Tesla Buyer’s Guide
In just nineteen years, Tesla has gone from a single-model manufacturer based in California to one of the fastest-growing luxury automobile brands in the world, boasting some of the finest examples of all-electric vehicles.
There are a number of Tesla models on the market, and finding the right one for you can be challenging. Here, you’ll find all the information you need to find the perfect Tesla car for you, as well as the various car finance options available.
If you’re interested and looking for the cheapest way to buy a Tesla in the UK, this guide is made for you. We’ll cover:
- Why car financing is popular
- The different Tesla models on the market
- The best Tesla models to buy
- What you need to know before buying a Tesla
- How much Tesla cars cost
- How reliable Tesla cars are
- Frequently asked questions
- Finance packages available with Magnitude
A brief history of Tesla
Named after the legendary inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla, the company was founded in San Carlos, California by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in July 2003.
A year later, Elon Musk became the company’s largest shareholder and was appointed CEO in 2008, a position he holds to this day. According to Musk, the main purpose of Tesla is to speed up the move to more sustainable forms of transport and energy – as a result, Tesla has a big focus on electric cars.
Tesla’s first car, the Roadster, was produced in 2008 – the first mass-produced all-electric vehicle to use lithium-ion batteries and the first to travel more than 200 miles per charge.
The Roadster was followed by the Model S saloon in 2012, the Model X SUV in 2015, the Model 3 saloon in 2017 and the Model Y crossover in 2020.
These models have all seen great success, particularly the Model 3 sedan which is the best-selling plug-in electric car of all time and, in June 2021, became the first electric car to sell 1 million units worldwide.
Today, Tesla is the most successful maker of electric vehicles and one of the top luxury automobile brands in the world, with more than 3 million cars sold worldwide during their lifespan.
As well as automobiles, Tesla also specialises in other clean energy products, such as solar panels and energy storage solutions. They also aim to produce fully autonomous self-driving cars.
CEO Elon Musk is also the founder of SpaceX, a space and communications company set up with the ultimate goal of colonising Mars. In 2018, Musk’s personal Roadster was launched into space on a SpaceX rocket, becoming the first production car to be launched into space.
Why is car finance so popular?
There are many options available to you when it comes to how to buy a Tesla. Of course, you can always pay upfront with cash, but car financing is fast becoming one of the most popular options – even for those who can afford to pay upfront.
There is a multitude of reasons why car financing is an attractive option when buying a prestige car. For starters, you don’t have to pay the whole cost upfront. Instead, this can be spread out over a certain period of time, even over a few years.
As with any loan, there will be interest to pay, but this essentially means you can get your new car immediately without having to pay the price all at once. This makes car financing a great deal if you want to buy a new car but don’t have the money readily available, or if you’d prefer to use that money on other things.
There are a few things to take into account if you’re looking at car financing as an option, however. The cost of a new car can be spread out over a few years, but, with some packages, you may lose the car if you’re unable to make the payment on time. Therefore, you’ll want to take the entire payment period into account.
There is also a credit score check during the formal car financing process, which is standard in our industry. Finally, certain packages may include certain conditions, such as not exceeding a mileage limit as well as keeping the car in good condition.
Nonetheless, the flexibility of car financing makes it an attractive option for many, and, with Magnitude, it is one of the cheapest ways to buy a Tesla in the UK.
Financing a Tesla with Magnitude
With Magnitude Finance, there are several options available to you when it comes to financing your car. Each option includes a range of benefits, from fixed payment periods with the car being yours to keep once finished to the ability to part-exchange your model for another.
Our financing options are flexible, so you can find the perfect option for you. Whether you want to keep your dream car, return it or part-exchange it for your next purchase, you’ll find a plan that works for you.
Buying any prestige vehicle is a big decision, and a Tesla is no exception. Before you buy, you’ll want expert advice so you can get the best deal. When you finance with Magnitude, you’ll have access to an expert concierge team who’ll guide you through every step of the process.
On our website, you can also find some helpful information, including tips on financing your car purchase, an on-site tool that will give you an accurate quote across a range of financing options and news articles that will keep you up-to-date on the latest financial developments.
Magnitude is an independent broker, so we can help you secure money from established lenders. Once the agreement period of your finance package is over, there will be several options available to you. Pay off the outstanding balance and the car is yours to keep forever.
If you like to drive a range of cars, you can trade in your current drive towards your next purchase. Whatever you want to do with your car, our finance packages are flexible and tailored toward every customer, so you’ll find a plan that’s right for you.
