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Buying Used: How to have seller purchase the ESA before sale?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Superloud, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Superloud

    Superloud Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm thinking about buying a used model S directly from an original owner.

    As you probably know, only the original owner can add the ESA (extended service agreement, aka extended warranty). Once added, it's transferable to the new owner. But, a lot of sellers out there haven't added it yet.

    My question is, are there any special hoops that need to be jumped through in order to make sure the ESA legitimately transfers to the new owner? Is there any "wait time" that has to occur after purchasing the ESA, but before selling the car privately? I can't seem to find any such restrictions, but figured I'd ask here. My apologies if this has already been covered in another thread.

    Here's what I'm thinking could be the order of operations for doing the private sale:
    1) Meet the seller at my bank
    2) Inspect the MS, if everything looks good, walk into my bank and get a cashier's check for the agreed sale price of the car, plus $4000. The seller gets to watch and see it's legit.
    3) Drive over to a Tesla store, walk in together and purchase the ESA (at this point, the seller does still own the car)
    4) Walk out to the parking lot and sign/obtain the pink slip and hand over the cashier's check.

    Anyone see a hole in that?
    I've heard there's also a step (5), where the new owner has to tell Tesla that they are the new owner, and hence can get access to the Tesla app which connects to the car? I've heard that as far as Tesla can tell, this is their only indication of a change in ownership? Should one wait and do step 5 some day(s) later, just to let the ESA sink in? Or can I walk right back into the Tesla store immediately after step 4 and do this? Or, should I wait till I get the new pink slip with my name on it?

    thanks!!
     
  2. valkeriefire

    valkeriefire Member

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    Awesome question. I was looking to purchase a used model S also and I didn't realize only the original owner can add the ESA. Thanks for posting this. I look forward to the responses.
     
  3. moviemaker2000

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    So I just went through this exact thing a couple of weeks ago. I bought a used S from an original owner who had not purchased the ESA. Here are the steps we went through.
    1) Transfer $4,000 to owner.
    2) Owner logged onto his My Tesla account and ordered the ESA with his credit card.
    3) Purchased car from owner.
    4) e-mail tesla proof of registration in my name with a copy of drivers license and My Tesla account user name.
    5) Everything automatically transferred to my account (access to the car, ESA, etc).

    Tesla explained the ESA is tied to the VIN of the vehicle so when they transfer it to the new owner in the system the ESA goes with it.
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. hashraf

    hashraf Member

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    I thought they no longer allowed ESA transfers.
     
  5. Superloud

    Superloud Member

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    Awesome thanks!
    So, can your steps 1-3 essentially be done one immediately one after the other. Since they can buy the ESA probably on their smartphone. Can you do that all in person while at the bank getting the cashiers check for example?

    In other words, it's good to know there's no need to actually goto the tesla store.

    How much time does it take between your steps 3-4?
     
  6. Superloud

    Superloud Member

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    Well, I bought a model S.

    In case it helps anyone to know how it played out:
    1) found a car a liked on craigslist. Built up some mutual trust with the seller.
    2) agreed on a sale price, under the condition that they add the extended warranty first. In my case, the seller was kind enough to do that over the phone with tesla as I drove to meet them at a bank
    3) met the seller. Went in the bank. Got a cashiers check. Signed the pink slip and handed over the check
    4) next business day, stood in line at the DMV with pink slip in hand. They processed the change of ownership. I paid the sales tax and negligible transfer fee. I got a temporary registration printout to prove ownership (my new pink slip won't come in the mail for a few weeks)
    5) drove straight to tesla. The folks at the service department took a photocopy of my registration, drivers license and took my email. They said it would take 2-3 days to process. At which point, I should get an email acknowledging that the car is under my account - at which point I should be able to connect the app to the car and essentially be considered a full owner.

    I'm currently waiting for step 5 to complete. It's funny, I was able to by a rear sunshade for my car, but they wouldn't sell me charging accessories till my ownership transfer completes. Also, more expectedly, they wouldn't discuss any service history or anything else particular to the car with me yet.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. valkeriefire

    valkeriefire Member

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    Thanks for the responses everyone.
     
  8. Config

    Config Member

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    Good info to know.
     
  9. moviemaker2000

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    1-3 were accomplished in about 5 minutes online.
    4 took about 36 hours after e-mailing the paperwork
     
  10. Superloud

    Superloud Member

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    Just following up in case this information helps anyone else out there.

