- Don’t pay for certain accessories that can be found cheaper after you buy your Tesla. I wanted the optional premium rims from Tesla as opposed to the stock ones, but didn’t want to pay the $2.5K upgrade price so I bought the better rims for this aftermarket Tesla specialist here and sold the old ones online for $1500 for a net cost of half what Tesla wanted. There are aftermarket spoilers available for less elsewhere too so don’t pay the Tesla retail rate! Here is an exhaustive list of modifications you can make to your Model S or X. Also, used items are sold on eBay, TMC forums, Facebook Marketplace, or Panjo so buy a used version of the same thing.
- In the US, be sure to factor in your Federal and State tax incentives listed here. Tesla has just about consumed their 200K Federal incentives so order immediately if you want delivery in 2018 to get the tax credit. Your state/city/utility may offer other incentives like free registration, a discounted charger or cash. In Colorado, for example, you get $7500 from the Feds and $5000 from the state with no alternative minimum tax (AMT) issue!
- The official Tesla forums are your friend and can be searched here, but don’t overlook the unsanctioned forums at Tesla Motors Club to get the scoop on everything and helpful advice from other fans. My handle is @Reeler on both forums. There is great information on the Teslarati or ElecTrek blog sites too.
- Depending on the year, the IRS in the US will give credit against your wall charger purchase and install costs. Confirm with your tax accountant as this benefit is subject to AMT so I didn’t qualify, but you might.
- Don’t buy a used Tesla. After going through the math on discounts and tax breaks, you will find that new Teslas are cheaper than the used prices in many cases except for older high-mileage ones. Search for inventory models here, which are never sold units that may have been demos or just excess production. You want to have the choice of options, longer warranty and recent improvements anyway. Tesla has a certified pre-owned (CPO) site with inventory if you want to double-check. Remember, CPO cars do not qualify for the $1,000 referral discount or other tax rebates.
- If you still need to save more money, consider getting the smaller battery which takes $8K out of the initial price. After driving electric for several years, range anxiety quickly disappeared with experience and 200 miles range is plenty good enough even with the occasional cross-country trip and ample supercharging stations.
- After you configure your order, but before you confirm it, a Tesla rep will offer to help you by phone or e-mail. Call that person and see if there is an already-built “inventory” models sitting somewhere or being shipped. Tesla will bargain a little on these cars and move it to your location with shipping sometimes waived. I have heard folks saving $1K-30K for Teslas in inventory or recently orphaned. It is called a “showroom discount” on an “inventory model” and is available on demos or any other car that hasn’t been sold before (i.e., CPO), and you still get your the free supercharging and tax breaks! Better discounts are common near the end of the quarter or with older configurations too. The more expensive the car, the better the discounts become.
- Consider the avoiding the full-self driving (FSD) option at purchase as it is not working yet. Wait for it to get debugged and regulatory approval and upgrade then. I have a friend who bought a Model X to get the autopilot FSD and upgraded a couple years later to a new model never enjoying the expensive option.
- Free Destination Chargers for Businesses: Commercial sites can apply for two free destination charges and Tesla will supply two Wall Connectors that can work from a single circuit and not overload things when two cars are charging. In some circumstances, they will even install chargers for non-Tesla vehicles as part of a package. Apply here.
- Buy a Tesla Solar (formerly Solar City) system to power your car from the sun. Really, any solar company can provide this so get multiple quotes as Tesla seems to be on the high side so it may not be worth going with their panels.
Q: If I have questions, can I contact you before I order?
A: Absolutely. Please contact by E-mail if you have any questions before purchase. I live in Denver, Colorado and am happy to answer any questions you might have.
A: I have owned over a dozen different electric cars over the years and have not driven an internal combustion engine (ICE) car in 9 years except where it was an antique going to a car show. I have helped nearly 100 owners through their purchase and am happy to help you too. And you will find that all ICE cars feel like an antique.
A: Please let me know and I will add it to the above list so that others might be able to afford a Tesla too.