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Tesla is by far Australia’s most popular electric vehicle manufacturer and its Model 3 is now consistently one of the top-selling new cars on the road.
With prices starting from around $67,000 for the 2023 Model 3 RWD (currently its most affordable model), buying a Tesla is a significant investment.
It’s why finding the best car loan interest rate you can is crucial.
Even a small difference in interest rates will add up to thousands of dollars in extra interest over the duration of the finance term on your Tesla.
|Estimated vehicle cost||6% p.a.||8% p.a.|
Model 3 RWD $67,796
Model 3 Long Range $80,796
Model 3 Performance $93,362
Model Y $73,700
Model Y Performance $100,206
To be eligible for a Tesla car loan, you’ll need to:
Here’s a quick overview of the process for applying for Tesla finance:
If successful, you’ll be granted either car loan pre-approval up to a certain amount (this means it’s time to go find your Tesla), or final approval if you have already decided on the model you want to buy.
With some lenders it’s possible to apply for and be approved for Tesla finance the same day.
If you’re buying a Tesla, you may be eligible for special electric vehicle finance through a green loan. This is a type of loan offered by some lenders (with a discount on standard car loan rates) specifically for environmentally-friendly vehicles and other green purchases.
Financing a Tesla this way means you could get a discounted interest rate and lower fees.
Financing your Tesla with a secured car loan will almost certainly be cheaper than unsecured finance. This is because your Tesla will be used as collateral to secure the loan, reducing risk for the lender.
However, depending on the lender, with secured Tesla finance you may only be able to finance the vehicle itself. That means if you want to also cover the cost of a fast charger or battery for your home, you may need to cover that separately.
With a personal loan, you would be able to cover additional expenses but your interest rate will likely be higher.
If you’re going to be using your Tesla primarily for business purposes (i.e. more than 50% of the time), you could be eligible for a type of business vehicle finance, known as a chattel mortgage. This works in much the same way as a secured car loan, but with additional tax benefits for businesses.
There are also lease options available for businesses that want to finance a Tesla that way.
Another option is a Tesla novated lease which allows you to finance a new or used Tesla through your employer. Particularly for electric vehicles, there are considerable tax advantages to a novated lease compared to a car loan.
With a novated lease, you’ll pay for your Tesla as well as running costs (charging, insurance etc.) using your pre-tax salary. You’ll also get a GST discount on the cost of the vehicle and car running costs.
Novated leases on eligible Model 3 and Model Y variants are also exempt from fringe benefits tax. This means significant savings compared to other options for financing a Tesla in Australia. The FBT exemption applies to Teslas (and other EVs) valued below the luxury car tax (LCT) threshold.
The interest rate you get on your Tesla finance will depend on your circumstances (for example, your credit score) and the type of finance you choose. To get the lowest rate possible:
Yes, you may be able to bundle the cost of installing a Powerwall, or other Tesla home charging accessories, into your Tesla finance. How this is set up will depend on the lender and you may need to cover the vehicle cost with one loan (a secured car loan) and the other costs with a separate unsecured loan.
Generally it’s possible to have Tesla finance approved on the same business day. But the exact timings will depend on the lender and how quickly you can provide any requested documents to support your application (bank statements, pays slips etc.).
Yes, Tesla offers customers finance through preferred lenders. However, there are currently only two preferred lenders that Tesla works with, meaning choice is very limited. As a result, you may not be able to get the best finance deal available to you if you take out finance at the same time as you buy your Tesla.
Dealer finance more generally can be an expensive way to finance a vehicle. Shopping for the best finance separately will mean you have access to a wider range of options, and it generally won’t take any longer to be approved.
Most Australian states and territories offer some form or financial incentive for drivers who purchase an electric vehicle. These include stamp duty exemptions and cash rebates of up to $3,000.
However, many of these schemes have limits on the vehicle purchase price which mean many Tesla purchases will not be eligible.
For drivers who pay for their Tesla through a novated lease, there is a fringe benefits tax exemption for electric vehicles below the luxury car tax limit ($89,332 for the 2023/24 financial year). This significantly increases the savings drivers can get by financing an eligible Tesla using a novated lease.
Shopping around for the right loan can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees.
Car Loans guides and resources
Where to next? Read our other car loan guides to understand more about your options for financing your next car.
*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $30,000 over 5 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.