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Advice needed: purchasing used vs. new Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by griswold, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. griswold

    griswold Member

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    I am in a situation where I need some advice! I desperately want to buy a Roadster, but my wife has a hard time with me paying more than $100K for a car. I can afford it, but my wife is a very practical woman :smile:. The arguments I gave her, which worked, were: carpool lane privileges in California (I currently drive a Prius for that reason, but those privileges end in June), never going to a gas station again, saving the planet, etc. I have an order in for a Model S, but I need something to cover the gap after my Prius privileges end. Thus - buy a Roadster, and potentially sell it when the Model S comes out.

    My wife agreed with all of those arguments, and has given me her blessing to buy one. She did encourage me to look for used ones first, though. Here is the question: I found a 2008 with 4,000 miles for $76,000. Would you, as a Tesla owner, knowing a bit about my situation, buy the used one or a new one? If the new one, what good arguments could I give my wife (comfort and luxury don't work as well as practical, economic arguments!!). :smile:

    Thanks in advance for your help!!
     
  2. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Have you crunched the numbers for a lease on the Roadster? That would satisfy your desire to get a Roadster now and may make the "sell" to the wife easier (known in the hi-end audio circle as the WAF or Wife Acceptance Factor). When your Model S arrives, if you want to be a two EV owner you can buy the lease out or if you just decide to keep the Model S and turn in the Roadster, no headaches trying to sell it.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You'll end up spending probably more than $76,000 for a lease. That's a tough one. If you have no plans at all to keep the Roadster, you're probably better off buying used now that the prices have come down (last fall when I looked, people were selling Roadsters for not that much less than a new one). How much of a warranty does the 2008 have? That's something else to consider too as I'm sure out of warranty repairs can be expensive. How close to a Tesla dealership do you live? This might make it cheaper if you don't need to pay the Tesla Rangers to come to your house and fix the car when it needs service.

    If you think you may keep the Roadster, I think buying new or at least a used 2010 might be worth it since there were a lot of upgrades over the 2008 model.
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    I bought a used 2008 Roadster in December in that same general price range. I'm very happy with it and that purchase is what eventually got me to signup for an S sedan too. Like your wife, I have a hard time justifying paying over $100,000 for a car, but when the prices dropped into the upper 70's and low 80s for a 2008 I felt it was time. Somebody else can correct me if I'm wrong, but a new Roadster would probably cost me about $40,000 more than the used one I purchased, given the options I got. Other than the warranty, which was mentioned, are the improvements from a 2008 Roadster to a new Roadster worth $40,000 more dollars to you? To me the improvements weren't worth the extra cost. I'm not a sports car driver type, I bought the Roadster because I love EVs and wanted a really cool EV (I've driven Solectria Force EVs, RAV4 EVs and a host of converted cars) for a change and the 2008 Roadster provided me all of that without the extra cost of a new vehicle.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't most of the major improvements to the Roadster performance related? I'd be interested to find out what some of you that did upgrade to a newer Roadster from an older Roadster, thought of the improvments.
     
  5. pgwoosley

    pgwoosley Member

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    #5 pgwoosley, Feb 21, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
    I purchased a used roadster about a year ago and am very satisfied. Tesla Motors has treated me very well even though I purchased used.

    Others may differ, but my opinion is that most of the improvements to the basic roadster have been cosmetic. Later models have a nicer dash and console arrangement and the 2.5 version has cosmetic changes to the front (quite noticeable) and the rear (less noticeable).
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The difference between the 2.0 and 2.5 are largely cosmetic what what I understand. The 2.0 versus the 2008 is a little different: 2010 includes a glovebox, better sound insulation, more efficient motor and an upgraded interior among other things. I'm not sure the changes are worth $40,000. You're going to get the same thrill of acceleration and if you're not going to keep the car when the Model S arrives, you'll lose much less when you sell the 2008 vs. new car.
     
  7. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    #7 benji4, Feb 21, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
    One important thing to remember -- a three year-old Roadster will have a battery pack three years closer to end of its life, and the first three years of its life were likely its best years. That's proabaly $10,000 or $15,000 value gone from the car. Throw in the $7,500 tax incentive and with the batteries about $20,000 of the difference is accounted for. Is the better interior and other changes worth the remaining $20,000? Probably not since you can buy many complete cars for $20,000 or less! I ended up realizing that I was wasting a bit of money perhaps in buying a new one, but since I live in Japan shipping one over was a bit of a pain so it made my decision easier! My car arrives in three days, and I find myself about $120,000 poorer than I was before I decided to buy this car!
     
  8. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    There are a number of other fairly major improvements between the 1.5 (2008) and 2.0 (2010) Roeadsters. They redesigned the PEM and added fans to it, which were sorely needed. They also greatly increased the power in the HVAC system, taking it from pathetically weak to barely adequate. They moved the VDS from behind your left knee where it's pretty much invisible to the center where there's some hope of seeing it. I suspect that there are some other things, too, and I'm just not remembering them.

    When I've seen 1.5s, I've been glad that I waited long enough to get a 2.0 (not that I knew what I was doing at the time, I was just lucky).

    Also, I think that most of the sound insulation upgrades were between 2.0 and 2.5, not 1.5 and 2.0. 2.0s are plenty loud.
     
  9. erichmond

    erichmond Member

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    Gris,

    Just like you I have been driving a Prius (6 years now), I have a reservation for a sedan, which I put in the first day in 2009. I also have the discretionary income to buy a roadster but had NO plans to buy one until this month. Tesla is selling some dealer demo roadsters that are priced at quite a reduction. I paid 93k for a roadster with upgraded interior, rims, 4300 miles and a color (twighlight blue) that is quite beautiful. I bought it 4 weeks ago, and took possession this weekend. Instead of blabbering about how amazing the car is, (which it is) I'll tell you why I bought a roadster now, and a dealer demo specifically.

    First, the sales people I've worked with through Tesla are amazing. The car was probably in good shape but they spent at least 1000 dollars detailing it out to new condition. When the car arrived, it looked new. Secondly, they added all sorts of value because I was buying from them. New floor mats, free delivery, lots of hand holding and support in buying this car, and installing the charging infrastructure.

    Second, the sales people assured me I can trade in my roadster when my sedan arrives. Albeit at blue book value, but if you do the math, I think I would have spent more on a lease for 18 months than the depreciation cost of buying the roadster now and then selling it back in 18 months or so.

    Third, as a roadster owner you are bumped up on the model S list, I went from 747 to 221 with the purchase of the roadster.

    I bought a 2010 Roadster with 4300 miles. It is a 2.0 which I liked the interior compared to the 1.5's which were less expensive. And really, the car is a blast, and you will love having it, whether you keep it after the sedan or trade it in.

    This has worked for me, I hope you find this advice helpful. All the best.
     
  10. griswold

    griswold Member

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    @erichmond: Thanks a lot - you and I sound like we're in similar situations. Your comment on the Tesla sales people - you are absolutely right! The sales person I have been working with has been fabulous. She did discuss dealer demos with me, but not at a price even close to what you got. If I got a deal like that, I would jump at it in a second! Thanks for your advice.
     
  11. erichmond

    erichmond Member

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    Gris, Now that I've had the roadster for a couple weeks. I'd like to add that I'm pretty confident in the car. Although I didn't buy from a private individual, I would now, if I could find a roadster with a year or so on the warranty. Especially if I could find one in a city with a Tesla dealership. That way it would be easy to have the car checked out by knowledgeable service people. Just a thought.
     
  12. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    #12 mpt, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
    Here's my understanding of the key differences:

    1.5->2.0
    Upgraded Tesla PEM replaces ACP based PEM with:
    - More power (Roadster can now do 3.9 0-60 reliably)
    - Sport option - more torque at normal PEM temps, reduces 0-60 to 3.7
    - Better cooling for PEM results in longer spirited driving before power limit
    - No longer uses the motor as part of the charging circuit - reduces charge faults in humid conditions
    - Less sophisticated and expensive electrical connection parts

    Engineering
    - Transmission vendor changed to Borg Warner e-drive (citation needed)
    - Adjustable suspension available in Sport upgrade
    - Sport option includes "Hand wound" motor to increase density
    - Minor upgrades to battery pack cooling ducting
    - Mid 2.0's Right-hand drive variant available
    - Added small 12v auxiliary battery to supplement vital systems during standby
    - New AC vendor with improved performance

    Interior
    - Glove box
    - Shift leaver replaced with buttons
    - VDS moved to centre, different software base.
    - Instrument change shows power in place of motor rpm
    - Re-design of LCD layout in instruments - drops power gauge
    - CF and Leather options
    - Sound insulation improvements
    - Latter 2.0's have different seats, dropt lumber support adjustment, added deeper buckets
    - Mid 2.0's get 'Tesla' heating control knobs replacing Lotus aluminum parts
    - Mid 2.0's get "spray flocking" lined trunk compartment in plastic rather than bare CF with carpet on the base
    - JVC replaces Blaupunkt for basic audio in US

    Exterior
    - New base model wheels
    - Sport badges for sport model
    - CF exterior trim parts available
    - Optional original 1.5 spec forged wheels in silver or black


    2.0->2.5
    Engineering
    - New, quieter wheel arch liners in front

    Interior
    - Additional sound insulation in doors, dash and behind rear bulkhead
    - Double DIN radio option and re-worked centre vents
    - New radio/Nav choice

    Exterior
    - New nose and tail
    - New Wheels
    - New 'Tesla' 'T' badge on nose
    - New wiper blade design
    - Heated headlamp assemblies
    - Improved A-Pilar seals to side windows
    - Rear view camera

    Let me know what I've missed.

    The good news for 1.5 owners is that they can retro-fit many of the upgrades; some for free.
     
  13. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Shouldn't that be ACP based PEM?
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #14 TEG, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
    For 2.0, they switched suppliers for the air-conditioning I think. Supposedly the A/C works better now.

    There is the aux battery in the nose now. I gather this means you still have a little reserve 12V power (for headlights and such) in the event that the main battery malfunctions or goes empty.

    The backup camera is new for 2.5
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    "- Mid 2.0's get felt lined trunk compartment" The entire trunk went from CF to plastic here.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #16 vfx, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
    On that trunk you say felt lined. I would call it a spray flocking.
    Sure wish they had installed a clear window so we could show off the motor!

    Oh, When the VDS was moved the 2.0 got a new cubby.
     
  17. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    Thanks all, including "spray flocking" whatever that is :biggrin:

    ...I'd have called it aerosol stubble.
     

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