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Tesla overview

Tesla is the brand that made Elon Musk famous. The brand was founded in 2003 and quickly turned out a fully electric sports car within five years. Since then, it has often come to the top – if not taken the top spot – in the ranks of best-selling cars, electric or otherwise. Although primarily known as a car brand, Tesla also specialises in solar energy and battery storage. It is seen as a leader in electric and solar energy and prides itself on pioneering the transition to a lower carbon future.

Tesla rivals the likes of Nissan, Honda and Volkswagen, but is seen as a more luxurious choice, meaning it also competes with some BMW and Mercedes-Benz models.All the cars it produces are powered by electric alone. They are celebrated for their combination of economic running costs and fast acceleration. Also renowned for innovation, Tesla vehicles come with a raft of technology and typically have a futuristic design.

Few brands can match Tesla for technology breakthroughs, from free-standing charging stations to an AI-based autopilot system. Tesla Autopilot became available in 2015, which incorporated driving assistance to keep a vehicle in lane, accelerate at a reasonable pace for the traffic and support braking. This technology has been updated but remains part of Tesla Autopilot today. Another key development is Summon, which allows drivers to move their car within a certain range from an app.

The brand's battery management system is another engineering feat. It uses AI to predict and deploy the right level of energy needed for the driving conditions to help save on power. Tesla is working towards releasing a fully self-driving vehicle to be what is claimed as ‘ten times safer’ than a human’s driving ability. It is also developing an all-electric truck.

Popular Tesla models

An award-winner and a popular choice is the Model 3, an executive saloon that is well-regarded as delivering excellent value for money. The Model S, a larger saloon, was released in 2012 and has since been discontinued, but there may be some used versions still available. Drivers looking for an SUV could choose the Model X, an all-wheel drive in the stylish and popular crossover segment, however, this is released as a left-hand drive. In 2023, a larger option, the Model Y brought an all-electric SUV to the UK Tesla line-up.

Manufacturer awards

Given its expertise, Tesla has won various awards for its electric vehicle innovations. Its cars have also picked up accolades. Notable achievements include the WhatCar? Safety Award for the Model Y and the WhatCar? Executive Car of the Year with its Model 3. Model Y has also won the AutoExpress Mid-Size Company Car of the Year.

Tesla frequently asked questions

What is Tesla?

Tesla is an automotive and clean energy company, specialising in electric vehicles and solar power.

Who owns Tesla?

Tesla is a publicly owned company with shareholders. Elon Musk is the largest shareholder in Tesla. Musk is also the company’s CEO and has been since 2008.

When was Tesla founded?

Tesla was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The company was then incorporated as Tesla Motors.

Where are Tesla cars made?

Tesla has manufacturing sites around the world. They are predominantly in the US but also in China and Germany.

What does Tesla mean?

Tesla was named after Nikola Tesla, an electrical engineer who helped pioneer alternating current (AC) electricity.

When was the first Tesla made?

The brand debuted its first model, the Roadster sports car, in 2008. This was followed by the Model S, a saloon, which was released in 2012.

How to pronounce Tesla

According to Tesla, the name can be pronounced as both ‘Tess-la’ and ‘Tez-la,’ though the former is the pronunciation of the brand’s namesake, Nikola Tesla.

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla?

The cost of each charge will depend on which charging point you choose and the size of the battery. If you charge at home, you can expect to pay around 32p per kWh, though this can change significantly as energy tariffs fluctuate. That equates to about £17 to charge the Model 3 with its 50-kWh battery.

You can learn more about charging and all things electric over on our Electric Cars Resource page.

How much is a Tesla?

The price of a Tesla will vary depending on a few different factors. These include which model you choose and whether it’s a standard-plus, long range or performance variation. At Arnold Clark, our used Tesla prices usually range between £26,000 and £59,000.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla?

The fastest way to charge a Tesla is with superchargers, which can top up the battery with 200 miles of range in 15 minutes. A wall connector at home can charge up to 44 miles of range per hour.

How many miles does a Tesla last?

A Tesla can drive between 250 and 400 miles on a full charge, depending on the model and variation.

How many kilowatts to charge a Tesla?

Tesla batteries range from 50kWh to 100kWh. Fast charging points with 50kWh of power will charge a Tesla to around 90 miles of range in an hour. You can also charge a Tesla with a lower power output, but it will take longer and may be best left overnight. Tesla superchargers are even faster.

How many batteries are in a Tesla?

Each model has one battery system with thousands of battery cells.

How long do Tesla batteries last?

Tesla batteries need replacing after around 150,000 miles according to the manufacturer. How long the battery lasts can also depend on driving style and the model itself.

Which Tesla model is best?

Each Tesla model will appeal to different drivers. In its range is a luxury saloon, a sporty SUV and an athletic roadster. Browse our stock of used Tesla cars for sale to find the best model for your lifestyle and budget.

What is the cheapest Tesla?

The cheapest Tesla cars to buy are used models, many of which are just a few years old. We have a large selection of used Tesla cars in stock which you can filter by price. Sort by low to high to find our cheapest Tesla models first.

What is the fastest Tesla?

The latest version of the Model S is recognised as the fastest of Tesla’s vehicles, reaching 0-62mph in as little as 2.5 seconds. As the marque continues to innovate, even faster models may become available.

What is a Tesla destination charger?

With destination charging, you can keep your battery topped up when away from home. You will find these charging points at some hotels, restaurants and car parks.

How to connect Tesla to Wi-Fi

On the touchscreen, select ‘Controls’ and then ‘Wi-Fi.’ Once connected, the Wi-Fi logo will display at the top of the touchscreen. You may find that connecting your Tesla to the Wi-Fi delivers faster internet speeds than a data network.

Whether you’re looking to finance a Tesla or purchase one, we have a wide range of second-hand Tesla cars available to buy online safely with Click & Collect and home delivery options available.

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Why buy from Arnold Clark?

  • We offer the UK's best used car deals, guaranteed.
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Representative example
Monthly Payment £307.79
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 48
Cash Price £18998
Credit Amount £18749.0
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £25,178
Fixed Interest Rate 5.6%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.