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Used test: Jaguar I-Pace vs Tesla Model S costs

Two premium electric cars do zero-emissions battle as we line up a Jaguar and a Tesla. You can save a packet on both by buying used, but which should you go for?...

Jaguar I-Pace side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

If you’d been buying either of these two cars new, you’d have received the full £4500 plug-in car grant off the price. Both were expensive, though, with or without that grant, with the Jaguar I-Pace just under £70,000 before the discount and the Tesla Model S slightly over that figure. Buy them at four years old, though, as here, and you’ll make a big saving, with the I-Pace coming in at £40,000 and the Model S at £42,000.

From those figures, it's evident that both cars share similar rates of depreciation, and the good news is that our residual value experts predict that both should also go on to retain a good proportion of their value from this point onwards.

Tesla Model S side

According to our three-year cost calculations, the Model S will be the more expensive car to service, working out at £2461 against the I-Pace's £1468. Although the I-Pace performed better in our real-world range test, though, this is purely down to its bigger battery, so it won't save you a significant amount in electricity costs. And the cars are about equal in terms of insurance and tax costs. 

The Model S gets access to Tesla’s network of 120kW Superchargers, where roughly 30 minutes of use gives a 0-80% recharge. The best the I-Pace can manage is about 90 minutes for 0-80% from a 50kW charger.

Sadly, reliability isn’t a particularly strong point of either model. Tesla ranked 15th out of 30 manufacturers in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, but the Model S – which was absent from the latest survey – hasn't performed well in previous years. Jaguar placed 21st as a brand, while the I-Pace was last out of eight cars in the electric car class.

Jaguar I-Pace Euro NCAP crash test

More positively, both contenders come with a good amount of standard safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking (AEB). Dual-zone climate control and reversing cameras are standard, but there are few genuine luxuries; even heated seats cost extra on both when they were new.