fastest appreciating model over the past six months, which saw its average used price balloon by 11.8%. The Mercedes GLS and Porsche 911 rounded out the top three models that saw price appreciation over that period, growing by 11.2% and 10.9%, respectively. Overall, vehicles from premium German automakers were the most likely to see prices rise over the past six months.
Opposite this movement, the segment of used electric vehicles has followed the Tesla Model 3, contracting in price by 13.9% since September. The average used EV is now bought for $46,353, which has led many to anticipate this price to continue to drop, especially considering this price is far above the listing of a base model new Model 3.
The question remains whether this movement is good news or bad for the leading American EV brand, Tesla. On the one hand, these rapidly dropping prices now ensure more people than ever can afford Tesla vehicles, even if they are used. On the other hand, some buyers may be scared off buying a new Tesla Model 3, considering the rapid depreciation they are now incurring.
What is clear is that the overall movement of new EV prices downwards has finally meant that used EVs are becoming cheaper by the day, and it seems not so far off that a used Tesla Model 3 might become a dominant force within the used car market. However, until then, we can only hope this movement continues incentivizing car buyers to look at electric options with renewed interest.