Is the Tesla Model 3 a Good First Car? Pros and Cons

Choosing your first car shouldn’t be a hard choice. The most people will choose something that is affordable and easy to maintain and drive. So what about the Tesla Model 3. Does it fit into this category?

The Tesla Model 3 is a good first car because it is easy to maintain and its service costs are minimal. The price is also comparable to any other “first car” in its class. Not to even mention Autopilot, it is also one of the safest cars on the road getting five stars in every category from the IIHS.

I’ve elaborated the paragraph above in this article, and Ii’ve gone in detail to prove to you why the Tesla Model 3 is a great fit for you as a first car. If you’re not quite convinced, I’ve also gone into the downsides. Check it out!

Reasons Why Tesla Model 3 Would Be a Good First Car

Tesla Prices Its Model 3 the Same as Premium ICE Cars

Since its inception, Tesla has positioned itself to compete with premium ICE cars. Tesla shows in its 2020 impact report that its Model 3 retails between $39,990 and $56,990 in the US market, which is at par with premium petrol and diesel cars such as:

  • BMW
  • Audi
  • Mercedes-Benz

In the report, Tesla also highlighted that several other electric cars available at the time were priced up to $20,000 more than their diesel and petrol counterparts.

Therefore, the prices shouldn’t deter you from choosing Tesla Model 3 as your first car. Although some claim that Tesla is overpriced, Model 3 retails for almost the same amount as other premium ICE cars.

Tesla-Performance-Model-First-Car
Photo: @crew_street via Twenty20

Tesla Model 3 Is Easy to Maintain

Most drivers prefer Model 3 mainly because of its easy maintenance. Unlike its gas-powered counterparts, Tesla’s Model 3 has few engine parts that need regular replacements. And this is something to be happy about if you’re a first-time car owner.

You should expect to spend approximately $300 annually to maintain Model 3. And you should thank the fewer parts on its undertrain than regular ICE cars.

Unfortunately, repairs can take longer than you’d expect because of fewer Tesla Service Stations or approved third-party repair shops near you. Also, not every dealer can sell Tesla parts, so you may have to contend with long waiting times before Tesla delivers the parts to you or your selected service station.

It might also interest you to find out if a Tesla is a good daily driver for city living? I explained all the best features that might support this case. If you live in a city and want to buy a Tesla, check this out!

Autopilot and Self-Driving Features Simplify Driving

Teslas are the most technologically advanced electric cars making them some of the easiest to drive.

Tesla is ahead of its time with its cars’ Autopilot and Self-Driving features. Teslas now can slow down when approaching intersections and red lights. If you doze off while driving, Tesla’s Model 3’s crash-avoidance system brakes the car.

Random Fun Fact:

Tesla Model 3 accelerates from 0mph to 60mph (96.5 kph) in 3.2 seconds.

No Need for Ignition

Tesla Model 3 comes with only two pedals, and you don’t need to turn on the ignition like in regular gas-powered cars. Depress the brake pedal and turn the right stalk on the steering wheel up and down for reverse and drive. 

Return the right stalk to the original stopping point for a few seconds to make your car neutral. Press the button on the right limb to park your vehicle. Isn’t that simpler than any regular car you’ve driven before? It’s a whole new experience for me.

Watch this YouTube Model 3 quick video on how to use the car.

Advanced Vehicle Controls

What’s more? Teslas, including Model 3, are constantly evolving thanks to Tesla’s over-the-air updates. Like a smartphone, you access most of the car’s controls, including the glovebox, climate control, trunk, and wipers on the 15″ (380mm) touch screen located at the center of the dash. With the screen, you can access many unusual controls and interactions not in any other car apart from Tesla.

Did you know?

You can sign into Netflix on your Tesla touch screen and stream your favorite shows and movies.

Tesla Model 3 Is One of the Safest Cars Ever Built

After thorough testing, the Tesla Model 3 earned a Top Safety Score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Model 3 scored impressive ratings for its emergency braking, which helps to avoid hitting obstacles, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

Other vehicle safety organizations and companies like the Euro NCAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have awarded Tesla Model 3 top-tier safety scores. Business Insider says the lack of an engine gives Model 3, like other Teslas, enough structure to deflect frontal collision energy away from the vehicle’s occupants.

On a similar note, check out this article that I wrote called: “Is Tesla the Safest Car in the World?” I went in-depth and also compared all the Tesla Models.

Reasons Why Tesla Model 3 Wouldn’t Be a Good First Car

As you’d expect with every other car, the Model 3 has downsides. Here’s what wouldn’t make the Model 3 a good first car:

  • Constantly insurance premiums: Insurers charge costly premiums on luxury cars. Since Model 3 is a luxury vehicle, and you’re probably a new driver, you can expect to pay higher premiums than you’d pay for a regular car.
  • Costly repairs: Although overall maintenance is less contrary to standard cars, a new driver’s mistakes can cost you a fortune on window motor and brake caliper replacements.
  • Higher electricity bills: Charging your car at home will increase your monthly electricity bill by $30. Also, you might need a costly outlet installation if you don’t have a fitting one. But you can compare that with what you’d normally spend on gas.
Pros of Model 3 as a first vehicleCons for Model 3 as a first vehicle
The initial price compares with that of other premium carsThe high initial cost
Easy to maintain Costly Maintenance
Easy to driveCostly insurance premiums
One of the safest cars ever builtHigh electricity costs
This table shows the pros and cons of a Tesla Model 3 as a first vehicle.

Random Stat:

Tesla Model 3 and Y topped the 5% of EV vehicle sales in the US in 2022’s first quarter. Model 3 sales hit a record 46,707 units during the same period.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is So Unique about Tesla’s Model 3? 

Tesla’s Model 3 is unique because it offers high SR+ version efficiency, good range, attractive looks, powerful acceleration, and many other features.

How Long Is Tesla’s Warranty on Model 3’s Battery?

Tesla’s warranty on the Model 3’s battery is 8 years or 100,000 miles, which includes the battery and its components. The warranty for long-range models lasts 120,000 miles.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.