Until recently, used Teslas ($TSLA) were rare, and if you could find one for sale, it would be priced close to retail. After all, Elon Musk's electric vehicles have only been on the road since 2012, so finding a used one at a decent price hasn't been a very realistic goal.
But then in late 2018, pre-owned Model S's began showing up on used-car marketplace CarMax. Swelling inventories and aging Teslas sent the average used Tesla price sharply down by as much as 31%.
By the end of 2018 and early 2019, one could find a used Tesla Model S for less than $50,000.
But as we approach spring, used Tesla prices — on average — appear to be trending up. This uptrend is happening even as inventory remains healthier than it's ever been at CarMax. The uptrend can be attributable to many things: younger cars, better-spec'd cars, or even buyer interest as we exit colder months.
The more likely culprit, however, is the fact that other Tesla models, namely the Model X crossover utility vehicle, are now finally showing up for resale on CarMax.
The Model X, introduced more recently in 2015, starts at $83,200 — roughly $7,000 more than the Model S. Given the Model X's relative youth and higher starting price, it's easy to see how the average used price of Teslas at CarMax are on the rise.
It will likely take some time for used Tesla prices to stabilize again, as Model X's are only now entering the resale market and are likely to do so. But for now, they remain rare and in-demand. Meanwhile, crossover vehicles are sweeling in popularity over standard sedans across the board. Several auto manufacturers including Ford and Volvo are moving away from sedans and coupes for their upcoming model lines.