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I Just Made My Last Tesla Payment 14 Months into Ownership. Here’s How I Did It

Sweating the length of your Tesla payment? This may help. I paid off my Tesla Model Y in just over a year. Here’s how I did it.

On my way to pick up my Tesla Model Y I was having serious doubts. Not of the car itself, but the sticker price and Tesla payments to follow.

I was stressing because I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it. Aside from my home, I’ve never bought something so expensive. Even at that, my first house wasn’t that much more than this car! Fast forward a little over a year and I am making my final Tesla payment.

This is how I went from sweating my monthly Tesla payment to owning the car out right in just 14 months.

Disclaimer


Before I get into my Tesla payment plan and how I was able to pay off the car so fast, I need to state the obvious. This is by no means a get rich scheme or a way to get a Tesla without putting in the work. These are very much the specific situations I came across this past year that created some influx of cash. I fully appreciate that everyone’s situation is different. That said, there are methods here that others can follow.

The biggest take away for me is that I wouldn’t of thought this was possible, yet here I am.

Purchase Price

At the time of my December 2019 order, my Model Y Long Range in Midnight Sliver Metallic with Induction wheels came to $84,522 with taxes and fees. A few months later I was able to take advantage of a price drop of $1,000 bringing the price to $83,522

I decided against leasing the car as it’s something I have never done. Right or wrong, I am a believer in having an asset you can sell later. Depreciation does come in to play so I’m not sure what is honestly better. That said, due to the current car shortages, used Teslas are currently being sold above their original price.


Down Payment


I was fortunate to be in a situation where I could put over $40,000 down when I purchased the car. This came from selling my last vehicle, a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, for ~$8,000, and investment funds I had been socking away for the last 10 years. I pulled the latter from a tax-free savings account so I did not pay any capital gains.


For the remaining balance of $40,500, I opted to use my personal line of credit. My rate is at prime and currently sits at 2.45%. I could’ve gone with a fixed loan at a lower rate however I wanted to be able to pay it off at my own pace. Turns out, that was a good choice.

Tesla Payment Plan

My initial plan was to pay off the the balance with a minimum of $600 a month. This would have taken me just over 6 years to clear however my my intention was to throw extra cash in each month when I could. This turned out to be more often than I thought. Here’s what that looked like:

PaymentDateTotalInterest
$43,022Sept 6, 2020$40,500$81.77
$600Oct 6, 2020$39,900$80.56
$900Oct 17, 2020 $39,000  $78.74
$800Nov 18, 2020 $38,200   $77.13
$800Dec 2, 2020 $37,400   $75.51
$600Dec 21, 2020$36,800   $74.30
$1,500Dec 31, 2021$35,300 $71.27
$600Jan 21, 2021$34,700 $70.06
$1,000Feb 16, 2021$33,700 $68.04
$1,500Mar 10, 2021$32,200 $65.01
$1,500Apr 13, 2021$30,700 $61.99
$3,000May 10, 2021$27,700 $55.93
$1,500May 18, 2021$26,200 $52.90
$2,000Jun 3, 2021$24,200 $48.86
$3,000Jul 7, 2021 $21,200 $42.80
$5,000Aug 6, 2021 $16,200 $32.71
$6,000Sep 10, 2021 $10,200 $20.59
$4,000Oct 19, 2021 $6,200 $12.52
$4,500Nov 18, 2021 $1,700$3.43
$1,700+$606.11Dec 1, 2021$0.00$0.00
Total Interest:$606.11

Lump Payments


So where did all the extra payments come from? Let’s break that down.

Turo Rentals

As documented on this site, I use Turo to help bring the cost of ownership down. In the end, I made ~$5,500 since listing my Model Y for rent in October, 2020. This all went towards the car.

My earnings would have likely been doubled had I not blocked the car off for 3 months for my various road trips. Also, the car was in an accident on the very first rental and out of commission for 5 months!

  • Interested in renting your vehicle on Turo? Start here.

Accelerated Depreciation

Now all wasn’t lost with that accident. Although I missed out on Turo rental income while the car was waiting on parts for repair, I was able to claim accelerated depreciation of $7,000. It took a well prepared appraisal and lawyers to get this done but in the end I was abele to recoup some of the loss.

Business Tax Credit

Now, since I use the car for Turo rentals and for content for this site, it is a business expense. Being an EV, I got a fat break. In Canada, electric vehicles for businesses can be deducted to a whopping $55,000. After deducting income from my business, this left me with a $14,000 rebate. $10,000 of that went towards my loan payment.


Website Income


Speaking of small business, income from my two websites, thislifeintrips.com and myevtrips.com largely went to paying off the car. Income for both sites come in forms of affiliate marketing, ads, sponsored content, travel consulting, and press trips. This netted me ~$15,000. With international travel on hold, much of that went into my car payments.

Again, with some work, anyone can do this however, like any small business, it takes a lot of effort to turn a profit.

Expected (and Unexpected) Savings


This one is a bit hard to quantify but, since I am on no longer paying for fuel, I am saving on the incredibly high fuel prices in Vancouver. This extra cash surely went to my loan payments.

Over the last 14 months I paid a flat $25/month to charge my car at my condo. Thanks to Tesla referrals through this site, my three trips across the country cost next to nothing. I did those trips because of the car so will remove them from the savings equation. Instead, I will say that I use to pay ~$175 a month for gas. This equates to $2,100 put towards the car.


For the remaining balance, I will chalk that up to extra funds I had over the last 14 months. I did enjoy a nice promotion recently with some backpay so that certainly helped.

Again, I know everyone’s situation is different but, what was the same is the pandemic. With that came less travel and less time going out with friends. This meant spending little over the last 14 months. If you were lucky like me to continue working from home, this meant savings.

Conclusion


Not to be a broken record but these are the specific scenarios and efforts that led me to pay off my Tesla so fast. It may not align with your situation however it does show that if you are able to put in some effort, look for ways your car can make you money while leveraging tax benefits, you can chip away at your Tesla payment plan pretty fast.

Hopefully this helps you and, like me, makes you realize that things are achievable if you put some effort in!

If you are thinking about placing a Tesla order, be sure to use my referral code and get 1,500 Supercharger kilometers!

*As of Sept 2021, Tesla has put a pause on referrals 😞 I will update if/when they reinstate it.

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