Tesla financing offers are better than those of competitors

Buying a Tesla could be a bargain thanks to lower interest rates than other electric vehicles. Even though a government interest hike in March prompted big changes from various automakers, Tesla’s latest financing deals involve interest rates that can slash the costs of other electric cars by the thousands.

Tesla’s online payment calculator shows a 72-month rate of 2.99% APR. On a $50,000 Model 3, that would translate to nearly $4,700 in interest before taking into account taxes, fees, and any state plug-in rebates. For reference, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X doesn’t have a finance deal, which could leave buyers with a much higher rate.

Toyota’s online payment calculator for the bZ4X lists an estimated monthly payment of $692. From our analysis, this appears to be based on an MSRP sale price ($43,215 including destination) with a $2,000 down payment and Toyota’s standard rate of 6.44% APR. This could make the Toyota very expensive to buy.

On a $50,000 vehicle, a 6.44% loan would more than double the interest cost to over $10,400. That said, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison in that they are very different vehicles at different price points. The bZ4X EV is also eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, although a phase-out process may begin very soon.

Yet Tesla’s financing rates are lower than other electric vehicles. For example, the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a 72-month rate of 3.15% APR, while Kia’s online payment estimator for the new EV6 shows a finance rate of 4.99%. Meanwhile, Ford’s 6-year interest rates for the Mustang Mach-E can be as high as 5.9% APR on the GT version.

Although interest rates can have a big impact on a consumer’s costs, they are not the only variable. Buyers buying from a reseller may be subject to markups amid global chip shortages. Even though Tesla doesn’t use a normal dealer network, the company has responded to supply chain issues with significant price increases.

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