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Hey Burlington VT area owners. Tesla would be my only car. Should I buy?

JONZ

Member
Mar 29, 2021
6
2
Essex, VT
I'm about to order an M3, but I'm having second thoughts.
It will be my only car, so what happens if it needs service? Does anyone have experience with Tesla service response this far from a "dealer"? (200+miles) What do you do if the car becomes undriveable? Will Tesla tow to the nearest service location? What about a loaner/rental?
Thanks.
Jon
Essex, VT
 

heaventwig

New Member
Jun 8, 2021
1
0
Dawnlands
Hey Jon, did you wind up buying the M3? How’s it working out? And were you able to test drive one first? How’s the service up here in the Green Mountains?
(I too am considering buying a Model 3, in Burlington, as my only car — and wanting to test drive it first.)
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
3,997
2,865
New Hampshire
I'm about to order an M3, but I'm having second thoughts.
It will be my only car, so what happens if it needs service? Does anyone have experience with Tesla service response this far from a "dealer"? (200+miles) What do you do if the car becomes undriveable? Will Tesla tow to the nearest service location? What about a loaner/rental?
Thanks.
Jon
Essex, VT
In my experience, if the car is undriveable and it is a warranty repair, they will tow to the shop. Possibly a return tow once fixed, but you may have to arrange pickup/return towing at your own expense/time. If the car is out of warranty, it's all on you.
 

ArcticStation

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2018
182
270
Maine
I wouldn't. We did, but I am retired and we have a second car. Plus one of my sons lives less than fifteen minutes from an SC, so I have a place to stay when the car is in for maintenance. So after three years of ownership, and even though we live over 250 miles from the closest SC, issues with our M3 have been an inconvenience, not a deal breaker. It is a great car, and we have no regrets, but if I were still working and I could only afford one car, from my perspective that car wouldn't be a Tesla.
 

bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
301
299
Westford MA
This is second hand, it's information from the old Tesla Forum. For places without Service Centers Tesla has arrangements with local garages that allow their rangers to use their lifts for repairs that can't be done in your driveway.
 

ArcticStation

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2018
182
270
Maine
This is second hand, it's information from the old Tesla Forum. For places without Service Centers Tesla has arrangements with local garages that allow their rangers to use their lifts for repairs that can't be done in your driveway.
We've had the Ranger visit us twice. He was outstanding and we were very pleased with the work done. HOWEVER, both times we had to wait almost two weeks before he was available. Local independent shops and nearby dealers can usually see us within a day or two for work on our hybrid . Tesla needs to fix this and related issues or they will continue to loose customers who live outside of large municipalities.
 
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bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
301
299
Westford MA
We've had the Ranger visit us twice. He was outstanding and we were very pleased with the work done. HOWEVER, both times we had to wait almost two weeks before he was available. Local independent shops and nearby dealers can usually see us within a day or two for work on our hybrid . Tesla needs to fix this and related issues or they will continue to loose customers who live outside of large municipalities.
I agree with you. Tesla seems to have put minimal effort into service and it's going to bite them now that there is real competition. New England seems to be particularly neglected, the only service centers in all of New England are on 128, that's not even convenient for people like me who live on 495 but impossible for people who live in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont or the Berkshires. When I had a Volt there were three Chevy dealers within 15 minutes of me, the downside was that the Volt needed a lot more service than the Tesla. I had one or two things a year that needed fixing on the Volt, in the almost two years that I've owned my Model 3 it's never needed service of any sort. However the last year shouldn't count because I put almost no miles on it because of the pandemic. I guarantee you that there are multiple Ford dealers in Burlington Vt and the Mach-E is a really good EV, if I lived in Burlington that's what I would buy because there would be no concern about service. They undoubtedly have VW dealers and if you don't mind how dull the ID.4 is then that's a capable EV also.

I'm going to qualify my statement about the MachE and the ID.4, it really should read that's the car that I would buy in 2022 or 2023 if I lived in Burlington. The only CCS chargers in Vermont are 50KW, EA hasn't put anything into Vermont yet although they have plans to. They haven't put Maine on their map at all yet. Tesla was late to Maine also, I watched the Tesla Supercharger Map for several years before I pulled the trigger. When Tesla put a Supercharger into the Kennebunk Service Plazas that's when I decided that it was a practical car. If I were considering a CCS car I'd be monitoring the EA map in the same way to see when they reach a usable level of coverage.
 
Last edited:

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
3,997
2,865
New Hampshire
This is second hand, it's information from the old Tesla Forum. For places without Service Centers Tesla has arrangements with local garages that allow their rangers to use their lifts for repairs that can't be done in your driveway.
I wouldn't count on this. My local ranger is really good about letting me watch over his shoulder and chatting about cars as he works. We've talked about what he can/can't do, and this "third party lift access" has never come up.

