Once you've ordered your Tesla, you'll be full of expectation ahead of its delivery. The wait can feel like a lifetime, but it can also be filled with anxious moments due to the way Tesla do things. This guide breaks it down into a some key facts to help you prepare for whats to come.
You should have a Tesla account and within there see your order. This updates periodically to keep you informed of where your car is in the manufacturing process and sets some expectation of delivery date. It is also the place to find contract documentation and upload necessary documents that Tesla needs.
This works generally ok, however most of the content is updated manually and people make mistakes. You may see your delivery date jump forward or back, only to be corrected a few days later. It may also say "in production" for weeks, which doesn't make sense. Don't take anything to heart, treat it as no more than an indicator
Delivery times can vary quite a lot depending on model, time of year, and other factors going on within Tesla. Typically, you will have a minimum wait of 2 months and a maximum of 4 months although new models can take longer. Once built, allow 6 weeks for shipping, processing through Tilburg and then further shipping to the UK.
Quarter ends tend to be the race to delivery, so if you car is due for delivery in March, June, Sept or Dec you can be sure that Tesla will be doing everything to get it delivered, it's good for their company figures.
It's also worth looking at New Inventory cars, even after you've ordered, as Tesla are sometime amendable to swapping your order especially if that means the delivery makes a quarter, whereas your car wouldn't have been delivered in quarter.
Where to begin? Some report major issues with finance through Tesla and getting approval, but more to the point it's the communication and how quickly they act that gets people annoyed. People do get refused finance but it's often quite a long way down the line, so chase it up and make sure you get agreement as no news is not always good news.
Look out for the mileage excess payment. This has changed several times and is currently 7p+VAT per mile, This actually makes it cheaper to pick the lowest mileage policy and pay the excess at the end as they removed the previous step where the 7p rate was capped at relatively small excess before climbing higher. Check your offer, check its in writing and then decide.
Part ex your car can also be a challenge as the valuation at the time of order may not be held over to the delivery date. Tesla have talked about at least matching the Autotrader valuation of cars, it's worth trying to hold them to that.
We would strongly recommend getting a quote before even ordering. For some the insurance is very reasonable, for others it's a non-starter. It's pretty obvious that if you're young, live in a dodgy postcode area and are buying the fastest, most expensive car, it's not going to be cheap, but we've also heard of "normal" people getting priced out the market.
If you go Direct Line, be aware that they have a dedicated Tesla number. Also look out for those that do and don't require a tracker. Tesla used to claim you didn't need one but some insurance companies are now asking for it.
Insurance is also very susceptible to postcode, London is pretty bad due to a high incidence of theft.
On the big day, it's worth giving your car a good check over. There should be no problems raising these retrospectively with Tesla, but it's always better to raise them at the time as it removes any doubt how caused, especially useful for paint and trim issues. We've marked accordingly, and while you could do them all before driving away you may just want to just get out and drive. Some faults also take time to appear.
They will almost certainly run through all the paperwork with you carefully anyway, but please check they are correct! It may sound daft, but check the number plates are correct, match front and back and match your insurance. Check your name and address are spelt correctly on the forms so the car gets registered correctly.
Check the finance one last time and ensure it all works out. It's not unknown that a deposit has been forgotten and not taken into account.
Check the paintwork for blemishes, damage including dents, stone chips and swirl marks. Look down each side of the car at an angle and try and catch the light so any dents show up.
Check the alloy wheels for any damage, primarily around the rim, but the wheels can also have damage on the spokes.
Check the panel gaps to ensure there are no unusually large or small gaps, and they should match on both sides of the car.
Check panels lie flat. As an example, it's been known for the doors to be slightly proud of the surrounding panels and the exposed edge is prone to damage. Check this along the length of the panel edges as it can align in the middle but be high at one extreme and low at the other as if twisted. Also check around the headlights as some cars have had distorted trim between the bumper and lights. It's worth doing this a couple of times as temperature can have an effect.
Recheck the paint, but this time play attention for defects such as excessive orange peel and buffer marks which tend to only be visible in good light.
Check the trim. There is a fair bit of decorative bits and bobs which are simply stuck on and hammered into place, primarily around the windows. Check the lines flow.
Check tyre pressures (which can be done using the built-in display).
On the model X, check the front wheels don't touch the wheel arch when applying full lock
Check for any obvious damage to the seats, the plastics, and the kick plates on all four doors and the boot.
Check any ordered accessories are present. You should at least have a UMC charger with both a 3 pin plug and a blue commando socket. You may also have ordered a Type 2 cable, a chademo adapter, extra mats or one of the other options.
Check mileage. It should be relatively low at no higher than 50 miles.
Check all the controls including window operation work as expected. Check any options work including heated rear seats, sun roof, and cornering lights if fitted. If Auto Pilot has been ordered, check this works although it may require a period of driving to calibrate. If this isn't working after a few hundred miles, report it to the service centre.
Check music from a variety of sources. Ensure DAB stations can be found. Check USB music plays without interference. Check spotify connects.
If you have ordered autopilot, check if has calibrated after about 100 miles, ideally on motorways.
Check for vibrations and excessive wind noise from the car.
Check you can charge the car.