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Tesla financing rates start at 2.49% APR for terms between 36 and 72 months while Tesla leasing terms are 24 or 36 months, depending on the model you want. Financing a Tesla is also possible through your own bank, credit union or online lender for potentially lower rates or more flexible terms. Check to make sure Tesla financing and leasing are allowed in your state. Many states ban direct auto sales by manufacturers, though some have crafted workarounds.
Tesla offers new and used car loans on all of its existing models: 3, S, X, Y — you could put down a $100 deposit for the Cybertruck, slated for production in 2021. How does Tesla financing work? There is no stated minimum required Tesla financing credit score to apply for a Tesla auto loan, but borrowers with credit scores in the good to excellent categories (720+) generally qualify for lower-APR financing. If you don’t know your credit score, you can check it here.
Tesla Financing offers used car loans starting at 3.99% APR on its own certified pre-owned vehicles (CPOs). The offered term is 72 months. You may need to make a 10% down payment.
First, decide which vehicle you want and establish an online Tesla account. You and your co-borrower, if you have one, will apply through that account. Each person applying will need to provide personal and employment information.
Keep in mind that Tesla financing approvals are valid for up to 60 days. This means that if you get a Tesla loan offer and order a new Tesla, but it takes longer than 60 days for the Tesla to be assembled and delivered to you, you’ll have to apply for Tesla financing again.
If you are looking to finance a Tesla, you could apply to lenders other than Tesla financing, including your bank, credit union or online lenders. Here’s how to find your best auto loan rates.
You could use the Tesla loan calculator to see how much it may cost to finance or lease a new car through the electric carmaker.
Tesla offers leases in 39 states and the District of Columbia; see the list below. All models have the same mileage options: 10,000, 12,000 and 15,000 miles annually but terms vary.
Leasing can be optimal for your budget in the short term as monthly lease payments are almost always lower than monthly loan payments. It could also be less expensive in the long term if you would otherwise be buying a new vehicle every three years. If you plan to hold onto your Tesla, financing may be a better option.
Tesla lease approvals are valid for up to 90 days and are available in these areas: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.
Tesla’s federal tax credits have expired, but there are available state tax credits, plus reduced vehicle fees and carpool lane privileges. You can find such offers in the District of Columbia and 21 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. For more on Tesla rebates and incentives, you could check out how much a Tesla costs.
But if you’re looking for traditional incentives or rebates found with other carmakers such as zero-percent financing or discounts for teachers or members of the military, Tesla does not offer any special rebate programs.
Other potential ways to buy a Tesla include paying cash or financing a Tesla through another lender, such as a local bank or credit union or an online lender. If you are debating whether to pay cash or finance, consider doing half-and-half.
Many Tesla owners on forums say they were able to get better APRs on their own than Tesla financing rates. You could apply through Tesla and your own lenders to see which offer is best for you. It does not hurt your credit to apply for financing from multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you do all applications within the rate-shopping window of 14 days.
An easy way to compare financing offers is to fill out an online form on LendingTree and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, depending on your creditworthiness.
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors in 2003, the same year General Motors (GM) scrapped its EV1, the first mass-produced electric passenger vehicle. Founding a startup on an idea that was deemed unprofitable by the auto giant GM may not seem like the smartest idea. Yet, rather than make an electric car for the masses, Tesla’s goal was to make an elite electric sports car: the Tesla Signature Roadster, priced at $100,000. GM’s EV1 price was set at $34,000. Tesla has since strived to bring a $35,000 car to market but hasn’t quite reached the mark.
In 2004, Elon Musk became Tesla’s chairman and one of ultimately five co-founders by investing more than $7 million. But even with such investments and finally turning a profit, Tesla’s past and continuing progress is a bumpy ride with its maverick leader.
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