We’ll go into more detail about each of our finance packages later on in the guide. To learn more about what Magnitude can do for you, skip ahead to our finance section below.
What Tesla cars are currently on the market?
Tesla is a relatively young company compared to other luxury automobile brands, so there are currently only a few Tesla cars on the market. Following the production of the Roadster from 2008 to 2012, Tesla has since released four more automobiles:
- Model S (2012)
- Model X (2015)
- Model 3 (2017)
- Model Y (2020)
With increasing demand and rapid innovations, however, you can expect to see this number grow significantly in the years to come. Here you will find an in-depth analysis of the cars that Tesla currently has available on the market.
First released in 2012 (2014 in the UK), the Model S is an all-electric entry-level four-door saloon. The Model S was already technologically advanced when it was released, but updates over the last decade have seen it equipped with some impressive technological features.
From launch until the end of 2014 the Model S did not feature any autopilot hardware, but from 2016 onwards every Model S came equipped with Tesla Autopilot. This advanced driver-assistance system includes a raft of impressive features, including traffic-aware cruise control, automatic lane-changing, self-parking and the ability to summon the car from a garage or parking spot.
Tesla hopes that future cars will feature completely autonomous self-driving, but this is still a long way off. Nevertheless, Tesla Autopilot has a range of advancements that make the Model S safe and fun to drive.
Though it has since been eclipsed by newer models, the Model S remains a popular option in 2022. The newest models of the Model S can travel all the way up to an estimated 400 miles per charge, and a large interior and secondary front trunk provide comfort and space.
Every Model S comes equipped with a 100kWh battery pack, and these can be quickly and easily charged at any of Tesla’s Supercharger public charging points found throughout the UK. These charging points can charge the Model S battery up to 80% in about an hour. You can also use a home charging kit, although this will take longer.
As well as the base level Model S, there are also the Plaid and Plaid+ models. These sportier models offer faster travel, with the Plaid+ able to reach a top speed of 200mph and can go from 0-60mph in less than two seconds.
With a range of impressive features that are being continually built upon, the Model S saloon is a great entry-level Tesla.
The Model X is an SUV released in 2015. It features four-wheel drive, although it is intended to be driven on-road rather than off. Newer models are able to reach a speed of 60mph in about two and a half seconds and have an estimated range of about 348 miles per charge. The Model X is a spacious car and can be configured to include five, six or seven seats making it a great option for families.
The Model X also features some impressive infotainment features, including the ability to play the latest video games wirelessly with up to ten teraflops of processing power and wireless controller capability letting you play from any seat.
It also features multi-device Bluetooth as well as wireless and USB charging for each passenger, so you can easily charge your phone or tablet while driving. Every Model X also comes equipped with the Tesla Autopilot system, containing the same features found in the Model S.
The Model X stands out among other SUVs due to its falcon-wing rear doors, which allow easy access to passenger seats.
With a large amount of space and impressive horsepower, the Model X is a very good option whatever your needs.
Another saloon, the 2017 Model 3 represents Tesla’s most affordable model and since 2020 has become the best-selling electric car of all time. Targeted toward the mass market, the Model 3 is a jack-of-all-trades, offering range and performance at an affordable price. It has an estimated range of 374 miles per charge and can reach 60 miles in a little over three seconds.
As electric cars don’t have a conventional engine to cool, the Model 3 does not feature a grille on the bumper. This gives the Model 3 a unique look that helps it stand out among competitors.
Inside the cars, you’ll find a lot of the technological features that can be found in any Tesla, including the Autopilot system. Almost everything is controlled via a 15-inch touchscreen, giving the interior a minimalist feel. A glass roof also helps brighten up the interior, giving it a light feel.
With its impressive performance, range of advanced technological features and relative affordability, the Model 3 is a great introduction to Tesla, and perhaps the best entry-level electric car you can get.
The most recent Tesla model released in 2020, the Model Y is a crossover between the Model 3 saloon and the larger Model X SUV. Essentially, it is to the Model X what the Model 3 is to the Model S- a more accessible and affordable model with the space and practicality that an SUV provides.
With a 75kWh battery, the Long-Range version of the Model Y can achieve up to 331 miles per charge and can reach 60 miles in under five seconds. The Performance model is faster, with a top speed of 150mph, but with slightly fewer miles per charge.
