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New Volkswagen ID 3 vs used Tesla Model 3: costs

If you're shopping for a new electric car, the Volkswagen ID.3 is well worth considering, but for just a little bit more you could have a used Tesla Model 3. Which it the better buy?...

Volkswagen ID.3 2021 instruments

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

After you've factored in the Target Price discount available on the Volkswagen ID 3 through our free New Car Buying service, it's around £3000 cheaper than a 2019 Tesla Model 3 in good condition and with average mileage.

The Model 3 also sits in a higher insurance group than the ID 3. However, neither car will cost anything in road tax, and if you look at all ownership costs it's actually the Model 3 that's likely to work out cheaper. Why? Because of the Model 3's stronger resale values and the fact that someone else has taken the initial depreciation hit - the ID 3 is expected to shed £9000 more of its value over three years of ownership.

Used Tesla Model 3 charging flap

The ID 3 does have a slightly longer range, averaging 263 miles in official WLTP tests, compared with the 254 miles of the Model 3. But the Model 3 counters with access to Tesla's excellent Supercharger network, which can deliver a 0-80% charge in around 21 minutes. A trial scheme currently allows owners of rival electric cars, like the ID 3, to use around a fifth of the Superchargers in the UK, but they pay a lot more to do so.


Despite being the lowest ID 3 trim level, Life is sufficiently well equipped to make it our pick, with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control all included. The Model 3 trumps it, though, also getting heated rear seats, faux leather upholstery, a powered bootlid and keyless entry (via a smartphone app).

Safety Award winner - Volkswagen ID.3

The ID 3 was too new to feature in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, while the Model 3 finished in fifth place out of eight in the electric car category, with a respectable 93.3% score. Tesla as a brand also ranked 15th out of 30 manufacturers featured, whereas Volkswagen came 20th, but as a new car the ID 3 does come with the reassurance of a full manufacturer warranty.

Both cars performed very well when they were crash tested by independent safety body Euro NCAP, earning its maximum five-star rating.


New rivals, used rivals

Electric Car of the Year Awards 2021 - Jaguar I-Pace

Two electric cars with long ranges you could also consider are the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV. When specced to maximise range, they can officially do 300 and 285 miles respectively. Both are priced from around £36,000 when new.

As for other used electric cars worth considering, early examples of the Jaguar I-Pace go for around the same price as our Model 3. It’s comfortable, entertaining to drive and can officially do 286 miles on a charge.