Why do Teslas cost so much to insure?

Tom Barnard

14 Jul 2023

If you own a Tesla, you’ll know already that the cost of insuring it can be eye-wateringly high. A Model Y sits in Group 50 – which is the highest possible. To put that into perspective, a Porsche 911 sits in Group 46 while a Hyundai IONIQ 5 Ultimate with the same performance as a Model Y sits in Group 39.

Why is the Y so high? There are a five big reasons:

1. Security:

Thatcham, the organisation that sets the UK’s insurance groups, doesn't like Tesla’s security systems and gets very nervous about the smartphone and card key situation, thinking it makes the car easier to steal. As a result, they bump up the grouping which means you pay more

2: Speed: 

Even a standard Model 3 can accelerate faster than a 1990s Ferrari, and this is a risk for new and inexperienced drivers. One broker we spoke to said: “We see a lot of accidents in the first two weeks of Tesla ownership. This is partly because people aren’t used to the instant acceleration, but I suspect some drivers like to show off what their new car can do and simple come unstuck.”

The app-based key is not liked by insurers

3: Poor design: 

Cars have bumpers so they can shrug off the odd parking knock. But not on a Tesla. Look at the back of a Model Y and you’ll see that the bit that sticks out the furthest is the metal tailgate and not the plastic bumper like it is on any other car. Which means that even the tiniest of knocks will dent your and expensive and complicated panel rather than a deformable piece of plastic.

4: Parts supply: 

If you do bump your Tesla, some parts to repair it are in short supply. Owners report having to wait months for certain components which are needed to complete a repair after even the smallest bump.

Besides the inconvenience, it means you’ll expect a nice courtesy car while you wait. And that means the cost of the claim will be thousands and thousands as the hire car fees add up. Insurance companies hate that, so make you pay more for your premium.

5: Trip hazard: 

Insurance companies have to look at the big picture and assess any possible risk. And one of those risks which applies to all electric cars is that someone will trip on a badly placed cable dangling across a pavement or walkway and then claim for injury against the car owner’s insurance. We haven’t heard of it happening yet, but the underwriters will add to the premium just in case it does.

The Model Y's boot bends before the bumper (photo: @CovfefeCapital)

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