The interior is spacious and typically minimalist, with a touchscreen controlling most of the car’s functions. You also have the option of adding an additional two passenger seats, making the Model Y another great option for families, and a glass roof makes the interior feel light and airy.
Instead of using a key, the Model Y is controlled using the Tesla app available on phones and tablets. Using the app, you can also cool and heat the car beforehand, track its location and limit the top speed. One of the most impressive features of the app is the ability to send digital keys to friends and family, meaning you can easily share your car around.
Currently, the Model Y is available in the UK in two versions: Long-Range and Performance. Previous Tesla models have undergone extensive changes in the years following their release, so don’t be surprised if the Model Y sees additional versions in the near future.
The Model Y presents a larger and more spacious alternative to the popular Model 3 and a more affordable alternative to the Model X. As the newest and most ambitious Tesla model yet you’ll find all of Tesla’s signature technological features here, including the Autopilot system and the impressive suite of infotainment apps.
It’s a relatively new model, only released two years ago, so you can expect to see new and improved variants down the line. Nevertheless, the current iteration of the Model Y is a great model, especially if you are looking for a high-quality family car.
Each Tesla model contains a range of impressive features that will make your drive safer, easier and more enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for something practical or you simply want to show off, you’ll be able to find something that appeals to you.
What are the best Tesla models to buy?
The four Tesla models available fulfil a variety of needs. Each Tesla will give you luxury and prestige but depending on what you want to use it for you may find a certain model is right for you.
Whether you have a large family, you want something that will help you stand out in the city or you’re looking to go all-electric for the first time and want an entry-level model, our guide will help you find the right Tesla for you.
The best Tesla for families
If you have a large family, look no further than the Model X. Tesla’s SUV range, the Model X can seat up to seven people and can do about 348 miles per charge, making it a great choice for school runs and holidays alike.
The impressive onboard infotainment system lets you watch movies and TV shows and gives you the ability to play video games with power equivalent to the latest consoles, with wireless controllers letting anyone play. The Model X also features Bluetooth and USB charging for every passenger.
If you’re looking for something slightly smaller, then the newer Model Y may be a good option. The Model Y features the same infotainment suite found in the Model X but seats five people. What’s more, the Tesla app can easily let you share your car with other members of your family.
The best Tesla for long drives
If you’re looking for a Tesla that will let you drive for a long time without needing to charge, the Model S could be the right option for you. All Tesla models have impressive battery life, but the newer versions of the Model S have a 375-mile range, the longest official battery life of any Tesla model. Pre-2021 models include the Long-Range model that can go to about 393 miles per charge.
The best Tesla for business
A high-quality company car can help you stand out in the business world. The Model S and Model X are the most expensive Tesla models and boast the most impressive features. The Model S in particular has a sleek and elegant design and is quick and comfortable to drive, while the Model X is more spacious and has eye-catching falcon-wing back doors.
The best Tesla for speed
Looking for the thrill of a fast car? All Tesla models are fast but the best available is the Model S Plaid, which can reach a top speed of 200mph and can go from 0-60 in less than two seconds, making it one of the fastest saloon cars in the world.
The best Tesla for all-electric newcomers
If you’re new to all-electric cars and you’re looking for a good starting point, consider the Model 3. The Model 3 is Tesla’s most newcomer-friendly car, is able to travel more than 300 miles per charge and includes the latest infotainment and driving-assistance systems available.
The Model 3 is a mass-market car and therefore has a slightly lower price point than other models. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to buy a Tesla in the UK, the Model 3 will likely be the one you want.
Though each Tesla has its share of unique features, the reality is that every model can give you what you want. Each model is fast, has an impressive battery life, includes a range of infotainment features and provides a good amount of space. Though it’s worth looking closely at each model, you’re certain to have a good experience driving any Tesla.
What you need to know before buying a Tesla
Despite only launching their first car in 2008, Tesla has quickly become one of the most popular luxury automobile brands in the world today. With an impressive suite of technological features and bold plans for the future, including potentially autonomous cars, Tesla is a great choice for people who want to be on the cutting edge of technology.
What’s more, as people become more environmentally conscious many are looking at alternatives to diesel and petrol-fuelled cars, with Tesla at the forefront of all-electric automobiles.
By now, you should have a better idea of the models that Tesla produces and whether it is the right brand for you. If you’re interested in buying a Tesla, this section will tell you everything you need to know before pulling the trigger, including how much you can expect to pay and how reliable they are.
