Scenes from earlier in the year did not bode well for buying a Tesla. Wait times for a new model seemed to be pretty extreme, especially if you were hoping to get a Tesla Model X. Demand for the cars has been growing, and the company has previously had problems keeping up — which was worsened by issues with inflation and in the supply chain.
Fortunately things have levelled out pretty nicely. The Model X no longer comes with wait times of over a year, and the worst affected car (the Long Range Model Y) may only arrive as late as July. So you don't necessarily need to commit to a lengthy wait before your new car is delivered. Still the length of your wait all depends on which Tesla you’re buying, and in some cases what premium add-ons you’re ordering it with.
It's worth nothing that the Long Range Model 3 is now available to order again, after a lengthy period where Tesla wouldn't let you order one for yourself. The entry-level Model Y has also arrived, after several months of speculation, for a slightly lower price than the Long Range model. You can pick one of those instead of a Tesla Cybertruck, which hasn't even started production yet.
Here's everything you need to know about Tesla wait times, including how long you have to wait and what you can do to try to shorten the wait time.
Tesla wait times: How long you'll wait for each model
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Shortest wait||Longest wait||Cheapest price & shortest wait||Starting price|
|Tesla Model S||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$88,490||$88,490|
|Tesla Model S Plaid||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$108,490||$108,490|
|Tesla Model X||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$98,490||$98,490|
|Tesla Model X Plaid||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$108,490||$108,490|
|Tesla Model 3||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$40,240||$40,240|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$47,240||$47,240|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$53,240||$53,240|
|Tesla Model Y||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$47,740||$47,240|
|Tesla Model Y Long Range||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$50,490||$50.240|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||Jul - Aug 23||Jul - Aug 23||$54,490||$54,240|
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model S
The standard Tesla Model S (from $88,490) currently promises a delivery estimate promising July to august in its cheapest configuration. That's as good as you're going to get right now, and no amount of optional extras will give you a better delivery estimate.
The $6,000 Enhanced Autopilot and $15,000 Full Self Driving Autopilot option don’t visibly improve delivery estimates either, and neither will adding a bunch of extra add-ons.
The more expensive Tesla Model S Plaid (from $108,490) currently has the same delivery estimate, and this is as good as you'll get — optional extras or not.
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model X
The standard Tesla Model X (from $98,490) used to have the worst wait time of any Tesla car, but a lot has changed over the year. These days the standard Model X has an estimated delivery window of July to August 2023
That's the best delivery estimate you can get right now, so buying a bunch of premium extras should only be done if you want them. They include one of four premium paint jobs ($1,500 - $2,500), 22-inch wheels ($5,500), the black & white or cream interior ($2,000) the six-seat layout ($6,500) or seven seat layout ($3,500).
Adding the Full Self Driving or Enhanced Autopilot doesn’t do anything to improve wait times, nor does combining multiple add-ons for the sake of it.
Meanwhile the performance-centric Tesla Model X Plaid (from $108,490) has the same July to August delivery estimate. Adding extra features doesn't bump up your estimate in any way.
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is the least expensive car in Tesla's current line-up, and the one that has some of the least depressing delivery estimates. If you want the cheapest possible Tesla Model 3 (from $40,240), you’ll get a July to August 2023 delivery estimate.
The wait times have improved a lot since the middle of last year, and this is as good as you're going to get right now. Previously you could improve your wait time by paying for extra stuff, but that's no longer the case. Combining add-ons, or choosing one of the premium Autopilot packages ($6,000 and $15,000 a piece) doesn't affect the delivery estimate in any noticeable way either.
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range (from $47,240) is now back on sale, and if you had your heart set on the longest-travelling Model 3 you' should be able to receive one in July to August of this year.
The Tesla Model 3 Performance model (from $53,240) usually has the shortest wait of the Model 3 range, but now has the same July to August 2023 delivery estimate as the RWD model. It doesn’t matter what extra add-ons you pay for, that’s the best estimate you’re going to get with this particular model.
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model Y
Tesla recently launched a standard range Model Y in the United States, offering 270 miles of range and a price tag starting at $47,740. This model currently has a July to August delivery estimate. Meanwhile the Long Range Model Y (from $50,490) has the same estimated delivery of July to August 2023.
Previously it was to reduce this wait with premium add-ons, but at the time of writing none of these extras make any difference, so you should only pay for them if you want them. The same is true for the $6,000 Enhanced Autopilot add-on and the $15,000 Full Self Driving.
The Performance Model Y (from $54,490) is expected to arrive in July or August this year if you order right now. This is also as good as you’re going to get, however since the premium extras have no visible impact on delivery estimates.
Tesla wait times: Should you buy used instead?
The obvious disadvantage to buying a used electric car is that it’s, well, used. But the biggest upside is that a used Tesla will be available an awful lot sooner than it will if you bought it new — especially if you’re going after something like a Model X.
Tesla has even claimed that its batteries retain 90% of their original capacity after putting 200,000 miles on the clock. That means the used Tesla you’ve been eyeing has a reasonable chance of being in pretty good shape.
The downside is that the used car market is a mess right now, and has been for the past couple of years. Demand for Teslas is also particularly high, seeing as how you can theoretically pick one up without a months-long wait.
In some cases those cars actually cost more than they were originally bought for, though you may be able to save some money compared to an equivalent new model. Though you do lose out on whatever advances and tweaks Tesla has made in the years since that particular car was new.
In other words you have to really want to buy a Tesla right now to go down this route.