Tesla makes one of the best technologically advanced electric vehicles. However, there are 9 things to consider before purchasing a Tesla car.
Recharging a Tesla at home is the best way to go. However, if you live in an apartment complex, rental house, or big city, recharging your Tesla at these locations may not be possible.
Before purchasing, it’s advisable to make sure that you have a convenient and accessible charging location. Otherwise, it may soon become problematic.
Like Apple and John Deere, Tesla is an anti-right-to-repair company. It means that Tesla does not allow you — a Tesla owner — to repair your vehicle. Except for brake pad, rotor, tire change, or washer fluid addition, an owner must take the Tesla vehicle to Tesla Service Centers for any repair or diagnosis. No third-party auto repair shop is allowed to work on a Tesla.
This repair is not a problem if you live near a Tesla Service Center. But, it will become a major headache if you live more than 30 or more miles away from the nearest Tesla Service Centers. Sometimes, Tesla owners may need to tow the car to the service centers — which costs extra. If the service centers don’t give you a loaner while they work on your vehicle, your repair-related cost will rise significantly if you need a rental car.
Moreover, not everywhere Uber or Taxi service is available. Therefore, if your Tesla is your only vehicle, these services will make your Tesla ownership a nightmare.
Tesla has a notorious reputation for vehicle repair time as they don’t have adequate Service Centers (SC) throughout the USA. The following maps show the service centers – Tesla Service Centers Location.
In 2021 alone, Tesla sold more than 1 million vehicles. The total vehicle fleet will rise rapidly in the coming years. Even today, simple repair time is already ridiculously long, sometimes more than 2 months. It will get worse by the time you purchase your Tesla.
The collision repair time of a Tesla is the worst. Only Tesla-certified auto body shops are allowed to work on Teslas. The number of Tesla-certified auto body shops is far lower than Tesla SC. Thus, sometimes it takes 4-5 months to repair a Tesla after a vehicle accident.
If Tesla is your primary commuter vehicle and you don’t have a second vehicle, this service time will severely impact your finances.
Therefore, before purchasing a Tesla, locate your nearest Tesla Service Centers, and decide whether you are ready to endure these inconveniences of owning a Tesla.
Tesla provides a decent warranty for their vehicle. For example, a Tesla Model 3 comes with:
- Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty: 4 Years or 50,000 miles.
- Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty: 8 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first.
A Toyota hybrid battery costs around $3,500, whereas a Tesla battery cost ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 without labor.
Tesla doesn’t do any minor battery repairs. Therefore, once out of warranty, even if a nominal coolant hose breaks, Tesla will tell you to replace the entire high voltage battery pack.
If you purchase a Tesla Model S, and after 50,000 miles, your door handle breaks — a known common occurrence — you have to pay thousands of dollars to fix it at Tesla Service Centers.
Under warranty, ownership of Tesla is not a headache, but once out of warranty, Tesla becomes a lemon.
Therefore, if you are purchasing a new Tesla and planning to keep it only for 4-5 years, then go ahead and buy it. You won’t regret it. However, if you plan to keep the vehicle for 8-10 years, we highly suggest talking to current Tesla owners who have an old Tesla. Because talking to new Tesla owners will give you a false impression of Tesla ownership.
Read more about all the Tesla vehicle warranties here from the official Tesla website.
Tesla’s not only expensive, but its insurance premiums are also relatively high. The high price of Tesla and its insurance premiums adds up over time. It’s beneficial to talk to an insurance company regarding the cost to insure your desired Tesla. If everything stays below your budget, you should consider purchasing your Tesla.
Long Term Parking:
Tesla vehicles use battery power even when it’s parked. On a typical day, a Tesla uses 1%-2% battery power to keep running onboard computers. However, this can be up to 3-5%, depending on the environment. Moreover, Tesla sentry mode would use a considerable battery charge overnight.
— High Voltage Battery information from the official Tesla website.
Therefore, if a Tesla owner leaves their car unplugged for long, the HV battery could drain to 0%. It will damage the battery and require you to tow your vehicle to the nearest charging stations or service centers. Therefore, you can’t leave your Tesla car unplugged for 1 to 1.5 months.
Therefore, before purchasing a Tesla, keep this scenario in mind and take your purchasing decision.
Almost everyone talks about the lower maintenance and recharge cost of a Tesla. However, the purchase cost of a Tesla is prohibitively higher for many buyers.
A 300 miles Tesla Model 3 costs around $55,000, whereas a Toyota Corolla Hybrid costs $27,000. Both of these vehicles are similar in dimensions and range. Moreover, Toyota hybrids are the most reliable vehicles in the car industry. Even though it may feel like a Tesla purchaser is spending less money on maintenance, the reality is the Tesla buyer already paid upfront.
Therefore, don’t buy a Tesla if saving money is the sole purpose of your purchase decision.
As of writing this article, the total recharge cost to travel 300 miles on a Tesla car is significantly lower than a gasoline vehicle fillup. However, the electricity price is rising slowly throughout America and Europe. In 2020, around 2.5% of the global vehicle fleet was electric.
When the EV fleet numbers rise to 20% – 30%, the electricity demand will soar. This increased electricity demand not only will necessitate more power generation but also will demand upgraded power grids. Therefore, the recharging cost of a Tesla will rise significantly in the future.
Full Self-Driving Features:
Even though, for regulatory purposes, Tesla calls their Full self-driving technology a Level 2 system, Tesla, in reality, is trying to develop a Level 5 system.
The FSD Beta features allow a Tesla car to drive both on city and highway autonomously. However, this FSD Beta is still in development, and it requires constant driver monitoring.
Even though Elon Musk has promised this FSD to become feature complete for the last five years, still this FSD is nowhere feature complete.
The current price of FSD is $12,000. But even if a Tesla owner purchases the FSD, Tesla would not allow the owner to access all the features in the FSD Beta program. Tesla tracks its drivers, their driving behavior and assigns a score. Based on the score, Tesla rolls out FSD Beta.
Therefore, FSD is not only expensive; there’s no assurance that you will get access to the FSD Beta program. Consequently, you are paying for a product that doesn’t work flawlessly, needs constant monitoring, and has no guarantee that you will get access to it. So, don’t buy a Tesla if your primary reason hinges on Tesla’s self-driving features.
There are numerous Tesla FSD Beta videos on YouTube. It’s better to watch some of the videos and make your final decision.
Even a few years ago, Tesla was the only EV manufacturer. Now there are various EVs from different companies that make compelling cars. Before making your final Tesla purchasing decision, we highly recommend you look at other companies’ alternatives.