What to Know Before Buying a Tesla?
With the world moving towards sustainability, electric vehicles are the new hype. Not only are they quite cool to drive and own, especially Teslas-hello, Leo Dicaprio and Shakira-but they're also environmentally friendly.
You may not be a multi-millionaire celebrity, however, so it's okay to wonder: What to know before buying a Tesla?
Keep on reading to find everything you need before you go on and opt for a Tesla.
What to Know Before Buying a Tesla?
Before putting at least 50 grand in the electric Tesla car, you need to be aware of some things.
We'll tell you all about them in the next couple of paragraphs.
1. Tesla Deliveries Aren't Smooth in All States
This issue is a bit of a legal conundrum, but as a consumer, you should learn about it if you're planning to buy a Tesla.
For example, if you live in Texas and order your Tesla through the website, the company will have to ship the car out of state and back to you.
Why is that? Because Texas-similar to many other states-doesn't allow car manufacturers to sell their cars directly. In other words, a franchise or independent third-party business has to buy the car first and then sell it to customers.
If you're a Texan, you can order your Tesla, and then Tesla delivers it to one of the 15 auto service centers in Texas.
You pay for the car online and then drive your vehicle away. The loophole here is that you pay outside the facility grounds. This way, you're a pre-existing Tesla owner who's there to pick up their car, not have the Tesla manufacturer deliver it to you.
After that, you're good to go as long as you register your car and pay your taxes.
You wouldn't have to go through this hassle in all the states though. Yet, it's better to know the legislation and laws before you buy a Tesla.
2. There Are Different Tesla Models
Currently, there are four Tesla models available: The Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. Here's what you get with each:
With the Model S, you can get a standard or a long-range package. The latter is around $20 thousand higher in price.
Still, the standard gives you a 285-mile range, a 155-mile/hour top speed, and goes from 0 to 60 miles/hour in a whopping four seconds.
The standard package Model 3 gives you 240 miles of range, a 140-mile/hour top speed, and races from 0 to 60 miles/hour in 5.3 seconds.
An upgrade to the performance package will cost an extra 20 thousand, just like the Model S.
It's worth mentioning that the Tesla Model 3 has the highest resale value out of the four models.
The standard Model X gives you a 250-mile range and a 155-mile/hour top speed. You can go from 0 to 60 miles/hour in 4.6 seconds.
With the Model Y, you can get a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive thanks to the dual motors.
The former gives you a 300-mile range and a 130-miles/hour top speed, reaching 60 miles/hour in 5.5 seconds.
Have your expectations in check when you're buying a Tesla. A compromised range is an issue, not just with Teslas, but all EVs don't achieve their EPA.
The Model Y gives you enough range for your everyday drives and even road trips. While the standard gives you 300 miles and the performance one gives you 330 miles.
Of course, this number decreases depending on how much you charge your battery. So, if you charge your Model Y's battery up to 80%, you'll get around 242 miles of range.
4. The Value of a Tesla
Whether it's a Tesla or another electric vehicle (EV), your battery-powered car will lose value much faster than a gas car if you compare it by mileage.
However, if you look at the bigger picture, the average person drives around 13 thousand miles yearly . A Tesla lasts well over 500 thousand, making the comparison a little less skewed toward gas cars.
Of all the Tesla models, the Model 3 takes the cake regarding value retention. You can sell it for a redeeming number up to five years after you buy it.
Let's just say that if you're getting a Tesla and you don't have a charging plan, then don't get a Tesla.
There are three ways that you can charge your Tesla.
You can connect the mobile connectors to the 110V wall outlet. It's not ideal, however, as it only gives you around three miles for every hour charged.
Yet, it's convenient and doable if you don't idle around for too long during daily commutes.
You can buy a Tesla wall connector and get a technician to write it to your breaker box. This one is the fastest, giving you 44 miles for every hour charged.
However, this route can have a relatively high upfront price. This is especially true after technicians realized what you'd be installing the wall connector for.
Not to mention, there's an extra cost that you have to pay for the Tesla wall connector itself.
Alternatively, you can have a technician install a 240V Nema 1450 outlet, which gives you 30 miles for every hour charged.
You'll just have to pay for the outlet itself, the adapter from Tesla, and the technician's labor, which is a cheaper option than the Tesla wall connector.
