Here's How Tesla Model 3 Is Cheaper To Own Than Toyota Camry

Even though it’s a luxury car, it’s still less expensive to own.

Loup Ventures recently updated a previous study where it compared the five-year ownership cost of a Tesla Model 3 to that of a Toyota Camry. The Camry is a good choice for comparison since it’s a widely popular, mass-market, gas-powered sedan. It’s not categorized as a luxury or premium vehicle, however.

Back in 2017, Loup Ventures’ model proved that the Tesla was more expensive to own than the Toyota. This essentially boiled down to the Model 3 having a significantly higher starting price (initially estimated at $35,000). Interestingly, however, despite paying some 40 percent more upfront to buy a Model 3, the Camry was only 13 percent more expensive to own over a five-year period.

Fast-forward to today and now it costs 59 percent more to buy a Model 3 than a Camry. However, when you look at the vehicles’ resale values, the Model 3 ends up being marginally less expensive to own over five years. Loup Ventures also includes a similarly priced luxury car to the comparison — the Audi A5. The study shares:

The bottom line: Model 3 is a superior car (electric, safer, Autopilot) compared to a Camry, and is slightly cheaper to own and operate over 5 years.
Average all-in cost per mile for a Model 3 is $0.46, compared to the Camry LE at $0.49, and Audi A5 at $0.80.

What accounts for the changes from the previous study?

  • Gas price increases
  • Insurance premiums
  • Finance model instead of lease model