4th & Goal: Time to Buy a Tesla Model S?

The question from prospective buyers about buying a Tesla: is now the right time? Prospective buyers are thinking about the cost to get into a Tesla first.

The question expressed by current Tesla owners is ‘how many times’ will my Tesla leave me as a ‘have not’?  This refers to the condition that one’s Tesla may be quickly super-ceded by a more advanced version at any moment since Tesla does not adhere to model years to introduce product changes.

tesla-model-s-20162016 has evidenced the greatest number of changes to the Model S (and by extension the Model X) since its introduction in 2012.  In 2016, Tesla 1). made the first styling changes in the form of a new front fascia (automotive parlance for front end), 2). added a 100 kWh performance edition on the high end and re-introduced the 60kWh battery pack with a $66,000 base price on the ‘low’ end and an over the air optional upgrade to a 75 kWh battery pack, 3). introduced the hardware to support AutoPilot 2.0 and Autonomous Driving  4). introduced a very cool glass roof panel and 5). announced the end of free Supercharging for all Model S and Model X ordered after December 31, 2016 (delivered by April 1, 2017) and that Model 3 will not offer free Supercharging. As a consolation, Tesla is providing 400 kWh of Supercharging credit per ‘new class of owners’ annually, equivalent to about 1,000 miles of driving.

Price Changes. Tesla announced a $2,000 price increase in the Model S 60 kWh battery pack effective November 22, 2016 (they couldn’t have waited until after Thanksgiving?). That advances the Base price to $68,000.  Add the $5,000 for AutoPilot 2.0 (plus $3,000 for Autonomous Driving which may or may not receive US government approval).  The cool glass roof is $1,500 and the exterior color and dash and seat trim option prices remain (as of now) unchanged.  A nicely equipped Model S60  costs $83,450.00 before Federal Income Tax Credit and any applicable State Incentives.

Current owners can offer you a $1,000 discount – here is our referral code which all readers are welcome to use:  Tesla $1000 Referral Purchase Discount

So to the question: is now a good time to custom order a new Tesla Model S?  Yes IF you have the Model S on the top of your automotive shopping list and you want to get into the vehicle in advance of the elimination of the free Supercharging which goes with the Model S if/when you sell or trade it. This is especially important if you plan to use your Model S to take several road trips per year (which will get even easier with the planned expansion of Superchargers). YES if you want to get into the Model S before the 60 kWh price increase. YES if you want AutoPilot 2.0 and Autonomous Driving Options ($8,000 in option total). Since Tesla is now equipping all of its production with this capability, obsolescence may be a few years away, minimizing your risk of becoming a “have not” soon after purchase.

If you want your Tesla sooner than custom order, you have two choices:  

Choice #1: Inventory Vehicles, produced without a buyer (or one that fell through). As you create your vehicle on Tesla Design Studio, inventory vehicle choices will pop up. Be sure to ask your Tesla Product Specialist about all of the equipment on the inventory vehicle. Most of these vehicles were produced with AutoPilot 1.0. But if you find an inventory vehicle on line, you may have to pay to have it shipped to your local Tesla store. Be sure to ask. The $1,000 referral discount still applies.

Choice #2: Certified Pre-Owed. You always have the option of buying someone else’s first Tesla. Prices for 2013 and 2014 entry models (60 kWh battery packs) are moving below $50,000 but be aware that the majority of these vehicles do not have AutoPilot 1.0 (Tech Package is not AutoPilot) and have mileage in the 30,000+ range.  The original warranty, which is transferable to the second owner, is 4 years or 50,000. So you may only have 1-2 years of warranty left.  There is an extended warranty option so be sure to ask about the cost and coverage.  If you find a CPO, make an appointment with the Tesla Service Advisor to review the entire history of the particular vehicle.  They can access all of the data from the vehicle and will let you know if major components like the electric drive unit have been repaired or replaced. And ask about the condition of the battery.  That is critical to understand. The $1,000 Referral Discount is available for CPO vehicles as well.

As always, a lot to consider when making the decision to purchase a Tesla.  Hopefully this blog post helps you as you work through your decision process.  Be sure to join Facebook Groups (Tesla Motors Fans-Atlanta has 1301 members) and ask your question before, during and after your purchase process. Tesla owners love to help!