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Why Buying A New Gas or Diesel Car Other Than A Tesla Could Be A Huge Mistake

In this article, I highlight the 4 big disadvantages of buying a new gas car. I compare a Tesla Model 3 to a BMW 3 series sedan to make the point, but the same points apply to all gas and diesel cars.
Posted: September 3, 2020 - 7:17AM
Author: Paul Fosse

Gas cars have 4 big disadvantages that will make them increasingly shunned by buyers as people get the chance to experience a Tesla and even if they have heard bad things about a Tesla, change their minds and buy one.

They Use A Lot Of Expensive Dinosaur Juice

As you can see in the image above, there is a big difference in fuel costs between a electric car and a gas car. You mean the electric Tesla is almost 5 times as efficient at the BMW? Yep, that saves you almost $1000 a year!

They Feel Slow And Laggy

Once you have driven an electric vehicle and especially a Tesla, driving a gas or diesel car is pretty much ruined. They feel laggy or broken like something is wrong with them. A recent example is conservative commentator, Steven Crowder.

Another example was a review from Wall Street Journal automotive columnist Dan Neil who said "Meanwhile, we have this car, this one program, beating the competition on core technology like a drum. From behind the wheel, everything else in this category — , Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Macan “Feels like a sluggish, sloppy antique, a squawking modem trying to connect to the cloud."

They Depreciate Quickly

Image Credit: Credit:

As you can see in the above images based on research by, gas cars depreciate a lot faster than the Tesla Model 3. The other electric cars show more depreciation than the owners actually received since most original owners received $7,500 tax credit for their purchase. Teslas since January 1st of 2020 haven’t been eligible for any federal tax credit. Buyers haven’t suffered since Tesla has been able to lower prices as volumes have increased.

They Cost A Lot To Maintain And Repair
Image Credit:

As you can see with the cost to own figures from captured above, once you are past the free maintenance and warranty period of a gas car, the BMW listed above costs about $5,000 a year to maintain and repair. doesn’t list costs for the Tesla Model 3 (what’s up with that?), but the cost of major repairs are mitigated by the 8-year powertrain and battery warranty, while most maintenance has been eliminated as is described in this article on the Tesla Model 3 and we covered recently in this article about the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

They Pollute Our Communities

New research has shown that even without any consideration of climate change, the impact of air pollution on health and health costs, especially for children is far higher than we thought. “Air pollution leads to 250,000 premature deaths a year in the US” which is more than the COVID virus that we are currently very concerned about. But we don’t have to our everyday behavior to reduce that pollution, just choose to drive cars that save us money and are more fun to drive.


There are many more reasons to not buy a new gas car. I’ve only scratched the surface. But what if you live in an area that doesn’t have charging stations and you live in an apartment that doesn’t let you install your own? What if a Tesla is too expensive to buy? What if you want a vehicle type (like a Jeep Wrangler) that Tesla doesn’t offer? What if you need to tow a big boat?

I think you will need to buy or continue to own a gas or diesel car in that case, but don’t buy a new one, get a used one to tide you over a couple of years until the Tesla or another manufacturer makes an electric vehicle that meets your needs or your apartment building gets with the program and installs a few charging stations.

The above video by Dave Ramsey talks about how getting a used car instead of new saves a lot of money. It doesn’t accurately apply the same for the Tesla Model 3 and Y due to their lower demonstrated deprecation, but it is excellent advice for gas and diesel cars since new ones cost a lot more and offer few new features for that increased cost. If you decide to buy a Tesla car, make sure you ask a friend that has a Tesla car or solar for a referral code to get 1,000 free Supercharger miles. If you don't have any friends that have a referral code, use mine.

Paul Fosse is a Software Engineer delivering financial data marts using massively parallel databases (Exadata and GreenPlum) for a major healthcare insurer and a lifelong lover of cars. From the time I saw the 1972 Volkswagen Dasher review in Consumer Reports, I knew the industry would convert to front-wheel drive. Now I am excited to have a front-row seat to the industry's biggest transition in generations, the transition from gas and diesel cars to electric vehicles. I ordered my first EV (Nissan Leaf) in 2010 and now own a 2018 Tesla Long Range Model 3 and have a Cybertruck and a Model Y on order. Contact me on Twitter at Paul Fosse with tips for new stories. Full disclosure, I'm a Tesla Shareholder.

Checkout the following recent articles on Tesla!

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Khoi Bui (not verified)    September 5, 2020 - 4:35AM

I've been driving a Chevy Bolt since 2017. Other than tire rotation (first two free by dealer) and new tires, I haven't paid for anything else for maintenance. The one-pedal driving lets me use my disc brakes very rarely and they will last and last. Charging cost? I plug in after midnight when the local electricity rate is lowest. Level 2 charging gives 14 miles per hour. Overnight charging is sufficient. Here in Bay Area, CA, gas costs about $3 per gallon, which would give me 30 miles on the average. For that same distance, my Bolt requires 7 or 8 kWh and each kWh costs 20 cents (You do the math).