How much does it cost to maintain a Tesla car is one question that lingers in the minds of everyone. More because gas prices are a bit too dynamic right now. But this question makes more sense if you want to join the electric vehicles fleet anytime sooner.

One might still be in confusion to find out more about the total cost to maintain their EV. This guide could help everyone get a clear perspective on the total cost to maintain a gas car versus an electric car.

Gas vs. Electric

Buying a new vehicle needs you to make numerous considerations, and the operating cost factor is probably the most crucial one. Moreover, you cannot deny the fact that vehicles could cost significantly over the years. But how much?

Let’s say you are a small size family and would want to buy a medium size sedan that suits your requirements. If you would keep the car for about 300,000 miles, how much maintenance could you be expecting for a gas car?

According to the operating cost calculator by AAA, the operating costs, including fuel, repairs, and tires, could come down to 18.45 cents per mile. That means you could be spending as much as $55,410 throughout running your gas sedan for 300,000 miles. It is huge, and this could mean a potential expense over the years.

But why so much? Because gas cars or internal combustion engine vehicles have a lot of moving parts. A lot of moving parts means a lot of maintenance in its functional life. Therefore, all those repairs and maintenance on all the fluids changes, battery changes, spark plugs, air filters, etc. could combine into a huge sum.

If you consider the electric vehicles on the side, you see a lot fewer moving parts in question. There are just not as many parts that would require services and maintenance in its operational life span. Even there is a rare need to repair brake pads because of the regenerative braking system. Therefore, coming down to a lesser maintenance cost than traditional cars. Let’s have a more elaborated comparison with a Tesla Model 3 car.

Tesla Model 3 Maintenance Cost

Tesla Maintenance Cost

You have a bit of an idea now how much you would generally be spending on a gas car, but what is the deal with a Tesla Model 3? If you look at Tesla’s official website for maintenance and service details, this is all they list:

  • Cabin air filter replacement every 2 years.
  • HEPA filter replacement every 3 years.
  • Tire rotation every 6,250 miles. (But, there’s more to it)
  • A/C desiccant bag replacement every 6 years.
  • Cleaning & lubricating brake calipers every 12,500 miles or every 12 months.

So, if you see here what’s happening? There are only a few things that Tesla officially asks their customers do to maintain their cars. To get a clearer idea of the same, let’s consider a real-life scenario of Mike who owns a 2018 Tesla Model 3. His job requires him to travel long miles and thus the need for a car that could run 300,000-400,000 miles easily.

Mike was told by Tesla reps that he actually does not need any service or routine maintenance run on his Model 3. In fact, he was told to not worry about the car and was advised to turn it in if there is any breakdown. Pretty unbelievable? Isn’t it? But, this is all true. One YouTube account named Tesla Raj includes this incident on their channel.


The biggest chunk of maintenance of electric cars is its tires. Tires on gas cars typically last for around 60,000 miles summing up for 3 to 5 years. However, electric cars need more frequent tire changes than gas cars.

EV tires last roughly half of what tires on gas cars would in similar miles run. Also, Tesla tires require more frequent replacement, but most of it depends on the way you drive your car as well. More aggressive driving would definitely take away a few thousand miles off tires life.


Well, the critical aspect of electric cars is that electric vehicles are much heavier than gas cars. Battery packs of EVs are very heavy putting a lot more pressure on the tires. More pressure on the tires means the tires would wear down sooner than traditional cars.

Tesla’s tires often do not last longer than gas cars because of the weight of the Tesla cars. Moreover, aggressive or more fierce driving can result in faster wearing.

EVs are more affordable?

Mike had to only spend on horn replacement, front control arm, and rear knuckle bushing repairs on his Model 3. Call him lucky or anything you want to, but the total maintenance cost him about $3000. You see maintenance is much cheaper on electric cars if you compare it with gas cars. Traditional ICE medium-size sedan costs about $56,410 over three years, and Tesla Model 3 is doing that for almost nothing in front of it.

In the case of Mike’s Tesla Model 3, he ends up replacing his tires about five times in the car’s entire run. He bought three summer tire sets and two winter sets to get through 300,000 miles. New Model 3 tires would generally cost about $285 each tire and another $40 on installation and labor costs.

This means in total he spent about $6,700 on five sets including labor costs and applicable taxes.

Tires on gas cars often cost about $167 for every tire with an additional fee of $24 for installation and taxes. Therefore, the total cost spent on gas cars would come to about $4,608 if changed every 50,000 miles in total 300,000 miles run.

  • Gas Car Tyres $4,608
  • Electric Car Tyres $6,700

The final comparison of tire costs is not that extraordinary to consider gas cars over EVs. There are some savings on tires cost, but is it a decision-maker? Well, we don’t think so. Let’s move on to other additional money spent by Mike.

Mike had replaced his Model 3’s wipers four times in this whole time costing him about another $200 in total. Moreover, he chose to replace the 12-volt battery because he thought it was time to replace one as a proactive measure. Another $120 for one battery replacement in 300,000 miles. Still, remarkably cheaper maintenance cost if you compare it with gas cars.

Here’s a simple breakdown tally of Mike’s expenses on his Model 3:

  • $140 Horn Replacement
  • $800 Front Caliper Arm
  • $2,000 Rear Knuckle Bushing
  • $3,900 Summer Tires 3 sets
  • $2,600 Winter Tires 2 sets
  • $200 Wipers 4 sets
  • $120 12-volt Battery

Tesla Model 3 Maintenance

Gas Cars maintenance cost as per AAA
Medium Sized Sedan

Electric Car Maintenance Cost
Tesla Model 3

What To Expect In The Future?

Comparing EVs to gas cars listing all the pros and cons of owning each car makes all the difference when deciding on which is better in long run. Operational or maintenance cost is a crucial aspect of owning a car. You can clearly see that there is a huge difference between both types. Tesla Model 3 is much cheaper to maintain than gas cars there are no two ways about it.

More people are booking EVs in current times, new cars are launched and get pre-booked in a matter of hours. However, not everyone finds shifting to EVs easy, as getting into the electric segment might make you feel weird at first. No oil changes or service schedules to follow could be unnerving at first. But you get to enjoy the incredible benefits of your EVs the more you drive them.

Mike’s Tesla is a great reminder of how convenient and affordable it is to maintain electric cars. Driving a Model 3 for over 300,000 and still clocking a lot less on maintenance is phenomenal. However, Mike has not shared any other expenses on his Model 3. It would be interesting to know if anyone can list if we are missing any additional costs of maintenance on Tesla EVs. EVs are definitely the future, and if they become affordable too would be just the icing on the cake.