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The $25,000 Tesla Is Real Thanks to Hertz Fire Sale

The fallout from Hertz' $4.2 billion Tesla deal has inadvertently made one of Elon Musk's favorite promises come true.
hertz teslas for sale

Since Elon Musk has a history of dilly-dallying on, well, everything (i.e., the redesigned Roadster, legitimate FSD, a bulletproof Cybertruck, robotaxis), leave it to Hertz to come to the rescue. Among the many carrots Musk has dangled is a $25,000 Tesla, most recently saying it’d be revealed in 2025 after reports circulated that he had canned the whole project.

Whether he’s lying or not, fact is the $25K model is already a reality as Hertz continues to sell off its fleet of Teslas. A Hertz spokesman confirmed to CNBC that the average no-haggle price for one of its “fully-inspected” used Model 3s is now around $25,000, which includes a 12-month/12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and a seven-day or 250-mile buy-back guarantee. Some of the Hertz Teslas will also qualify for the $4,000 federal tax credit on used EVs, plus a further assortment of state or municipal discounts.

Not that this is a totally fresh carrot. Late-model and cheap as they are, the Hertz Teslas are mostly base Model 3s that offer less than 300 miles of range. Also, let’s not forget that these are abused rentals from an automaker not known for durability in the first place. Hertz doesn’t clarify if its 115-point certification inspection includes a battery health check.

Hertz made a big show of its $4.2 billion deal to buy 100,000 Model 3s in late 2021, promising to convert 25% of its nationwide fleet to EVs. But over the last few years, the company came to regret it. In January, the company announced it would start selling off the Teslas because of higher repair expenses, parts unavailability increasing vehicle downtime, and customer dissatisfaction. Certainly doesn’t help when they’re charging Tesla renters for a full tank of gas, though.

Also, a Hertz insider tells me that although they had the cars, Superchargers weren’t installed at the rental facility. Um, what? Tesla says charging via a standard 120-volt wall outlet gets you 2 to 3 miles an hour, and a 240V unit gets you around 30 miles per hour. That is a lot of downtime at the rental center even when the cars are working.

For the fire-sale curious or if you simply enjoy a train wreck, you can peruse the listings on Hertz Car Sales.