Tesla Motors Australia has announced a new program known as Tesla Resale Value Guarantee, which is said to "assure Australian customers that the future resale value of Model S will be among the highest of any premium sedan made in volume".
The program will see Tesla Motors' local arm offer to buy back the car after three years of ownership.
In the company's own words: "Tesla is offering to buy the Model S back from the customer between month 36 and 37 for a price equal to the sum of 50 per cent of the base price of the 60 kWh Model S (currently priced from $95,500 plus on-road costs) and 43 percent of all options, including the upgrade to the 85 kWh Model S".
So, say you bought a 85kWh Model S (which kicks off at $109,200), and chose options such as the popular Tech Package ($5500) air suspension ($2900) and the Premium Interior Package ($4500) as well as leather ($1900) and an Alcantara head-liner ($1900), your initial spend - before any luxury car tax or on-road costs - would be $125,900.
At the changeover point, Tesla would give you $47,750 for the car (remember, only 50 per cent of the 60kWh price is given back to you - the $13,700 you hypothetically spent on upgrading to the 85kWh model is considered an optional extra cost), and $19,589 for all the optional bits, making for a guaranteed return of $67,339.
There are a few points worth noting: a) you don't need to stay with Tesla - unlike some brands, you can give back your car, get your money and go buy something else; b) there's a limit of 20,000km per year for the resale guarantee, and excess distance travelled will mean you will lose 50 cents per kilometre you go over.
For the sake of making a comparison to some "premium sedans made in volume" we did a check with resale experts Glass's Guide.
The calculator found that a Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC diesel hybrid sedan (which starts at $109,400 plus on-roads, before options) would be worth between $45,400 and $54,200 after 36 months and 50,000km.
A BMW 535i sedan - which is priced at $116,930 (plus on-roads and options) would be worth between $55,700 and $65,100 after the same 36-month period and the same distance travelled.
Obviously the number of options boxes you choose to tick when buying a car may or may not factor into what it's worth after a few years of ownership. And what you actually get for your car will vary dramatically depending if you try to sell it privately, or if you trade it in.
Tesla's Australian spokesperson, Heath Walker, said the program offers peace of mind for buyers who want to know they won't be hit at the hip pocket.
“Every car owner wants a fair and transparent financing program and an assurance that their car will retain its value. Only Model S gives us the ability to combine that for them,” said Walker.
“I am proud that Tesla can offer Model S owners increased confidence in the value of their purchase.”