Toyota Camry vs Tesla Model 3 cost of ownership after 5 years

After five years of ownership which car costs less? A Toyota Camry Hybrid, or a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus. We go past the initial buying price and determine the overall cost of ownership for both these vehicles.

Model 3 SR Plus is Tesla’s most energy efficient electric vehicle and is considered a bargain by many because of colossal amount of features you get for the price. Likewise, the Camry Hybrid is a good value in terms of fuel economy, the standard features you get in the vehicle and its capabilities. Also, the Toyota is a dependable brand name in the automotive industry.


The calculations are based on assumption that both vehicles were driven 15,000 miles per year. The cost will include the initial purchase price, fuel (if any), maintenance, repairs, fees etc, and then in the end the selling price to calculate the difference in depreciation. These five years and 60,000 miles falls under both automaker’s warranty periods, so any major repairs required would be covered by the warranty.

The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid has starting price of $28,250 and the 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus costs $39,990 for its base model. When including tax, dealer fees and delivery, the cost of Camry Hybrid goes up by $3,145 to $31,395, and for Tesla Model 3 SR Plus the purchase price goes up by $4,289 to $44,279.

Based on these calculations, the on road price of Tesla Model 3 is $12,884 more than Camry, which looks like a big margin but lets now include all the other costs that would incur on these vehicles over the course of five years. Edmunds.com has a great tool which calculates 5 years ownership cost.

Source: Edmunds.com

As you can see in the data table, the true cost of ownership for 2020 Camry Hybrid is $36,571 which includes vehicle depreciation.

Since there’s no five years of data for the Tesla Model 3 because it’s a newer vehicle, its tricky to figure out the depreciation numbers, so we will have to make some assumptions. Auto List has calculated based on some projected information from the Model S and some surveys that after five years and 60,000 miles, the Tesla Model 3 will have lost 34 percent. So that’s the depreciation number we’ll use for the calculations.

As previously mentioned, Edmunds do not have information for depreciation on the Tesla Model 3 which is partially because there is a limited amount of data available. But the calculations become easy once we get the depreciation number from Auto List. So after calculating insurance, maintenance, repairs, taxes, fees, financing, depreciation and cost of electricity, we get the true cost of ownership for the Tesla Model 3 which is $25,209.


As you can see the actual true cost of ownership for Model 3 is considerably less than the Camry. Of course it’s cheaper to buy electricity than it is to buy fuel, and of course the depreciation is less as well. Also the maintenance and repairs are quite a bit less for the Tesla Model 3.

Contact the author: kurtmckinney@wheelsjoint.com


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