May 21, 2024

Deniz meditera

Imagination at work

How Much Does Insurance Cost on a Tesla? We Compare Prices Against BMW Luxury Cars and SUVs

6 min read

Buying a Tesla isn’t cheap—but could it save you money over time? Of course, you won’t need to stop at the gas station. There are maintenance savings, too, from less frequent brake pad swaps to nonexistent oil changes. Don’t forget about insurance, though. That can be a big expense for any vehicle, especially high-tech luxury cars like Teslas.

Are insurance costs for a Tesla different from those on other luxury cars? To find out, we worked with to calculate premiums for every Tesla and their equivalents from BMW. The numbers are based on national averages for a single 40-year-old male with a clean record, good credit, and 12 miles of commuting to work each day. His policy limits are $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries, and $50,000 in property damage. This driver opted for comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage as well as a $500 deductible.

Is it more expensive to insure a Tesla than a regular luxury car? It depends. Here are insurance estimates for each Tesla model.

Note that Tesla offers its own in-house insurance. However, as of now, that’s only available to drivers in California.

Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW 3 Series Insurance Costs

Let’s start with some 3 on 3. The entry-level Model 3 is the Standard Range Plus model, which costs $2,114 to insure on average. BMW’s equivalent is the 330i, which costs the exact same $2,114 to insure. How to choose, then? Performance is similar; the Tesla takes 5.0 seconds to hit 60 mph and the BMW needs 5.4. Starting price for both is right around $40,000. This Model 3 can cover 263 miles on a charge, while the 3 Series can cover about 200 additional miles on one tank of fuel. Of course, the BMW is far less efficient at 26/36 mpg city/highway to the Tesla’s 150/133 mpg-e.

Next up is the Model 3 Long Range, which costs $2,351 annually to insure. As its name suggests, this model’s driving range is much longer, at an EPA-rated 353 miles. Starting price is around $50,000, and 0-60 mph takes 4.0 seconds. Meanwhile, the comparable BMW M340i costs $2,392 to insure. The M340i’s 0-60 time is 4.2 seconds, and its starting price is about $54,500.

The range-topping Model 3 Performance costs $2,307 annually to insure. It can cover 315 miles on a charge, and its 0-60 time is just over 3.0 seconds. Prices start at about $58,000. Only the mighty M3, which costs $2,749 to insure annually, has a chance at keeping up. It takes 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph in Competition spec. Given its starting price of just under $70,000, the M3 makes the Model 3 Performance seem like a value.

Although Tesla does not make a gas-powered car, BMW makes a 3 Series that can run on electric power. The 330e plug-in hybrid can cover about 22 miles on a full charge; it costs $2,380 annually to insure, or comparable to the M340i.

Overall, the Tesla and BMW are surprisingly comparable in insurance costs. It’s only when you get to the range-topping Model 3 Performance model that the Tesla is the better insurance value.

Model 3 vs. 3 Series insurance cost winner: Tesla

Tesla Model S vs. BMW 7 Series Insurance Costs

The Tesla that put the brand on the map is the Model S. This full-size luxury sedan starts with the Long Range model, which costs $3,673 on average in annual insurance. It needs about 4.0 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph and can cover 412 miles on a charge. Prices start at around $81,000. BMW’s competitor is the 7 Series, for which the 740i is the entry-level model. It’s less expensive to insure at $3,078 but trails elsewhere; prices start at nearly $87,000, 0-60 mph takes about 5.3 seconds, and fuel economy is 22/29 mpg. It doesn’t look as good, either.

Drivers seeking speed should check out the Model S Plaid. Average insurance costs are $4,143, making it one of the most expensive cars to insure. But it’s also the quickest—acceleration to 60 mph falls to 2.1 seconds. It starts at about $131,000 and can cover 315 miles on a charge. In that bracket, BMW has two options: the Alpina B7 and V-12-powered M760i. They cost $3,607 and $3,914 to insure, respectively, and hit 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. They’re more expensive, with the B7 starting around $143,000 and the M760i commanding some $158,000. Fuel economy? If you insist—the B7 gets 17/24 mpg, and the M760i gets 13/20 mpg.

For those torn between all-electric and conventional power, the 745e could provide a solution. This plug-in hybrid 7 Series costs $3,274 on average to insure and provides about 17 miles of range on a charge. Even if you don’t go plug-in, the BMW is the clear winner here in insurance costs.

Model S vs. 7 Series insurance cost winner: BMW

Tesla Model Y vs. BMW X3 Insurance Costs

Tesla’s smaller SUV is the Model Y. Average annual insurance for the entry-level Long Range trim costs $2,118. It starts at slightly over $52,000 and has 326 miles of range. With help from its dual-motor AWD setup, 0-60 mph acceleration takes 4.1 seconds. BMW’s equivalent luxury compact SUV is the X3. The entry-level xDrive30i costs quite a bit less to insure: $1,725 on average. It’s also less expensive to buy, starting
at roughly $45,000. It’s not as quick, hitting 60 in about 6.0 seconds, and it’s rated at 23/29 mpg.

Moving up to the Model Y Performance raises premiums to $2,227. This Tesla costs about $62,000 and has 303 miles of range. A sub-3.5-second 0-60 time proves the Performance part of its name. You could go two ways for a similar X3, either of which is less expensive to insure. The X3 M40i, which costs $1,910 annually, starts at about $56,500. It hits 60 in 4.8 seconds and gets 21/27 mpg. Then there’s the full-on X3M, which costs $2,074 per year to insure. Starting at just under $70,000, the X3M hits 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and drinks premium at a rate of 13/19 mpg.

Model Y vs. X3 Series insurance cost winner: BMW

Tesla Model X vs. BMW X5 Insurance Costs

Above the Model Y is the Model X, which offers more spacious seating and wild falcon-wing doors. For 2021 the entry-level trim is the Long Range, which costs $3,355 annually to insure. It can cover 360 miles on a charge and hits 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds. This Model X is pricey, starting at over $91,000. That splits the difference between the two highest-end trims of the X5, BMW’s equivalent SUV. The X5 M50i is less expensive to insure, at $2,528 annually. It starts at a lower price, about $83,000. BMW estimates a 0-60 time of just over 4.0 seconds, and fuel economy rates at 16/22 mpg.

The high-end Model X is the Plaid variant. It’s one of the most expensive SUVs to insure, costing some $4,025 each year. It’s not cheap to buy, either; prices start at over $121,000. Range is rated at 340 miles. It is very quick, though, launching to 60 mph in an estimated 2.4 seconds. BMW’s closest rival is the X5 M, which is comparatively cheap at $2,993 to insure and starting at just over $105,000 to buy. It’s not as quick, needing about 3.3 seconds to hit 60. Thirsty, too, rated at 13/18 mpg.

Note that some X5 models don’t have direct Model X equivalents. The entry-level X5 40i costs about $2,000 annually to insure and a bit over $60,000 to buy. Acceleration to 60 mph takes around 5.0 seconds, and fuel economy is rated at 21/25-26 mpg. Then there’s the X5 45e plug-in hybrid, which costs $2,515 to insure and can cover 31 miles on a charge.

Model X vs. X5 insurance cost winner: BMW

How Much Does Insurance Cost on a Tesla?

  • Tesla Model 3: $2,114-$2,351
  • Tesla Model S: $3,673-$4,143
  • Tesla Model Y: $2,118-$2,227
  • Tesla Model X: $3,355-$4,025
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