A third option that only requires the drive to and from the destination is to charge your Tesla at one of the Supercharger stations.
However, it may not be ideal if you don't live close to one. So, you might want to check where the closest one to your home is and see if you wouldn't lose too much battery on the drive home.
Alternatively, make sure that your battery's charge will last you enough to run your errands and get to another station before depleting your battery.
6. Auto Pilot Mode
You'll have to pay some extra money to install the autopilot mode. Some people, however, see that the technology isn't advanced enough to justify the money you have to pay.
Still, early adopters are more than happy with what you get with autopilot so far. They're also banking on the fact that software updates are regular and enhance the experience, so we'll get there, eventually.
7. Software Updates
As you own the Tesla, you'll get regular updates to fix bugs and issues with the car. This includes navigation updates and minor bug fixes. Another neat update includes adding brand-new capabilities that your car didn't originally come with, too.
That said, think of this like your car turning into a phone. You get a new update prompt and you press "install" thinking that you'll be getting performance improvements.
And you do, but sometimes it comes with a total change in the interface as well.
This can get a little frustrating when it affects the controls of your car since you'll have to learn a whole new pattern to getting your wipers to work the way you want them to. Other times, you'll even have to go through an extra step or two to get to the functionality you want.
At the end of the day, if you're a tech-savvy user and you're excited about new technologies, you'll find that it's a small price to pay in exchange for the tremendously helpful updates that your Tesla provides.
Tesla offers ceramic coating and paint protection film to keep your car looking fresh. It's a good idea to invest in those, as Teslas don't come with a traditional front grille.
The front grille of a Tesla has plenty of room for damage, especially from rock chirps and road debris.
It can be a bit pricey to get these items from paint protection film providers, but it'll certainly cut plenty of renovation costs down the line.
If you're up to the task, however, you can do it yourself by using paint-protection film home kits like the GYEON one or the CARPRO one.
You should also invest in a good Tesla car cover to keep your Tesla safe from unnecessary wear and tear when it's not in use.
Since you're buying an EV, you're presumably a tech-oriented person. In this case, you won't mind the fact that everything is done through the phone app.
Whenever you're making an appointment to visit the service center, you'll have to book everything over the phone. You won't get to talk to an actual person throughout the process.
On the other hand, you should be okay with the idea of doing everything through the digital, central touchscreen.
It's not only the mapping or audio system, you'll also use the screen instead of buttons or switches for typical controls like wipers, lights, and door mirrors.
While this can be quite practical for some, there are controls, like the "flick wipe", that are complicated. You activate this feature by pressing the wiper icon, then another press to get it working, and a third one to choose the flick wipe setting.
In regular cars, you'd only have to pull once on the wiper stalk-which is much easier.
The difference in operating the small extras in the car is why you should look into trying the experience and make sure you're comfortable with it before opting for a Tesla.
Can I Add Features to My Tesla?
Yes. The best part about a Tesla is how often you get to feel like you're upgrading your car. You get autopilot capabilities, moving from highways to off-ramps, changing lanes, and parallel parking.
You can also signal your Tesla to drive to you in a parking lot if you can't remember where you parked. Your Tesla can respond to traffic lights as well, although that feature costs a bit extra.
There are package upgrades that include other excellent updates, such as:
- Custom audio system
- Heated seats, washer nozzles, wiper blades, and steering wheel
- Air filtration system
- Carbon purification filters
- Satellite radio
How Full Should the Battery on My Tesla Be?
Generally speaking, you shouldn't charge the batteries up to 100% to preserve battery health. Going up to 90% or even 80% will serve you better in the long run.
You won't face this issue with the standard range Model 3 and Model Y as they come with LFP batteries -at least, the models that are made in China do.
Can I Return My Tesla?
Since you buy new Teslas through the website and can't have a test run, Tesla offers you a nice bargain.
You can return your vehicle for a full refund within seven days of delivery or after a thousand miles, whichever you hit first.
We've reached the end and hope we've given you an idea or two about what to expect when you're planning to buy a Tesla.
These electric vehicles are super enjoyable, sure, but you have to understand what you'll be dealing with when you're buying one.
They're not as convenient as gas cars, in terms of recharging and maintenance-at least not for the time being-but Teslas run a lot smoother.
Not to mention, they're a lot cooler and the software updates make it seem like you're getting a new car with every upgrade.