I guarantee you that there are multiple Ford dealers in Burlington Vt and the Mach-E is a really good EV, if I lived in Burlington that's what I would buy because there would be no concern about service. They undoubtedly have VW dealers and if you don't mind how dull the ID.4 is then that's a capable EV also.
One of the reasons my next EV probably won't be a Tesla. I have a reservation for an F150 Lightning (and a dealer 3 miles away).

The only CCS chargers in Vermont are 50KW, EA hasn't put anything into Vermont yet although they have plans to.
I've been involved in municipal conversations with EA. I should probably speak in generalities, even though our meetings were all properly noticed/minutes posted for the public per NH right-to-know laws. EA is definitely eager to build out along I-89. West Lebanon has been announced. They like to build out at Wal Marts for some reason, so Berlin, VT might be a possibility.
 

Brando

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,977
2,052
Bainbridge Island, WA
back up plan - always a fine idea - need a car quick rental/barrow/taxi/public trans/rideshare - thinking/planning helps

Experimenting/learning about lyft/uber/ride share with friend might be helpful any time - just try it.
 

JONZ

Member
Mar 29, 2021
6
2
Essex, VT
Hey Jon, did you wind up buying the M3? How’s it working out? And were you able to test drive one first? How’s the service up here in the Green Mountains?
(I too am considering buying a Model 3, in Burlington, as my only car — and wanting to test drive it first.)
Hi heaventwig: I'm still holding out. I was hoping to grab the new tax credit but that seems like, even when/if it passes, it won't be effective until 1/1/22. I'm not going to hold out that long. I drove to Peabody, MA to test drive. Drove both a 3 and a Y. Originally wanted the Y, but the visibility out the rear window is terrible, so I'm going to order a 3. I still have reservations about having the Tesla as an only car 200+ miles from the nearest dealer/repair. Where do you stand?
 

bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
301
299
Westford MA
If it's any comfort to you I bought my Model 3 in July 2019 and it's had zero problems. This is the first car that I've owned that hasn't had to go into the shop a few times in it's first year, I had a Zoom 50th high school reunion yesterday which tells you that I've been around for a while. Rangers should be able to handle most all of your problems, assuming that you have any, and in the worse case scenario when the car has to be sent to Dedham you can always rent a car.

What you should do when you pick up the car is make sure you inspect it closely and don't accept it if you see anything that you can't live with. You might also want to keep the car you have now for a few months just in case there are any infant mortality problems. When I got my Model 3 I hung onto my Volt for about six months and then I gave it to my sister. You'll get more money in a private sale then you will get for a trade in with Tesla so waiting a few months so it won't hurt to wait.
 
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JONZ

Member
Mar 29, 2021
6
2
Essex, VT
Hey Jon, did you wind up buying the M3? How’s it working out? And were you able to test drive one first? How’s the service up here in the Green Mountains?
(I too am considering buying a Model 3, in Burlington, as my only car — and wanting to test drive it first.)
I haven't purchased, yet. I have been waiting to see what happens with the federal tax credit. Now it seems as though the credit, if it passes, will not take effect until 1/1/2022. I don't want to wait that long so I'll probably pull the trigger soon. I test drove the 3 and Y in Boston a few months ago. I liked the Y, but the rear window is extremely small, restricting the field of view, so I'm going with the 3.
I'm still concerned about service but I'm going to roll the dice and hope it doesn't become an issue.
How about you? Did you buy?
 

Whynots

New Member
Aug 23, 2021
1
0
williston vermont
I live near Burlington, Vt. I need about $3500 in body work to our 2021 Model Y. The "nearest" Tesla service centers are in Montreal (102 mi), Albany (142mi), or Boston (209 mi). Tesla's response to my inquiries has been consistent: no parts, no service, no loaner vehicles. Regrettably, we will probably part with the Y, a beautiful car, because of this issue.
 

bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
301
299
Westford MA
I haven't purchased, yet. I have been waiting to see what happens with the federal tax credit. Now it seems as though the credit, if it passes, will not take effect until 1/1/2022. I don't want to wait that long so I'll probably pull the trigger soon. I test drove the 3 and Y in Boston a few months ago. I liked the Y, but the rear window is extremely small, restricting the field of view, so I'm going with the 3.
I'm still concerned about service but I'm going to roll the dice and hope it doesn't become an issue.
How about you? Did you buy?
It looks like the credit won't apply to Tesla again, if the Senate bill becomes part of the final package then there will be a $40K cap on the price of the car which will eliminate every Tesla with the possible exception of the SR+.
 

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