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Buying a Tesla from Third-Party Dealership In 2020

Should I buy a used Model 3 or Model S

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

JPInnovative

Member
Jul 6, 2020
14
2
Chicago, Illinois
Hello,
I am new to the forums. I would like to say I hope everyone is having a good day.
However, I am here to ask maybe a redundant question but since it’s 2020 and this is more of a updated question...

Let’s say the dealership next to my area where I live has a really nice Tesla Model 3 for sale... and I love everything about it. Decent mileage and a decent price. Color is my favorite, seats my favorite, and everything is smooth.
Plus let’s say dealership can get me financing that same day.

what do I look out for if people like me where to buy a used Tesla model 3 assuming what risks can happen?
 

OCR1

Active Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,756
4,103
Southern California
I’m assuming the “dealership” you are referring to sells some other brand of vehicles but just happens to have a used Tesla in stock. If so, the biggest concern is confirming which software options are really included with the car - specifically Autopilot and/or Full Self Driving. It will require a confirmation directly from Tesla as there is no easy to way to know for sure whether the previous owner paid for those things.

I would also check what the range on the battery is, to make sure it has not been overcharged and suffers from significant degradation.
 
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jeremymc7

Active Member
Feb 3, 2013
1,296
576
U.S.
Depends if it's under warranty. As it's Model 3 is pretty safe to assume it is.

See if dealer will let you take to Tesla for inspection. Will cost you but likely worth it. Provided you can get a decent appt time.

I thought about a used Model S from Enterprise Rentals. Pricing and mileage were very good. But it has a bit more wear on it then I would accept or for the mileage.

I would ask dealer for Car Fax. Or pay and do it yourself. You want to know if there are any (reported) accidents.

Check under car and around wheels for rust or missing paint.
 

SlimJim

Member
Jul 25, 2019
868
660
USA
Get a Tesla owner from this forum to go take a look at the car with you.
You cannot learn everything overnight.
A forum whore from here will be a great tool to look over the car and go thru the menus to see what software upgrades are on the car and so on.
 
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Reactions: Ferengii

JPInnovative

Member
Jul 6, 2020
14
2
Chicago, Illinois
I’m assuming the “dealership” you are referring to sells some other brand of vehicles but just happens to have a used Tesla in stock. If so, the biggest concern is confirming which software options are really included with the car - specifically Autopilot and/or Full Self Driving. It will require a confirmation directly from Tesla as there is no easy to way to know for sure whether the previous owner paid for those things.

I would also check what the range on the battery is, to make sure it has not been overcharged and suffers from significant degradation.
Okay i will look out for this.
 

JPInnovative

Member
Jul 6, 2020
14
2
Chicago, Illinois
Get a Tesla owner from this forum to go take a look at the car with you.
You cannot learn everything overnight.
A forum whore from here will be a great tool to look over the car and go thru the menus to see what software upgrades are on the car and so on.
Well i am from the Illinois area. So I wonder who can help me out.
 

Pkmmte

Le meow
Sep 19, 2017
688
1,174
Los Angeles, California
I agree about the battery degradation. I once tried to purchase a Model S from a third party dealership and noticed they kept it plugged in at 100% charge all the time. They also had others which had a completely dead battery.

Needless to say, either of those things are terrible for the battery and the range estimate was much much lower than it was supposed to be, even though it had relatively few miles. Some dealerships simply don't know how to handle EVs and end up hurting them.
 
