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Hertz is unloading Tesla Model 3 vehicles for cheap – here’s why you should avoid buying one

Tesla Model 3 deal - sounds good, but buyer beware

For sale by Hertz 2022 Certified Pre Owned 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range sedan red right front side view.
Hertz / Hertz

Want to buy a Tesla on the cheap? In 2021, Hertz bought many electric vehicles (EVs), especially Teslas. The initial plan was to buy 100,000 Teslas. However, Hertz is selling hundreds of Tesla Model 3 and Model Y EVs with mileage ranging from 13,000 to nearly 100,000 miles. The reported reasons for the sales range from the average rental car inventory turnover to unexpectedly high collision costs. The resales also may reflect the same EV reliability issues recently reported by Consumer Reports.

Whatever the reason, Hertz’s used car resale business means you and I could save a lot of money buying a used Tesla Model 3 or Model Y directly from Hertz. At first glance, the prices seem attractive. But there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t purchase one of these used EVs.

For sale by Hertz 2022 Certified Pre Owned 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range sedan interior with navigation system display.
Hertz / Hertz

Examples of Hertz cheap Tesla Model 3 deals

The numbers change daily, but at this moment, Hertz has 666 used electric vehicles for sale. Of these, 623 are Teslas, including 478 Model 3s and 145 Model Ys. 

One example of a Model 3 deal is the red Model 3 pictured in this article. It’s a Hertz-certified 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Sedan with 66,690 miles. The Hertz N0-Haggle price is $31,094. That’s about one-third off the price of a new Model 3 Long Range Sedan, which is $45,990 on the Tesla site.

Model 3 prices on the Hertz Car Sales site vary based on model and mileage. The least expensive is a 2021 Model 3 Standard Range Plus sedan with 86,074 miles, selling for $21,096. The most expensive is a 2022 Model 3 Long Range with 44,545 miles, priced at $35,225.

Today’s highest-priced Tesla Model Y on Hertz is a 2022 Model Y Long Range with 11,742 miles for $ 43,264. Because a new 2024 Model Y Long Range starts at $48,990 on the Tesla site, the $5,696 price difference is an 11.6% savings, which isn’t much of an enticement for a two-year-old car. 

Today’s least expensive Hertz Model Y is a 2022 long-range model for $33,096 with 80,294 miles. This deal represents nearly $16,000 in savings compared to a new model, almost a third of the original price.

For sale by Hertz 2022 Certified Pre Owned 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range sedan dark interior seating.
Hertz / Hertz

Hertz sells other cheap electric cars, too

Hertz is currently offering a variety of used electric cars, not just Teslas. They have a selection of Chevrolet Bolt EVs, Kia electric vehicles, and one Nissan Leaf. Here’s a breakdown:

  • In addition to the many Teslas, Hertz has 31 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVs and one Bolt EV for sale, with prices ranging from $20,195 to $24,730 and mileage from 6,439 to 30,724 miles.
  • There are 10 2023 Kia EV6 Wind SUVs from Hertz, with mileage ranging from  4,378 to 21,706 and prices from $31,314 to $35,955. 
  • There’s also one 2020 Nissan Leaf SV Plus Hatchback with a no-haggle price of $18,459. It has 31,854 miles and is the only Nissan Leaf available from Hertz.
For sale by Hertz 2022 Certified Pre Owned 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range sedan red rear view.
Hertz / Hertz

Potential drawbacks to cheap Model 3 deals

On paper, these seem like pretty good deals for Tesla EVs — so why might buyers beware? When considering one of the cheap Tesla Model 3 deals from Hertz, there are a few concerns to keep in mind:

  • No battery degradation test: With EVs, battery health is essential. Hertz is reportedly not performing battery degradation tests as a routine part of the sale process. Before purchasing a used EV, it’s important to know the battery’s health.
  • 2024 Tesla Model 3: Tesla recently launched a major 2024 Model 3 refresh, with features and improvements not in earlier year models.
  • Used car purchase: You’re buying a used car, and while rental car companies typically maintain their vehicles well, it’s still essential to check the specific history of the car you’re interested in. You don’t want to buy an old rental vehicle if you don’t know how they were driven.
  • Hertz’s EV strategy: Hertz seems to be scaling back on EVs due to collision and repair costs. This could affect the types of vehicles available and their condition.
  • Tax credits for used EVs: Investigate if you’re eligible for IRS tax credits when buying a used EV. This year, the credit is supposed to be applied immediately at the point of sale, similar to a rebate or discount. Make sure to check the tax credit potential for the specific model you’re considering and your own eligibility for the credit.
  • Balancing costs: Compare the overall costs of buying a new versus a used car, including sales and property taxes, insurance, and delivery charges. Buying a used vehicle will save money upfront, but consider all factors, including potential repairs and maintenance costs.

Overall, buying a used Tesla from Hertz has the potential to save money on your first EV, but there are some pretty significant drawbacks. 

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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