Once you decide you want a Tesla, most of what you will do is done in the app; there is no negotiation in terms of trade in or final price of the Tesla. Everything I love, getting things done in my own time and having firm answers before moving forward.
From the website (without an account or the app) you can browse Tesla existing inventory and build a car you can also get a preliminary trade in value for your current car (as previously mentioned).
Ordering your new Tesla:
In order to move past basic information you will have to pay $250 to “Order” your selected car. This amount, to my understanding is nonrefundable but you are able to cancel your order up until you sign the document to take possession of your Tesla. Yes, you would lose $250 but you are not bound to additional payments. The $250 is applied towards your Tesla or added to the trade in value.
Once you have placed the order next steps are in the app. Answer general registration questions, who will be on the lease/loan/title. If you are getting the car with another person, they will need to respond to an email Tesla sends them before you can move to the financing step.
Trade in process:
If applicable, you will proceed to the trade in portion. To start you complete general questions similar to KBB, basically enter the license plate number. It may take a business day or so, I think mine was within minutes, but you will get an offer from Tesla for your car. Now, based on my experience and research it is the low price on KBB trade in and it was the same number originally quoted (before I made an account and ordered a Tesla). From here you can accept, and then a couple more questions regarding condition of your trade in and you will need to take a picture of the dash with the car on.
During the trade in portion there is a question regarding if you are keeping your (vanity) plates.
If you own the trade in, you will take a photo of the registration to complete this process.
Tesla will mail a check at a later date if you do not apply the entire trade in amount to your new Tesla. For us it was two (2) weeks, but the sales associate said it could be 90 days.
You will be promoted to set up your delivery date pretty soon after ordering your Tesla. Obviously you will want to complete the check list in order to make the delivery/pick up go more smoothly. FYI, if you are trading in a non Tesla car, you will have to go to the location to take possession of your Tesla and drop off the trade in. Home delivery is not an option.
Additionally, there is a finite amount of time to schedule delivery before Tesla cancels your order, I think it was five (5) days but the communication around delivery is wonderful.
One of the final steps is financing. Of course all the math is in an equation for you, so you can play around with the numbers to see how much you put down vs monthly payments. You will complete the application for financing. We had a response within minutes, but I have read it can take a business day or so.
Now the home stretch, insurance. You have to show proof of insurance before you pick up your new Tesla (like any car purchase). There is an option to use your own insurance but I found it expensive, so we went with Tesla.
Quick break down of what I saw while researching insurance. Austin and I have AAA with multiple policy and good drive discounts, I received a quote for ~$4,000 for the year (~$300 per month). Tesla insurance is a 6 month policy $990, quick math and it is clear Tesla ~$2,000 less. Side note-The premium with Tesla is about what I was paying for my BMW with AAA.
Yay, it is delivery day!!!
Go to the specified location, park your trade in. Make sure all personal items are out of the car and take your plates (if you are keeping them). There is no inspection of your trade in at time of drop off. Go into the Tesla office, sign a few things regarding the trade in (if applicable), sign the lease/loan for your Tesla (one signature per person). The sales associate links the car to your app (the keys are inside) and you are off.
Pick up took less than 15 minutes.
A quick note. Austin and I opted for existing inventory which made our experience a little faster. We also selected a delivery date after Thanksgiving, otherwise we would have had the Tesla within days.
If you have been following along you know, I originally planned to make my experience one post but I also like to be thorough which made the post almost four (4) pages. I know most people will not read four (4) pages at once, so this will be a mini series with articles posted two (2) days apart. Next up: Charging Your Tesla.