Tesla Info: Do I have free supercharging?

Do I have free unlimited supercharging on my Tesla? This is a very common question as there are cars with unlimited supercharging, there are cars without, and there are cars that have it but will lose it if the car is sold, and there are even cars that had it indefinitely and now do not. Through this guide we try and explain how to find out, although if you're basing a purchasing decision on this information, ask Tesla to confirm.


History of Free supercharging.

Supercharging, free supercharging, unlimited free supercharging, transferable free supercharging, lifetime unlimited free supercharging are all terms that get used in this area so we'll quickly walk through the history.

If you're a little confused and bemused by all this then you are not the only ones. A relatively simple thing has become very complex with multiple permutations and with changing dates, but it boils down to some quite simple basics on a given car, indicated by the option code:

So which option does my car have?

There are a number of ways. The first is to ask Tesla which is not particularly practical at the moment with service centres not having a phone line. The other options include a combination of using the cars options/configuration codes, looking at the cars charging screen and knowing when the car was first registered. It is almost certain that any car registered after March 2017 will not have transferable charging, although it may have unlimited charging for the current owner.

Reading the cars option codes

Generally the safest way to tell is to get access to the Tesla option codes for the car. To do this you either need access to the MyTesla account details for the account the car is listed under. This is fine if its your car or if you were buying as part of a private sale, but impractical if you were buying from a dealer.

If you have access to the MyTesla account then you can dig into the HTML of the web page for your car. You need to select the "View Details" option for the car and then examine the HMTL. To do this, browsers like Chrome have the ability to "View Page source", sometimes by right clicking on the page and selecting from the pop up menu or by going to the web browser menus. Within the HTML you are looking for a block of text started with the word "OptionCodes". After this there is a string of option codes that looks a little like "["$BP01","$ADPX2","$AU01","$DA02","$APD2","$X028"....". You need to select and copy this string and paste it into the bottom box on car info and we'll decode them all. It would of course be much easier if Tesla just made it clear to everyone including in the car.

If the car is being sold by Tesla then the Tesla listing will tell you, although we go one step further and break down the option codes on our inventory listing site.

Reading the charging display

This method is not guaranteed to determine if the car has transferable supercharging without other information however we understand it is accurate in most cases and may still be useful if you are looking at a used car, especially pre March 2017 cars that originally had unlimited free supercharging but where it may have been revoked. To use this method gain access to the car and have the key nearby so the main screen starts up.

If you press the charging icon on the top left of the screen it will bring up the charging display. In the bottom right hand corner you will find a display that says something along the lines of current session or paid charging.

We understand that if the display says "Current Session" and beneath that "No Recent Supercharging, the car has unlimited free charging although this alone does not tell you if it is transferable although in many cases it will be.

If the car was first registered before March 2017, then this charging should also be transferable to the new owner. A pre March 2017 registered car that has been sold by Tesla and had the free supercharging removed should not say "No recent supercharging". If this is crucial to your purchasing decision then we reiterate that the only way to be 100% certain is to validate with Tesla.

If it says "Current Session" and beneath that details for a charging session, even if priced at zero, we believe this car does not have unlimited and transferable free supercharging. It may currently have unlimited free supercharging if the price is zero but this will not transfer to the next owner.

As yet another twist, even if the car has paid for supercharging, the current referral scheme will reward you with an amount of free supercharging for each referral you make so the car may appear to be costing nothing to charge, but in practice this a transient situation.

Free and transferable supercharging

Be wary of trade sales. Where a car has been returned to Tesla and Tesla have sold the car into trade either directly or via an auction, they are likely to remove free supercharging however it can take some time for this to be reflected. If buying from a dealer then ask where they sourced the car.

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