Red Teslas costs more now, but people will still pay for the paint color

You’ll have to pay more for this red coat of paint.

Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tesla’s paint colors were whittled down in the past few days to help ramp up production and now the electric car maker is upping the price for its iconic red option.

For the Model 3, the more affordable, backlogged sedan, a red “multi-coat” paint job went up to $2,500 this weekend. It used to be $2,000 for the red color. As Electrek pointed out, when the Model 3 was first produced red cars were available for $1,000. 

A Tesla spokesperson wrote in an email Sunday: “We occasionally adjust pricing and available options to best reflect the value of our products and to streamline our manufacturing operations. Yesterday’s adjustment to our red multi-coat paint is the latest example of that.”

Now only solid black comes with the base price of the car. The pearl white is $2,000 and the blue and silver are each $1,500. Other cars, like the all-electric Nissan Leaf offer all colors (though notably there’s no red available) for no additional cost. 

Musk announced that Tesla’s metallic silver and black were going “off menu” last week and would cost $2,000. He also noted the Dexter-like conditions that come from painting a car red. 

But that didn’t stop people from wanting the red car — and neither will the higher price tag. editor-in-chief Jenni Newman told me in a conversation last month, “Color matters to a lot of shoppers.”

Last year Electrek ran a poll to see what colors Model 3 buyers were excited about: silver, blue, then red rounded out the top three.

A recent study found that the more unusual your car color, the higher value you’ll get for it down the road. Orange, yellow, and green cars actually see the lowest depreciation rates.’s Newman said red usually falls in the middle of the depreciation road, but for future used-Tesla sellers the red might be a smart, if pricier, move. It’s simple supply and demand — with fewer cars brightly colored, or in Tesla’s case, red, when it comes time to sell it, you can sell it for more. 

She also said car colors, like a bright, standout red resonate more with buyers, especially “for someone who sees the car as an extension of who they are.”

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