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 had problems keeping up — which was worsened by issues with inflation and in the supply chain.
Fortunately things have levelled out, for the most part. While the Model X still has wait times up to 7 months, and the Long Range Model 3 is completely missing, the majority of Tesla's line-up is more readily available. 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.
Likewise the Long Range Model 3 won't be available to order until sometime later this year. When next year is completely unknown, and that doesn't account for potential wait times once orders reopen. Still, at least you're not waiting for 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||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$94,490||$94,990|
|Tesla Model S Plaid||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$114,990||$114,990|
|Tesla Model X||Mar 23 - Jun 23||Mar 23 - Jun 23||$109,990||$109,990|
|Tesla Model X Plaid||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$119,990||$119,990|
|Tesla Model 3||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$43,990||$43,990|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||TBA 2023||TBA 2023||N/A||N/A|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$53,990||$53,990|
|Tesla Model Y Long Range||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$53,490||$53,490|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||Feb 23 - Mar 23||Feb 23 - Mar 23||$56,990||$56,990|
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model S
The standard Tesla Model S (from $94,990) currently promises a delivery estimate sometime between February and March 2023 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 $114,990) 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 $109,990) currently has the worst wait time of any Tesla car, with the cheapest model forcing you to wait for a delivery date sometime between March and June 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 $119,990) will arrive sometime between February and March. 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 $43,990), you’ll get between February and March this year.
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 (normally at $57,990) has currently been pulled from sale, and doesn't appear to be coming back until 2023. So if you had your heart set on the longest-traveling Model 3 you're going to have to wait for your chance to get an order in.
The Tesla Model 3 Performance model (from $53,990) usually has the shortest wait of the Model 3 range, but now has the same February to Marchdelivery 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
If you want the cheapest possible Tesla Model Y, you’ll have to spring for the Long Range Model (from $53,490) and wait until sometime between February and March 2023 — a stark improvement from the situation in mid-2022
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 $56,990) is expected to arrive in between February and March this year. 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.