    Here's my real life personal account, in which I think I tripped on some stuff that I hadn't seen mentioned anywhere here before.

    Ok, to recap
    I agreed to buy privately on April 1.
    Seller called tesla and added the ESA.
    We met shortly after at a bank and did the sale.
    I went to the DMV the next business day - got my temp registration.
    Went straight to Tesla Sunnyvale and gave them my registration and license to copy and submit.
    After 3 days I called tech support and they had no record of me. But then quickly said oh yeah...Sunnyvale "just" sent over your documents. lol. Lesson learned: I probably should have just called tech support directly and emailed my documents myself. After another 2ish days I finally saw my S show up in MyTesla. At this point, all I could see in MyTesla was a rendering of my car, my VIN, my contact info, some release notes, and that's it.

    Then began a few week ordeal of trying to prove that I indeed had the ESA. I'd call tesla tech support, and tell them that nothing other than my car was showing up in MyTesla. I didn't have any details on my original warranty expiration date. No record of the ESA. No copy of the car's original monroney details. Not even user manuals. And...theyd tell me to wait and that they were working on it.

    The one thing tech support would always say is that yes, they could see the ESA attached to the car on their end. So they assured me it was there. But, if I called service at Sunnyvale tesla, they were not able to see any ESA on my car.

    This all went on until today, April 26, tech support finally said that they fixed the issue. But, I saw no change in MyTesla. Playing a bit of back and forth phone tag, I finally got word from a more experienced rep that in fact none of the stuff mentioned above is ever going to show up for me in MyTesla. It's apparently all information that "belongs" to the original owner, and for privacy reasons can't be moved over to my account.

    It's kind of funny. Doesn't quite make sense to me - why details pertaining to the car don't show up in my account. But, to be honest I don't really care.

    Often I find that I get up to 3 different answers when I talk to 3 different tesla employees. At which point I need to keep asking more employees until one of the 3 answers is a clear winner. I was told at one point that there was a certain point where tesla revamped their systems and after that, the stuff above does automatically stick with the car even on transfer of ownership. But I can't validate that. I can only say it didn't happen for me.

    I can say that something is fixed. Tech support has repeatedly told me I do have the ESA. And, even service at Sunnyvale tesla is now able to see the ESA, which is all I really care. They can verbally tell me my warranty expiration date. I can also find the manuals online anyway. So other than feeling a tiny bit like a second class tesla citizen I'm really all good.

    So there you have it. Transferring the ESA on a private sale officially worked for me. It just took ~26 days of waiting and calling tesla to prove it worked. I didn't have to pay any transfer fee, the ESA simply stuck with the car (note my original factory warranty is not expired, there may be fees when transferring during the ESA period).

    Even after all this, for sure I'd do this again. IMO, buying used privately with the seller adding the ESA, or buying a tesla CPO are the only two good options when buying used. Buying from a 3rd party dealer with barely any warranty seems to me like a bad idea.

    Oh, I'll also add. I love my new car. Been hunting for this for a long time. So it's not a huge surprise that I'd probably be quick to notice common issues that I've stumbled over while reading countless threads here. That said, I already have a service appointment to have fixed:
    -squeaky/clanky brake pedal
    -sunroof shudders when open/closing
    -rear power windows also seem a bit sticky sometimes
    -squeal coming from front of car after I get out and some fan spins (hvac condenser fan)
    -loud blower fan inside at certain fan speeds
    -another loud fan noise when standing outside car with door open (loud enough to be annoying when talking to someone)
    -moisture in tail lights
    -not sure about my drive unit noise. It's not quiet and at certain speeds (i.e. 38mph) it seems to make more noise. Not sure if I'm expecting it to be too silent
    -loose trim in passenger footwell

    So, for those who are happy owning a tesla out of warranty, I say you're braver than me :)
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. whitex

    whitex Member

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    #11 whitex, Apr 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
    If you already are going to give the seller $4,000 up front to buy the ESA (so technically if the sale falls through you just bought them ESA, or may have to sue them for the money if it's not refundable and they don't want ESA), then why not just have the seller put the $4K on your credit card in the first place. Then at least you have a record of it, and worst case you can refuse charges if the sale falls through.
     
  12. Superloud

    Superloud Member

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    Indeed there's a trust barrier to this part of the transaction. In my case, luckily the original owner bought the ESA on their own credit card an hour or so before we met at the bank. So there was no risk on my part.
     
  13. Xpress

    Xpress Member

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