Can you negotiate the price of a Tesla?

If you’re an aspiring EV owner, there’s a good chance that you’re dreaming of buying a Tesla. These are stand-out vehicles, showcasing stand-out technology and a stand-out driving experience. Of course, as you might expect, this also hints at a stand-out buying experience. When it comes to buying a Tesla, forget everything you know about going to a regular car dealearship.

Ahead of even getting into the details of this article today, we can answer your question directly. Can you negotiate the price of a Tesla? The ultimate answer is no, you can’t. 

But before you let that put you off the whole idea, it’s worth being aware that the fact Tesla’s prices are set in stone does offer some intriguing advantages. Plus, despite these limitations, there are options to explore when seeking out a Tesla that will fit within your budget. The entire Tesla purchasing process is unusual enough that it may well pique your curiosity, so read on to learn more.

Why Can’t You Negotiate On the Price of a Tesla?

Just about everything Tesla does is unique, and their selling strategy certainly fits that description. While with other big-name car dealers, you’d expect to be able to walk into countless dealerships, scope out the vehicles, haggle on pricing, take a test drive, and perhaps head off the lot in something shiny and new, with Tesla, things are a little different.  And part of that distinction is that whether you buy or lease a Tesla, the prices you see are the prices you pay.

For a lucky few in the right locations around the globe—or those willing to travel—there are a small number of Tesla Service Centers to track down. At these locations, you can indeed view vehicles, take them for a test drive, and arrange a pre-order, but you can’t buy a car off the lot. 

For everyone else, buying a Tesla is an online activity that can take as little as five minutes to complete. On the Tesla website, you can browse the various car Models and extras such as color, range, tires, and other add-ons. Once you’ve picked your dream EV, you only need to arrange payment, whether in full, through independent financing, or through Tesla’s own financing options. Depending where you are, once your purchase has been approved, you will either be able to pick up your car or arrange delivery through Tesla Direct.

It might seem restrictive that so many of Tesla’s sales are made online and there is zero wiggle-room in pricing, but crucially, this streamlined and efficient process ensures that the company can focus on making incredible EVs while passing the rewards of their cost efficiencies on to the customer.

Can You Negotiate the Price of a Used Tesla?

You’re probably thinking, surely I can negotiate price on a second hand Tesla? Well, if you buy a used EV from Tesla themselves, then the answer—perhaps surprisingly—still remains a firm no. Interestingly, Tesla operates their own in-house second-hand car dealership, and vehicles are priced based on their condition and features. This does mean that you can shop around on the used vehicle section of their website to find a Tesla in your price range.

A lot of Tesla owners who want to sell or upgrade their vehicle turn back to Tesla when the time comes, but of course there are Teslas for sale within the private marketplace. Here, you may discover the only exception to the rule of no negotiation—beyond the discount that Tesla employees exclusively enjoy. However, it’s important to note that buying a second hand Tesla in this way does come with some risks. You’ll want to be confident that the car’s various systems and its sophisticated battery are all in good condition, which can be tricky to do without expert assistance.

For those truly determined to reduce the spend on their Tesla acquisition, the last consideration to make is whether you have a vehicle that you can trade in. Tesla does offer a trade-in service, which is also a non-negotiable interaction. The best way to view this is a courtesy to Tesla customers, as the company doesn’t offer this option as a way of making money, but rather a way to get more of their cars out and on the road.

So there you have it—its true that you might be able to negotiate the price of a Tesla in a third-party or private purchase and make a worthwhile saving, but there is wisdom in buying directly from the source. In re-selling their own vehicles, Tesla ultimately achieve the dual feat of cutting out the middleman and ensuring operational quality of their cars in circulation on behalf of buyers everywhere. These are definitely factors that shouldn’t be overlooked.