Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) software is considered an aftermarket accessory. As a result, we have several issues with it. First, insurance does not cover FSD software. Second, Tesla does not allow owners to transfer full self-driving software from an old Tesla to a new car.
In the quarterly earnings call of Tesla in January 2021, one investor asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk whether Tesla has any plan to allow customers to transfer their full self-driving software to another Tesla car. In response, Elon Musk said that, unfortunately, Tesla does not have any plan to allow Tesla owners to transfer FSD software to another vehicle.
However, Elon confirmed that Tesla would allow owners to access FSD through a monthly subscription. Because of several reasons, I suggest you subscribe to FSD instead of buying it outright when the FSD subscription comes out.
Car insurance does not cover FSD software. If you total your car, the insurance companies will not reimburse your FSD purchase cost. We have heard many stories where Tesla owners totaled their car within days of Tesla’s purchase. However, insurance only paid for their vehicle, excluding FSD. As a result, they lost all their FSD software investment. It’s sad.
It’s also common for Tesla to remove FSD when they handover used Teslas from one owner to another. Here’s an example. Suppose you have a Tesla with FSD software. If you trade in this vehicle to purchase another one, Tesla will remove the FSD features from your old car. Therefore, when someone buys your old Tesla, they again have to pay for the FSD software to Tesla.
We also want to mention that buy FSD by looking at what it can do today. Don’t purchase FSD because Tesla may increase its price in the future or in the hope that Tesla may give you access to FSD Beta.
Tesla and Elon Musk promises many things but fails to deliver on time. We don’t doubt that FSD will not be feature complete. However, we doubt that it’s coming soon. Therefore, only purchase FSD if you believe the public FSD features available right now are worth the current price.
Why Tesla’s Decision is Wrong:
The insurance industry is stuck in the past. The self-driving industry is improving rapidly, but the insurance industry has not evolved at all.
No other cars except Tesla have advanced in-car software. Moreover, Tesla introduced over the air (OTA) software updates. In the car industry, it was unimaginable.
Traditionally when we buy a car from a dealer, we select a vehicle with all of our required hardware and software features. The dealer prices our vehicle based on our selection.
On the contrary, when we purchase a Tesla, the car’s price does not reflect our FSD price when reported to the DMV or insurance companies. We take delivery of the software through the internet. Therefore, insurance companies insure our car but do not value software in our vehicle.
Tesla and Elon Musk know it, but they are not too keen on solving this problem for owners, as previously stated.
Currently, the price of FSD is $10,000. If we drive our Tesla for eight years, the FSD cost comes to $105 per month. It is on top of our monthly car and insurance payment. Therefore, when the FSD subscription model comes, we suggest you take the subscription instead of paying Tesla the full FSD price.
As a Tesla owner, I understand the frustration. I, too, paid $10,000 for FSD. When I drive my car, I don’t want my Tesla to get totaled for fear of losing my $10,000 investment. It’s why I believe Tesla should allow an owner to transfer FSD from an old car to a new car.