Does Tesla Have a Certified Pre-Owned Program?

There are a few things to consider when buying a used Tesla.

Red Tesla Model 3Tesla

QuickTakes:

In the first quarter of 2023, the Tesla Model Y became the bestselling vehicle in the world — a first for any automaker with an electric vehicle. If you're thinking of buying an electric car, the bestselling Tesla Model Y or popular Model 3 might be at the top of your wish list. But if the price of a new Tesla is a bit expensive for your tastes, taking the used route could be a reliable and feasible option.

Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Program Explained

You might have heard about certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles without knowing exactly what that means. The basic gist is if an automaker offers a CPO vehicle program through their franchise dealer network, it guarantees the quality of the car via a multipoint inspection and certification process. Then, like a new vehicle, these certified used vehicles are backed by a warranty. Some automakers even offer financing options on their used cars.

Tesla's that Warranty Coverage on Used Vehicles

Tesla does not have a CPO program. However, when purchasing a used Tesla, the automaker does allow warranty coverage to transfer with the vehicle, not stay with the first owner.

Tesla's used cars are still covered if there is any remaining coverage on the original four-year, 50,000-mile basic vehicle warranty. After this coverage ends, the automaker offers an additional warranty to used-vehicle buyers of up to 12 months or 10,000 miles, starting from the delivery date. The balance of the original battery and drive unit limited warranty — which can range from eight years or 100,000 to 150,000 miles, depending on the Tesla model — still applies for used vehicles.

Repairs Teslas Receive Before They're Sold

While CPO programs vary from automaker to automaker, the value is to ensure an owner will get a vehicle in "like new" condition. The program can include mechanical inspections, professional detailing, and access to vehicle history records.

Though Tesla doesn't have a formal CPO program, its used vehicles undergo an internal inspection and receive light repairs prior to sale. Per Tesla's website, every used Tesla shows no evidence of structural repairs, tires with a minimum of 5/32-inch tread remaining, and brake pads with a minimum of 6 millimeters of thickness remaining.

Furthermore, Tesla will inspect the following components for functionality: Autopilot, displays, steering, suspension, powertrain, brakes, exterior lights, driver controls, safety restraints, and the charging system.

However, if Tesla considers the wear and tear cosmetic, the automaker likely won't make repairs. So you could see paint scratches that measure up to 4 inches, dents and dings that are less than 2 inches in diameter, pitting on the windshield, scratches on wheels that are less than 6 inches, small tears on seating upholstery that are less than an inch, and discoloration around the screen edge.

Inspect a Tesla Used Vehicle Before You Buy It

Tesla keeps an inventory of vehicles on its website, but you won't find photos or details about any wear that might be present. However, each used Tesla lists the retailer where it is located, so if you don't mind doing a little legwork, you can call that retailer to arrange a showing.

There's no guarantee that someone else won't reserve that specific car first, although the relatively limited number of Tesla trim configurations available means a similar car may be available soon.

It's also worth noting that the price of a used Tesla is generally non-negotiable, and you have to shell out a non-refundable $500 transport fee to place an order.

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Jill Ciminillo
Jill Ciminillo is a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality, and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on cars for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization.