What to do when you first get your Tesla

Last updated 26-Jun-2022

You've finally done it. You've bought the car, you've got it home, you've driven it and felt the force. But here's a list of things you should do when you've taken delivery that will make life easier, safer and might just keep you out of trouble.

We've created a video to help you through the car and phone setup which can be found below, otherwise you can just follow our guide.

Standard car checks

There are lots of guides on delivery check lists, we have one ourselves, but we're thinking of driving safety checks. Even if the car is fresh from the factory we suggest checking the tyre pressures. Familiarise yourself with where to find the correct pressures, although in general Tesla's run at 42 psi with some cars needing 45 psi. Please check the figures for your car. Tesla seem to deliver cars with excessive air pressure which not only makes the ride terrible, it is also not safe. If you're buying a used car, also check the tread depth, especially on the inner edges as these can wear much faster than the majority of the tread.

Set up keycards and mobile devices and driver profiles

While keycards can be used, it is far more convenient to use your mobile phone. This needs to be registered in the car and it is not simply a case of downloading the app and logging in. It is worth doing this with more than one phone in the family if that is possible, even of the other person is unlikely to drive the car. This gives options regarding them being able to get into the car without you, or if you lose your phone or the battery runs flat, you have a second option.

If you are buying a used car, also check to see what other devices are registered. Anything you don't recognise, remove.

While you're at it, set up a driver profile for yourself and link that to your phone key. This is especially useful when there are multiple drivers as the car will adjust the seat to the profile linked to the phone that unlocks the car.


This is a personal preference, but you may wish to turn on Pin to Drive. Visit the Safety submenu, scroll down and you will see Pin to Drive (P2D). Here you can turn it on, doing so will ask you for a 4 digit pin. This will be asked for every time you want to drive the car.

You will also want to setup sentry mode; this is under the same menu. You may need to format the device first. Our guide to setting up sentry mode and dashcam provide more details including how you can format a larger device to also store music files and Boombox tunes. If you want to avoid sentry mode at your home location, you need to enter the address in the satnav first and then save it as 'Home'.

While the car generally hard to steal, for the relatively low cost sticking a Apple Airtag in the car is an easy way of providing an additional tracker to the car if you an Apple user. We provide links on our accessories page.

Wi-Fi set up

Many will know you can connect the car to a Wi-Fi and for many software updates you actually need to do this. It's therefore sensible to connect your car to the Wi-Fi when you can to make sure the car is always updated. It's a one-time activity.

Assuming your home wifi is within range, you can connect the car to it by clicking on the the 3g/4g/lte at the top of the screen. This will bring up a list of WI-FI networks available. Select the one and enter the password if required.

If you have the ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your mobile phone, we recommend connecting to that too. Enable the hotspot and connect the car to it as above. This hotspot won't be used all the time, but if for some reason your car has lost mobile reception and you are locked out, you can enable the hot spot on your phone, the car will connect to it. If you've not already created the connection between your phone and car, the car won't otherwise connect unless you are in the car.

This can be really useful if you have not got the key fob for the car, maybe you have locked it in the car, and can't gain entry. If the car has a signal you can connect via your phone and app, but it's possible the car may not have a connection to the internet. The most common time is in underground car parks, and you may be able to position yourself to get mobile reception while still in range for the car to have a Wi-Fi connection to the phone. It's a simple thing to do and you never know when it might be useful.

Tyres and punctures

Tesla's don't as standard come with a spare wheel, a tyre compressor or run flat tyres. Tesla roadside assistance also isn't great when it comes to a flat tyre and at best will take your car to a service centre which may be shut until Monday. They have offered a loan wheel service but this is so variable it really shouldn't be relied upon. If you get a puncture, you are potentially very stuck so it is best not to rely on the Tesla services and prepare.

The minimum we suggest is to carry a tyre inflater, also known as a compressor and we recommend some on out Essential Accessories web page. You may also want to consider a puncture repair kit which can basically plug the leak in the tyre although the success of these varies depending on the nature of the puncture.


Many people get along quite happily just using their home charger and superchargers. However there are times when you may need to charge on public charge points.

We have created a longer guide to Charging a Tesla however the key things for new owners are:

Tolls, congestion and low emission zones, HOV Status.

EVs often get advantages including access to low emission zones and relief from congestion charges. These however typically require registration and often a small fee. Do not assume you are automatically registered!

Examples include the London congestion zone, Crit'Air anti-pollution vehicle stickers in France and High occupancy vehicle status in some states in the US. Check the local terms and conditions whether your vehicle qualifies and whether pre-registration is needed.

Read the manual

Ok - who reads manuals nowadays. You just expect the user interface to be super intuitive and if it works, then it works. The trouble is there are features on Tesla's that are dangerous if used badly, especially with regard to Autopilot. As a result, we strongly suggest that you read the manual and understand the limitations of the car better, how to use some of the more advance controls etc. You can find the owners manuals here.

If carrying rear seat passengers, make a note of how to open the rear doors in the event of an accident as the internal door handles may not operate. Also be aware of where the hazard light switch is (it's one of the few physical switches on a Tesla). It's better to know and never need these pieces of information than to need them and not know.

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