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Do you keep a backup car?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by jasonhi, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. jasonhi

    jasonhi Roadster 2.5 #1135

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    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    After several years of following Tesla, I think I am about ready to take the plunge and purchase.

    One thing I've been thinking about a lot recently is if I would want to keep my current car as a backup or not. Unlike previous sports cars I've owned, the goal with the Tesla would be to use it for the majority of my driving.

    I suspect for as infrequently as I'd actually drive a 2nd car, I should just rent. It wouldn't surprise me if I ended up needing to rent less than once a year.

    What have others done? Would you do it differently if you were doing it it again?

    Thanks,
    ...Jason
     
  2. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    I use the Roadster as my main car. I'm trying to establish a local car share that will have a plug-in Prius for those rare occasions that I need longer range or more luggage/people. I will also take my Roadster off the road when the winter roads are caked in salt.
     
  3. Lancelac

    Lancelac 2010 Roadster Sport #690

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    Chicago
    The Roadster is my primary car as well. I kept my Jeep Wrangler as a backup car, but I am now looking to get rid of it. I've driven it 5 times in the past year. I thought I'd drive it a lot in the winter, but I still drive the Tesla. Renting is a good idea for such habits. I already had to pay $100 for a new battery in the Jeep because I forgot to start it for a month and it died. =P
     
  4. kgb

    kgb Member

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    I was wondering the same thing as josonhi, but I am not concerned about long distance travel. How often do you need to get another car, because the Tesla has a problem and you are waiting on one of the Tesla Power Rangers? Has anyone had significant down time waiting on service?
     
  5. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    I've maintained a spare car just in case & one year in I have 17 miles on the petrol car.

    We realized that the insurance an depreciation make no sense at all. Anyone want an '08 Audi A6?

    Zipcar is my backup now.
     
  6. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I had a backup car for all of about 2 weeks - I realized it was just silly. The Tesla is my daily driver, and we use it for some shorter day trips. We'd use it more, but my wife's back isn't up for it (her back actually became the primary factor in choosing her car - which, hopefully, will be the last car with an engine in it we'll ever buy).

    My car was in for service for about a week (a cell had gone iffy, the sheet needed replacing), but where I work has great alternate transportation options, so it wasn't really a problem.

    -Scott
     
  7. user497

    user497 Member

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    My wife drives an ICE that we use for long trips and for her commute but on the weekends we always drive the Tesla. I've said it before but I think that Tesla should heavily market to 2-car families to have them switch one of them to electric.
     
  8. kgb

    kgb Member

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    Ok, sounds like if the Tesla needs a "spa day," then my wife will have to drop me off at work.
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Jul 16, 2009
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    2,399
    Hi Jason,

    I drive my Tesla on a daily basis. If I was single, it would probably be my only car. But being married (sigh) I occasionally use my wife's car as backup.

    Note that I don't use her car as a backup for when I need more range, because hers has less--it's a 100-mile RAV4-EV. When I took a 3,000 mile trip this year, I took the Tesla. (That was using campgrounds--very soon we'll have HPCs all up and down the West coast, so I'm definitely taking the Tesla everywhere). I only need her car when the Tesla is too small to carry what I want. Almost every time that's happened it's been because I've been carrying the wife and a kid, but again if I was single I wouldn't need that.

    To answer kgb, after 11 months and 12,000 miles, I haven't needed any service--my Tesla has been available every day. (I did get the rear tires changed, but that didn't take long). I will take it in for the 12k service next week, and they want it for the full day for that. It will be our first day apart. Sniff.
     
  10. Albern

    Albern Member

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    hahahaha

    powerRangersIcon.jpg
     
  11. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    Cathy and I held on to our Honda Insight for over a year making an effort to drive it every couple of weeks after we got the Roadster. In addition to the issue with the 12V battery, there's the problem with gas going bad, especially when it contains ethanol. We sold it a few weeks ago to a SEVA member who will put its 50+ MPG to good use.

    We now have only the Roadster and a 2002 RAV4-EV.

    While the Roadster has been very reliable, service can take a while. Our car spent a week in the shop while they figured out a problem that turned out to be the subwoofer amp. Other cars have spent over four weeks in service while a complex problem is tracked down, new parts ordered and shipped, then a deeper problem is found. Carl and Mark in the Seattle store are awesome, but they also have to cover a huge geographical area, so service gets slow when one is in Alaska while the other is in Idaho.

    Anecdotally, at least half of the long service times are for non-warranty issues, car accidents or other vehicle damage not caused by a design or manufacturing problem.

    Still, the problems that require long service time are rare, and the cost of keeping and maintaining a spare gas burner is high, it seems like it's a better bet to just plan to rent. Of course it would be nice if Tesla absorbed that risk and kept some loaner Priuses (or Leafs!) on hand for those rare situations.
     
  12. pgwoosley

    pgwoosley Member

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    I find I use a old back up car to pull a trailer, for parking at the airport while I am on a trip, to carry large items, and in situations where driving a fancy car would tempt people to overcharge me or worse.
     
  13. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    I've got a 95 Pathfinder. It gets awful gas mileage, but since I haven't filled it since May I no longer really care.

    It's useful for hauling large stuff (my house has well water that's got very high iron content, and the iron filter consumes 40 lb bags of salt at a stupendous rate); for driving on snow (even if the Roadster's fine with snow, I don't trust other drivers not to hit me); for hauling both kids; and for the rare long road trip. Since it's so old, I don't carry collision or comprehensive insurance on it, so it's not terribly expensive to let it sit in the garage.

    Tom's comment does make me wonder if I'm going to have a problem with the gas going bad soon. Maybe I should start filling it up only a quarter of a tank at a time from now on.
     
  14. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    When I get my S my backup car will be my wife's Toyota Corolla. It'll also be our primary long-distance road trip car until beefier batteries come along 5-10 years from now.
     
  15. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    I also have a Toyota Prius as a backup car. With 2 children, I need a car that can carry both of them.
    I think my miles are about 75% Tesla Roadster, 25% Toyota Prius.

    The issue has nothing to do with it being an electric car.
    I would have the same issue with any 2 seater sports car.
     
  16. herbvdh

    herbvdh Member

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    I would keep a second vehicle Lexus RX400h due to I need All Wheel Drive for bad weather snow use and light hauling Lowe's etc. Tesla would be a daily driver though when I get it.
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    This perfectly describes us too.
     
  18. jasonhi

    jasonhi Roadster 2.5 #1135

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    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    Order in...

    Thanks for all the replies. I put my order in today at the Seattle store. Saw Tom & Cathy's and Chad's cars in there today.

    Radiant red
    Premium leather black & beige rally style
    Sport suspension
    Sport forged wheels (silver)
    Infotainment
    Paint protection

    Expected delivery dec 1.

    Can't wait already!

    ...Jason
     
  19. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Welcome to the Seattle group of Tesla owners, Jason. Tom & Cathy's and Chad's cars are in getting their 12K services done. I'm 1500 miles from needing my 24K service. My backup car is a Scion xB, but I've put very few miles on it since getting my Roadster 18 months ago.
     

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