How much do Tesla cars cost?
Keep in mind that Tesla models are sold with a host of optional extras, such as Autopilot, that can bump the price up more. For this section, we’ll be looking at the base price of the four models available, as well as the different versions. These prices are for brand new models; you may be able to find cheaper used models.
The Model S is available in two versions in the UK: Plaid and Long-Range. The Long-Range version starts at £94,990 while the higher-performance Plaid model starts at £117,990.
The Model X is also available in Plaid and Long-Range. Plaid starts at £109,990, with the Long-Range version slightly cheaper at £101,990.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable model and is available in Base and Performance versions. The Base version starts at £47,500 while the Performance version starts at £60,500.
The Model Y is the newest Tesla model available, but the Model 3 presents a more affordable deal. It’s also available in Base and Performance versions, starting at £57,000 and £67,000 respectively.
How reliable are Tesla cars?
Tesla cars are generally considered to be reliable. However, as each Tesla model introduces new innovations, there is always a risk that you may run into some issues, as is often the case when new technology comes along.
Thankfully, Tesla has a good track record when it comes to refining their vehicles. Each model has seen revisions that have vastly improved the overall experience, making driving a Tesla safer and more enjoyable. If you do run into any problems, the good news is that Tesla cars can be quite easy to fix. Replacing the electric engine, for example, can be significantly easier than replacing a diesel engine.
As Tesla cars aren’t as common as other brands, it can be quite difficult to gauge their reliability. Nonetheless, Tesla cars have a very high rate of customer satisfaction, and as electric cars become more commonplace we should see reliability increase even more.
Ultimately, Tesla as a brand is known for innovation. They’ve already released countless innovative technological advancements such as Autopilot and the ability to summon your car and have bold plans for the future including (but not limited to) self-driving cars.
With the number of technological features present in each new iteration, it’s perhaps to be expected that you may run into some issues somewhere along the line. Nevertheless, with a fiercely loyal customer base and a team dedicated to improving the driving experience, you can be certain that driving a Tesla is a feeling like no other.
Is a Tesla a worthwhile investment?
In the short time since the first Tesla car was released, the company has already developed a loyal customer base. And with more and more people looking to do their bit for the environment, electric cars are starting to become vastly more popular. But does that make buying a Tesla a worthwhile investment?
There are a few things to consider here, most importantly: what do you want to use the car for? If you are looking to use your Tesla regularly, it is worth looking at how many charging stations are in your area. Every Tesla model can travel a large distance between charges, but if you are using yours every day then you’ll need to know how many charging stations are in your area.
Should you have easy access to a charging station and are able to charge your car regularly, then buying a Tesla would be a good investment. Of course, you can also use a home charging kit, although this often takes significantly longer and can be expensive upfront.
Tesla cars are among the more expensive luxury cars out there, but one of the key advantages is the fact that you won’t have to buy any fuel. The electric charge cost of a Tesla is significantly less than that of a gas-powered car, so you are more likely to save a considerable amount of money in the long term.
As with any luxury car, buying a Tesla is a long game. As Tesla is a relatively new brand, there is no way of knowing how valuable their cars will be in the future. With the increasing popularity, however, buying a Tesla today could very well end up being a good investment for the future.
Tesla finance packages to secure the car of your dreams
Buying a Tesla is a significant investment, but thankfully our finance packages make purchasing the car of your dreams considerably more achievable. In this section, you can find out more about the different car finance options available at Magnitude. Whether you’re looking for a car to keep or you want to try a lot of different vehicles, here you’ll find out which option is best for you.
Hire Purchase Finance
One of the simpler finance packages available, Hire Purchase Finance lets you pay off your vehicle over a fixed period of time. With this plan, you’re essentially hiring the car over a period of between two and five years. Once the final payment is made, the car is yours to keep forever.
If you want to keep your dream car at the end of your agreement, then this is the plan for you. A flexible deposit of between 10% and 40% is taken at the start of the agreement and the agreement length is customised based on your current financial circumstances, so the Hire Purchase Finance package ensures that you get the right deal for you.
Personal Contract Finance
Personal Contract Finance is one of the most popular finance packages available. Like Hire Purchase Finance, Personal Contract Finance involves a deposit (between 10% and 20%) and a fixed monthly payment over a period of time, again between two and five years.