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RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
1,874
1,827
San Jose, CA
Do the usual stuff you would do for any used vehicle purchase:
  • Take a test drive and see if you notice anything that seems unusual; turn the radio down/off and listen for noise - drive both on city streets and highway for at least 20-30 minutes.
  • Take/pay for 3rd party inspection; this could be a Tesla service center or somebody qualified enough on EVs; be sure to highlight anything that you think may be a problem from the test drive.
  • Obtain a copy of the CarFax report and see if there's any showstoppers (accident, salvage title, etc.).
  • Go to edmunds.com and do some research on the used price or ask around here to see if it's a "good deal".
  • Contact your insurance company and ask for a quote on adding the car; you'll probably need to supply the VIN and mileage. This is more of a reality check than anything else.
  • I'm not sure Tesla will do this but for a purchase of a used Nissan Murano, I asked a local dealer for the repair history on the car and got a little more information than what CarFax had.
For Tesla-specific items:
  • Look at the trip odometers on the car. You may get lucky and have a previous owner who keep track of the "lifetime" mileage. This can tell you the lifetime Wh/mi figure. That can give you some idea on what the overall efficiency is, and to some extent, how "hard" the car was driven (this can vary widely due to climate and geography).
  • Look at the Software menu. Beside telling you what version of software and map navigation data is loaded, it should also tell you what major options are enabled.
  • Made sure that the Mobile Connector (aka, charger) is included with the car. If not, it's a $275 item that you need to be aware of if you need one.
  • While you're out on the test drive, stop at a Supercharger and see if it has any problems charging.
  • Find one of the "new car checklists" that's been posted here and take it with you when checking out the car.
  • Basic warranty is 4 years/50,000 miles. Battery is 8 years, 100K/120K, with a 70% degradation allowed.

TeslaMileage.jpg

TeslaSoftware.jpg
 
Last edited:

JPInnovative

Member
Jul 6, 2020
14
2
Chicago, Illinois
Do the usual stuff you would do for any used vehicle purchase:
  • Take a test drive and see if you notice anything that seems unusual; turn the radio down/off and listen for noise - drive both on city streets and highway for at least 20-30 minutes.
  • Take/pay for 3rd party inspection; this could be a Tesla service center or somebody qualified enough on EVs; be sure to highlight anything that you think may be a problem from the test drive.
  • Obtain a copy of the CarFax report and see if there's any showstoppers (accident, salvage title, etc.).
  • Go to edmunds.com and do some research on the used price or ask around here to see if it's a "good deal".
  • Contact your insurance company and ask for a quote on adding the car; you'll probably need to supply the VIN and mileage. This is more of a reality check than anything else.
  • I'm not sure Tesla will do this but for a purchase of a used Nissan Murano, I asked a local dealer for the repair history on the car and got a little more information than what CarFax had.
For Tesla-specific items:
  • Look at the trip odometers on the car. You may get lucky and have a previous owner who keep track of the "lifetime" mileage. This can tell you the lifetime Wh/mi figure. That can give you some idea on what the overall efficiency is, and to some extent, how "hard" the car was driven (this can vary widely due to climate and geography).
  • Look at the Software menu. Beside telling you what version of software and map navigation data is loaded, it should also tell you what major options are enabled.
  • Made sure that the Mobile Connector (aka, charger) is included with the car. If not, it's a $275 item that you need to be aware of if you need one.
  • While you're out on the test drive, stop at a Supercharger and see if it has any problems charging.
  • Find one of the "new car checklists" that's been posted here and take it with you when checking out the car.
  • Basic warranty is 4 years/50,000 miles. Battery is 8 years, 100K/120K, with a 70% degradation allowed.

View attachment 561783
View attachment 561784
I am going to print this out... so that way i have a check list to go off of.
 

harlam2

New Member
Jun 27, 2020
2
2
California
I am going to print this out... so that way i have a check list to go off of.

-Be aware that if you're buying from a Dealer, as opposed to a second hand private party, Tesla will likely inactivate any autopilot and/or FSD that is currently on the car when the car is reset depending on what year it was built, back to what was considered "stock" then. You retain "rights" to the autopilot and FSD if you buy from a private party. This was information a Tesla rep told me when I bought my second hand M3.
 

JPInnovative

Member
Jul 6, 2020
14
2
Chicago, Illinois
-Be aware that if you're buying from a Dealer, as opposed to a second hand private party, Tesla will likely inactivate any autopilot and/or FSD that is currently on the car when the car is reset depending on what year it was built, back to what was considered "stock" then. You retain "rights" to the autopilot and FSD if you buy from a private party. This was information a Tesla rep told me when I bought my second hand M3.
So i found a standard range model 3 i want to buy next week.
Is there a way I can buy it and keep autopilot on the car?
bc thats 8 grand extra i do not have lol
 

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