GO
Loading...

Tesla cars are worth more used than new

It's rare to see a used car sell at a higher price than what people could pay for a new one, but that's exactly what's happening with the Tesla Model S.

According to iSeeCars.com, a search engine that helps people find used vehicles, the average used Tesla Model S last year sold for $99,734. That's well above the average MSRP for a Model S—which typically ranges between $71,070 and $94,900—and average transaction prices, which come in at $93,000.

The survey analyzed 45 million listings for vehicles sold in 2012 and 2013.

(Read more: Musk, Mulally steer auto industry to new paths)

"The Tesla Model S is still just a sliver of the used electric car market," said Phong Ly, CEO and co-founder of iSeeCars.com. "However, it seems to be in great demand, as used Model S vehicles are selling above its new car price."

The majority of the used Model S sedans sold last year were the higher-end versions with a bigger battery pack, according to iSeeCars.com. Those include the 85 kWh Model S and 85 kWh Performance Model S, known as the P85. The average MSRP for a Model S P85 edition was $106,000, while the average used model sold for $107,000, Ly said.

A Tesla on display at the 2014 International CES in January in Las Vegas.
Getty Images
A Tesla on display at the 2014 International CES in January in Las Vegas.

It's not hard to find used P85 Model S vehicles listed on auto websites for more than $100,000. On AutoTrader.com, one with 6,841 miles is listed at $109,970. Another Model S with 2,200 miles is listed at $114,587. The lowest price on AutoTrader.com for a used Tesla Model S is for a 60 kWh vehicle with 13,372 miles, which is listed at $84,888.

(Read more: Tesla wins China car fans with 'fair' price strategy)

Ly said it's still hard to determine exactly what is driving those selling used Teslas, and why those buying used are willing to pay more than they would for a brand-new vehicle.

"It may be that some people do not want to wait one to three months for a new Model S," he said.

(Read more: Tesla aims for record in electric 'Cannonball Run')

Meanwhile, shares of Tesla surged to a new all-time on Monday. The stock traded above $199 for the first time ever, with many saying they believe its momentum has returned ahead of several important milestones.

These include delivery of the first Model S vehicles in China, the announcement of a new "giga factory" to increase production of lithium-ion battery cells, and the upcoming release of fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 19.

The stock has rallied more than 60 percent since slumping to $119.52 in November.

—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com.

Contact Autos

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More