It’s pretty hard to get hold of a Tesla right now. Demand for Elon Musk’s electric cars has been growing over the past few years, while supply chain and production issues have prevented the automaker from keeping up with such strong demand. The volatility of rising gas prices won’t have helped matters either.
All of these factors mean ordering a Tesla means committing to a lengthy wait before your new car is delivered. But how long you have to wait all depends on which Tesla you’re buying, and what sort of premium add-ons you’re ordering it with.
For instance, the Tesla Model Y Long Range currently has a delivery estimate of sometime in between January and April 2023 in its cheapest configuration. But pay an extra $2,000 to get 20-inch wheels, or $1,000 for a tow hitch, and that estimate gets brought forward to between October 2022 and January 2023. It’s still a long wait, but it’s a little more tolerable.
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
|shortest wait||longest wait||Cheapest price & shortest wait||Starting price|
|Tesla Model S||Jul 22 – Oct 22||Nov 22 – Feb 23||$101,490||$99,990|
|Tesla Model S Poster||Jun 22 – Jul 22||Jun 22 – Jul 22||$135,990||$135,990|
|Tesla Model X||Dec 22 – Mar 23||Apr 23 – Jun 23||$116,490||$114,990|
|Tesla Model X Poster||Aug 22 – Oct 22||Aug 22 – Oct 22||$138,990||$138,990|
|Tesla Model 3||Jul 22 – Sep 22||Aug 22 – Oct 22||$47,990||$46,990|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||Jul 22 – Oct 22||Sep 22 – Dec 22||$56,990||$55,990|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||Jun 22 – Aug 22||Jun 22 – Aug 22||$62,990||$62,990|
|Tesla Model Y Long Range||Oct 22 – Jan 23||Jan 23 – Apr 23||$63,990||$62,990|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||Jun 22 – Jul 22||Jun 22 – Jul 22||$67,990||$67,990|
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model S
The standard Tesla Model S (from $99,990) currently promises a delivery estimate sometime between November 2022 and February 2023 in its cheapest configuration. But paying a bit extra can improve that by several months.
It’s possible to bump your delivery estimate up to between July and October by paying for one of four premium paint jobs ($1,500 – $2,500), 21-inch wheels ($4,500) as well as the black & white and cream interiors ($2,000). The $12,000 Full Self Driving Autopilot option doesn’t visibly improve delivery estimates. You only need one add-on to shorten your waiting time. Combining add-ons won’t change things for the better.
However the more expensive Tesla Model S Plaid (from $135,990) currently has a delivery estimate between June and July this year. Which is as good as you’ll get, regardless of whether you pay up for any extra add-ons or paint jobs.
Tesla wait time: Tesla Model X
The standard Tesla Model X (from $114,990) currently has the worst wait time of any Tesla car, with the cheapest model forcing you to wait for a delivery date sometime between April and June 2023. Thankfully it too can be brought forward, if you pay a little extra.
The best delivery estimate you can get right now is December 2022 to March 2023, provided you buy one of the following add-ons: 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 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 $138,990) will arrive sometime between August and October 2022. Extra add-ons don’t improve that, no matter which ones you pick.
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 $46,990), you’ll have to wait until sometime between August and October this year.
Like other cars in the automaker’s line-up, this too can be improved by paying for extra stuff. Opting for a premium paint job ($1,000 – $2,000), 19-inch wheels ($1,500) or a black & white interior ($1,000) improves that window by a month — meaning you could get your car between July and September of this year.
Combining add-ons, or choosing for the $12,000 Full Self Driving Autopilot add-on doesn’t affect the delivery estimate in any noticeable way.
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range (from $55,990) has an estimated delivery window of September to December 2022, which can be improved with premium color paint or 19-inch wheels. Both those bump you up to a July to October delivery window, while the black & white interior has no effect on when you get the car.
The Tesla Model 3 Performance model (from $62,990) has the shortest wait of the three, coming sometime between June and August. 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 $62,990) and wait until sometime between January and April 2023.
It is possible to reduce this wait with premium add-ons, including the 20-inch wheels ($2,000), a tow hitch ($1,000), the black and white interior ($1,000), a seven seat layout ($3,000) or one of Tesla’s three premium paint option ($1,000 – $2,000). Adding the $12,000 Full Self Driving Autopilot add-on does nothing to the delivery estimate.
In each case your delivery estimate gets bumped up to sometime between October 2022 and January 2023. You only need one of these extras to bump up your delivery, and combining multiple premium options does nothing more than increase the overall price of the car.
However the Performance Model Y (from $67,990) is expected to arrive between June and July this year. This is as good as you’re going to get, however since the premium extras have no visible impact on delivery estimates. Still a three month wait isn’t actually that bad compared to the wait on the Long Range option.
Tesla wait times: Should you buy used instead?
The obvious disadvantage to buying a used 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.