If you’ve been looking to get into a Tesla Roadster for cheap, well, you can’t. The Tesla Roadster has lost value from new, of course, but not as much value as you might expect, given it’s the first effort from a startup company — and given it’s based on an existing vehicle. Instead, this is the cheapest Tesla Roadster on Autotrader: It’s a 2008 model that’s listed for $50,350.
This Roadster is offered by Shift, which is a firm that operates differently from a traditional dealership in that they say they’ll "deliver test drives right to your door." This Roadster is available in the San Francisco Bay Area, perhaps unsurprisingly, and the ad says it’s covered around 43,000 miles from new. It’s finished in a light blue with a gray interior, and it appears to be in nice condition.
The Carfax report shows an impressive fact about this Roadster: It was sold new in 2009 to an original owner in San Francisco, who only drove it 10,000 miles until selling it in 2013 to the second owner. The second owner then added 33,000 miles by early 2016, averaging "normal-car" mileage despite the Roadster’s electric status (and despite its small size). The Roadster’s mileage hasn’t changed much since early 2016.
For those of you who don’t know much about the Roadster, it was indeed Tesla’s first effort, and it was based on the Lotus Elise. Tesla sold about 2,500 examples globally over 5 years of production (2008-2012), and the Roadster boasted about 240 miles of range, along with 248 or 288 horsepower, depending on which version you chose.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.