Would you sell your Tesla Model S for a profit? Electric superstar worth more used than new

Tesla Model S owners are in many cases turning a decent profit by selling their second-hand electric cars, according to car search engine iseecars.com.

Demand for the electric Tesla Model S – a car that achieved Consumer Reports’ highest ever score – is so fierce that the average resale value in 2013 was more than $99,000. That’s a figure well in excess of the MSRP of even the top-spec P85 Model S, which costs $87,070 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The base 60kWh Model S starts at $62,400 with the same incentive.

Of course, most owners will spec a number of options for their car, but even with every optional extra on the Tesla Motors website selected for the Model S P85 the total price comes to $117,020. And not every Tesla is shipped with the Performance Plus pack ($6,500), the Tech Package ($3,750), or rear facing seats ($2,500). The average used price of a Model S P85 was $106,395 – within touching distance of the average used price for the entire range.

“The Tesla Model S is still just a sliver of the used electric car market since it was only recently launched in 2012, two years after the Leaf or Volt,” said Phong Ly, CEO of iseecars.com.

“However, it seems to be in great demand as used Model S are selling above its new car price. Surprisingly, the average used Tesla Model S is selling for over $99K which is above the average of its new car MSRP. On the other hand, the average used car price for both the Volt and Leaf are below their MSRP.”

Tesla sold 22,450 examples of the Model S last year (beautifully photographed here by Axel Schmies), which, combined with an average used mileage of just 3,725, helps explain why the pre-owned cars are commanding a premium. All but brand-new, used Model S buyers skip the three-month waiting period that new buyers have to hold out for their car to be built at Tesla’s Fremont plant in California.

Positive press, record-breaking safety scores, and the ability to outrun dedicated sports car rivals – not to mention the practicality of seating seven and a zero emissions range of nearly 300 miles – have added up to make the Model S one of the most sought after cars in North America.

In comparison, the other two most popular electric cars in the US – the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt – usually trade at more than $6,000 below their new price on the second-hand market.