However, with Personal Contract Finance, you’ll get three options at the end of your agreement. You can return the car to the dealer, and provided it is in good condition you won’t have to pay any more. If you want to own the car outright, then you can pay off the Guaranteed Future Minimum Value and it’ll be yours to keep.
Finally, you can part-exchange your car and use any existing equity towards your next purchase. This makes Personal Contract Finance the perfect choice for those looking to drive as many cars as possible.
Hire Purchase with Balloon
Hire Purchase with a Balloon marries together the benefits of Hire Purchase Finance and Personal Contract Finance. This package combines the two options and reduces your monthly payment through a ‘balloon payment’ which is a fixed amount agreed upon beforehand and retained until the end of your agreement. Once all payments are made, the car is yours to keep, or it can be part-exchanged towards your next purchase.
However, Hire Purchase with Balloon does not include Guaranteed Minimum Future Value, so if you want to keep the car these payments will need to regularly be made in full. The balloon payment is agreed upon before the payment period begins and is paid after a determined period of time when the contract ends.
This is a good option for classic vehicles and limited productions as there is no age limit on the car at the end of the payment period, something that can sometimes be found in other financing options.
Balance Payment Car Finance
Balance Payment Car Finance also features a fixed monthly payment but differs from other packages by not including fixed rates. Instead, it is subject to changes in national interest rates. When you take out a Balanced Payment package, the bank you use will be tracked for any alterations. The determined rate fluctuates over the course of the agreement, as does the amount of interest paid. Balanced Payment Car Finance is the only package where the interest is subject to the lender’s reference rate.
Whichever package you choose, our expert concierge team will be there to guide you every step of the way. We take the time to understand your plans for the future, and we’ll find a solution tailored to your needs.
Buying a Tesla: Everything you need to know
By now you will hopefully have a better idea of which Tesla model is right for you and you’ll be ready to purchase. However, you may still want to find out a bit more before deciding to pull the trigger. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common questions that customers have when looking to buy a Tesla.
What is the best way to buy a Tesla in the UK?
If you’re looking for the easiest and cheapest way to buy a Tesla in the UK, there are several options available to you. Perhaps the easiest way is online via the Tesla website, where you can customise and order your preferred model, and can also book a test drive. Tesla also has several stores across the UK where you can see the cars in person.
The Tesla website also offers approved used car sales, and you can visit many car dealership stores and websites to find cheaper deals.
How do I get a better deal on a Tesla?
At Magnitude Finance, our car financing options will help you get the best deal on a Tesla. Whether you want a car to keep or want to try different models, each of our plans will give you an affordable way to drive your preferred Tesla. We’ll also give you assistance in refinancing your vehicle for the best deal.
Until recently, the UK government offered grants to those looking to buy low-emission vehicles. However, this was scrapped in June 2022 with funds instead going to building more charging stations across the country.
How long does a Tesla last?
Like any electronic model, the battery in a Tesla will deplete over time. How long it will last depends on how often you use it as well as your charging habits. Tesla covers the battery on an eight-year warranty on all models and says that over the warranty period the battery should retain 70% of its original capacity.
How do I charge my Tesla?
The easiest way to charge your Tesla is to install a wall connector in your home. With a wall connector, you can charge your Tesla overnight, with the process taking about 14 hours depending on the model. Alternatively, you can charge your Tesla at a Supercharging station. These take roughly an hour to charge your Tesla. There are more than 650 Supercharging stations throughout the UK.
What accessories should I buy?
When you buy a new Tesla model, you’ll likely have everything you’ll need to start driving. Nevertheless, there are several accessories that can make your Tesla experience even more enjoyable. As well as a home charging kit, you can also find many other accessories, including pet liners, roof sunshades and accessory trays on the official Tesla website.
Funding your Tesla with Magnitude
Magnitude is one of the world’s leading car finance brokers, with our clientele including footballers from the England national team, social media influencers and YouTubers among others. We have more than 30 years of experience and access to 20 different lenders.
Financing with us is easy- our concierge team will work to find the best package for your dream car, saving you the time and stress of looking for the best deal. We also have several tools available that can help you, including a car finance calculator that can give you an accurate quote in less than 60 seconds and a settlement calculator that will help you calculate the outstanding balance of a loan if you already have an agreement in place. These tools can turn what can often be a complicated endeavour into a smooth, stress-free experience. Whatever you want to do with your Tesla, we’ll help you find the perfect plan. For more on the cheapest way to buy a tesla in the UK, get in touch with us today and let us help you secure the best deal.