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Finally ready to get my dream car… need advice

Hi all. I need advice on what to get for my first model 3. Please forgive me if I’m asking already-answered questions. I feel like my head is spinning after reading so much.

I’ve decided that I’m not comfortable buying used from anyone other than Tesla - I want the peace of mind of the 1 yr extended warranty. I want awd. Right now, in my budget, I could get a 2018 awd performance long range, ~42k miles (w/extended warranty through 9/23); or 2019 awd long range (w/extended warranty through 6/24), ~25k miles. The 2018 is about $2k cheaper. Both of those say “full self driving capability” - does that mean they ARE full self driving, or that they CAN be if I pay more monies? I honestly don’t think I’d use the full self driving hardly ever. If I price out a new car, lr awd (no full self driving added… $12k, uh no), (“estimated delivery may”), the price is comparable to the more expensive 2019 ($1k more after destination fee blah blah).

Am I missing something if I take the plunge and order new? The 2018 performance would be kindest to my bank account. Buying new would definitely cost the most, but not by much.


Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
Riverside Co. CA
There are no values in used teslas right now (or really, any used cars right now). Tesla will not remove FSD from a used car if its on there, and as you pointed out, the price is virtually identical for a new one.

Buy a new one. Its not "that much" more, and there isnt any real value in the used ones right now (unless you are selling one you already own).
3 years ago. I’d have said go used all the way. With the prices of used right now tho. You’re better off buying new and just waiting it out. (Car prices are like house prices. No way is a 3-4 year old car worth what they’re selling for tesla or otherwise)

Fwiw I ordered my car in October. It said June 2022 delivery. It was ready thanksgiving weekend. I wasn’t ready. Put a hold until 2/1 and car was delivered 2/9 so take the “estimated” delivery date with a. Grain of salt.
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I sold my 2019 SR+ to Carvana for a ridiculous price, and turned around and purchased a Long Range AWD for a few thousand more. Many folks did it in late 2020 and even more so in 2021. It was a crazy used car market, and all you had to do was wait a few weeks/months until your new one came for just a little more money...and sometimes cheaper than a lightly used model with 10,000 miles or less.

It's a painful wait time, but it is very much worth it as far as bang for your buck. You don't get that same value purchasing a 3yr old model.

The only reason I'd consider an older model today is the older cars still have radar...and the TACC on those cars are smoother versus the new vision only cars.

The used cars from Tesla are crazy overvalued due to the FSD, which isn't worth it. If you can miraculously get them to take that off, you'd potentially knock off 5,000-7,000 off the price.
New. Used Tesla's bear a premium because you don't have to wait. That's the only reason... there's nothing about a used Tesla that makes it more valuable. So, it comes down to whether you absolutely must have the car next week and are willing to pay the premium, or whether you can wait.

Aside from that --- and I'll try to keep as this as politically neutral as possible --- the only thing that current events are going to do to EV's is jack up the prices and wait times. Already almost every new EV from manufacturers such as GM, Nissan and Ford are being offered on an "place your order for future delivery basis." And there are verified reports that dealers are adding on as much as $30k to the sticker to get one of the first F150's.

All to say, EV's, in the current marketplace, given current events, are positioned to go up in price until manufacturing capacity and charging catch up with demand. That means the price for a get-it-delivered-tomorrow used Tesla will continue to go up. Order new NOW, lock in the price, crack open a beer, sit back and wait.

My 2 cents.
Thanks, all. Very much appreciated!

My single hesitation point is over the phantom braking (I’ve read some of the MANY posts about it - I actually didn’t know it was a “thing” until I started reading on this forum, apparently I’ve been living under a rock).

If I’m not planning on buying fsd (annoying that you have to pay so much as a package for features like parking assist, which is probably the only feature I’d realistically use - and is a feature on my MUCH cheaper ‘16 eGolf - we won’t talk about my lack of parallel parking skills… I wish they would offer the ability to buy the package features a la carte) and I very rarely use cruise control anyway, that wouldn’t be an issue for me, right? My husband is a big cruise control fan, but I rarely use it - I’m too anxious and prefer to be in control of my car anyway. Hopefully they’ll figure out how to fix it someday…
While I live in NYC where parallel parking is a way of life, I find the parking assist on the screen to be useful in lieu of the self parking feature. Self parking was too slow here anyway when I tried it on my first test drive. I could've whipped it into the spot in half the time.

Also, the traffic aware cruise control TACC is included in the base price, along with autosteer within your lane. Those two features are part of Advanced Autopilot, not FSD.

Phantom braking is a thing, which is why I don't use it around NY where there are too many things that could set it off.
Just wanted to clarify that without "FSD", the car has a very large screen with which to see the backup cam, and displays proximity lines including distance to the obstacle in front of or behind you. Those proximity lines on the screen are also color coded (red when really close) and are accompanied by a chime sound as you get within the danger zone.

I'm not well acquainted with the feature names (e.g. "Parking Assist" vs "Self Parking") but my experience is that the native features of the car make parking a breeze (without purchasing self driving).
Other manufacturers with traffic-aware cruise control also suffer from phantom breaking. I prefer to drive the car 100% on my own, so I've never experienced phantom breaking and don't intend to.

The car is a blast to drive.
Yeah, that phantom breaking is much worse than the phantom braking.;) You never know when it is real.
My experiences with phantom braking have nearly always occurred under Autopilot, non-FSD (many confuse AP being synonymous with FSD; AP is basically adaptive cruise control). On 2 occasions, the braking was a result of road conditions; exiting the use of a 'zipper lane' and another driver veering into my lane. Perhaps one can argue the car behaved appropriately in these cases in which I agree in the situation of the zipper lane but not so much in the second case since it brought me to a near stop on the freeway.

I watched Tesla's press release on its FSD development, reliance on AI and how it trains its systems for various traffic situations using input from car owners across the country (and world). Regarding the zipper lane incident, I don't think Tesla encountered anything like that in training and the exit is filled with various non-standard coning, markings, etc. which I can understand the car freaking out and slamming the brakes.

I've also experienced phantom braking under normal road conditions where the speed limit drops significantly due to road conditions. Again, perhaps one can argue that this is by design and a safety feature. Ultimately, I don't want the car to automatically slow down based purely on speed limit and I find this annoying. I've also had braking in parking garages where the ramp angle tends to be a bit sharp and perhaps my speed was a bit too high.

Overall, I've stopped using AP for the most part as I'm not comfortable with the way it interprets traffic conditions and its resulting actions.


Active Member
Supporting Member
Definitely new. A new battery, newer technology (heated wheel and wipers, powered trunk, matrix headlights, chrome delete, faster MCU, and more).

There's just no comparison.

Just to balance things out, since launch, Model 3 has:

Minus alcantara headliner, minus NEMA 14-50, minus dead pedal, minus pax lumbar support, minus UV roof coating, minus silver paint, minus referral program, minus Homelink, minus frunk mats, minus USB data, minus premium connectivity, minus a speaker, minus PTC heater, minus dimming side mirrors (I believe added back?), minus radar, minus Autopilot "1" following distance, minus Autopilot >80mph ... (And I happen to like chrome... LOL!)

I do certainly agree with you that a brand new Model 3 is the way to go, as the improvements far outweigh the removals ... but there *are* negatives to the newer models.
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