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2020 Tesla Model Y Picture

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Tesla Model Y After 30K Miles?

  • We're approaching 30,000 miles in our long-term Tesla Model Y.
  • So far it's cost nearly $2,500 to run the Edmunds Model Y, but there's a big catch!
  • The Model Y had numerous service visits.

We purchased one of the first versions of the Tesla Model Y for Edmunds' long-term test fleet in March 2020, just as the pandemic was kicking into high gear. Teslas have typically enjoyed a longer tenure than others in our fleet, partially because the ownership experience can change over time due to routine software updates.

We're now a stone's throw from 30,000 miles and a few months away from three years of ownership. During that time, we've spent about $2,450 in repairs, making this Model Y the most expensive Tesla we've ever owned. That said, we admit that we probably spent more on this car than owners typically would. Read on for the full breakdown.

2020 Tesla Model Y Performance profile

Routine maintenance

One of the benefits of electric cars is that they don't need oil changes, transmission flushes and other major mechanical maintenance. For the most part, you just need to top off the wiper and brake fluids and rotate the tires. This was the case with our Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3, all of which had zero routine maintenance costs while we owned them.

But we were getting ready to drag race the Model Y (on a closed course), so it was important to get a brake and tire inspection for safety. The mobile Tesla tech came to our home and took care of this for about 20 bucks.

Total routine maintenance costs: $20

Warranty repairs

All of the Teslas we've owned have had a number of repairs performed under warranty, with each successive model requiring fewer visits. Tesla's quality is getting better, but they don't quite get a pass for being trouble-free.

At the 20,000-mile mark, we had interior and exterior trim that was coming apart. The right foglight had sunk in, plus the trim on the front pillar where the seat belts are adjusted (or B-pillar), had come loose. There was also the driver's side sun visor clip, which came apart on the side you snap in after using it.

A few months later, we caught word of a service bulletin that called for the replacement of the air-conditioner refrigerant pressure temperature sensors. There was also a rattling sound coming from the driver's side door. It turns out that the left front window regulator needed to be replaced.

During that same visit, we wanted the Tesla techs to look into a clicking sound coming from the front passenger side suspension. It was noticeable when the Model Y would go over bumps and when you turned the steering wheel from one side to the other. But Tesla's service team dragged its feet and we needed the car for work, so we had to reschedule this repair. At 24,000 miles, we went back to the service center and they replaced the left and right upper control arms of the front suspension and the front hubs.

All items were taken care of free of charge, but the sun visor clip remains broken.

Total warranty cost: $0

Non-warranty repairs

In our fifth month of ownership, one of our colleagues got a flat tire. Luckily, the puncture was repairable and the Tesla mobile service guys took care of it like pros. This cost us $78.

Later, we found ourselves in need of new tires. The numerous drag races we'd done for various videos (viewable on the Edmunds YouTube channel!) took a toll on the Model Y's tires. Given that we own the Model Y Performance with 21-inch wheels, replacement tires cost a pretty penny. Luckily, our friends at Tire Rack were kind enough to ship us another set of Pirelli P Zeroes. If we had purchased them ourselves, the total cost for tires, mounted and balanced, would have set us back about $2,200.

Here's where we note that most people won't be as hard on the tires as we were, so worn tires wouldn't be an issue this soon. Still, at some point, tires will wear down and it is important for prospective owners to know that they are expensive.

While the A/C warranty repairs were going on, we mentioned to our service rep that there was a musty odor coming from the vents. Tesla replaced the cabin filter and used an evaporator foam cleaner to freshen things up. This wasn't covered under the warranty, however, so we paid $152 for the service.

Total non-warranty costs: $230 ($2,430 with tire cost included)

Total cost of Edmunds' ownership for 30,000 miles (tires included): $2,450

Edmunds says

We could do without the extra service visits, but for the most part, the ownerships costs of our Model Y have been reasonable. If you subtract the cost of tires from our experience, we would have only spent $250 in roughly 33 months.