Used Teslas might be cheap as dirt but that doesn't mean they're a deal

The resale value of Teslas slumped this year, driven in part by Hertz writing off much of its EV fleet and flooding the used market with them. Are they a good deal? Not necessarily. They're cheap for the usual reasons such cars are cheap: high mileage, maintenance costs, the abuses to which rental cars are subjected, and the likelihood of unpleasant surprises to come.

Mismatched tires and minor dents, scrapes, and rock chips are fairly common minor issues. Many of the Teslas that Hertz is selling have been used as Ubers—you can tell it's one of these if the odometer is approaching 100,000 miles. Battery degradation could be an issue, although most cars will not have lost more than 4–5 percent capacity, and Long Range Teslas should have a powertrain warranty for up to 120,000 miles (or eight years). … Rental cars can suffer from an excess of slammed doors and trunks—slamming the latter can mess up the powered strut. In the interior, you should expect high signs of wear on some touchpoints, especially the steering wheel and the rear door cards, which can bubble or flake, particularly if the Tesla was used as a ridehailing vehicle. … Ex-rental or fleet cars may have had a hard life, but they are also usually maintained far more regularly than most privately owned vehicles. As long as you make sure you aren't buying a lemon, it's a good way to get an EV for less than $20,000.

The other big annoyance is Hertz is reportedly indifferent to all the things it needs to do to make transfer of ownership convenient for new users, like filing tax credit paperwork and logging out of the car so you can set it up yourself with Tesla.