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Model S in a non-Tesla country

Carmiol

Member
Mar 24, 2018
12
1
Costa Rica
Hello! First of all I live on Costa Rica (not Puerto Rico)

I’m planning on getting a CPO Model S but I do have some questions.

(Needless to say, there is no Tesla in Costa Rica)

In case something mayor happens, will Tesla flight a “ranger” to my expense?

What kind of stuff have you needed service for (to see if I could live without it)?

For current CPO Owners: If you lived in a non-Tesla country, and money was not a problem, would you buy another CPO?

Thanks!
Rafael C. Sorry
 

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,888
7,116
Chicago, IL
Why cpo if you can't take advantage of the warranty? Just go privste and save money for repair costs.

Sometimes you can get a tech to fly at your expense but it is a risk to own without Tesla service.

If you are handy you can repair a lot of issues like door handles or mcu replacement.
 
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smk23us

Member
Feb 7, 2018
14
11
Poland
First of all make sure that you can buy CPO Tesla from Tesla Sales & Service. Here in Europe since last year it's not possible. Tesla sales used cars only in same country. There was no way to buy CPO from Germany if you lived in other EU country (which by the way is forbided by EU law, so i dont know why Tesla gets away with it).
New car you can buy without a problem, no matter where you live (at least here in EU).

I ended up buying second hand AP1 S85 with 1 year warranty left on all components and 5 years on engine and battery. Was 15k EUR cheaper than CPO i found, so anyway it was good deal.

I used service once (door handles, water intrusion in backlight) and all was covered by warranty. But i had to drive to closest service center, which is in Germany, 250km from where i live in Poland.

I have no idea how it works in North/Middle America, but i doubt that they will send a ranger to your location (remember you are "non core market"). Maybe if you buy a new one, but CPO - i dont think so.

I've read somewhere abut Tesla sending someone to Peurto Rico when car needed service, but i think it was more a PR decision than regular procedure.
 

Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
2,889
2,133
Maine
Friends living in Costa Rica for a year left their model S in the states. They would not drive that car on the local roads full of rocks and holes, maybe an X for height, but not for width. A city car might have a better experience.
 
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Carmiol

Member
Mar 24, 2018
12
1
Costa Rica
My brother lives in Arizona. My plan was to give him the money, have him buy it, and ship it to Costa Rica on my own.

Wanted a CPO because it goes through a full Tesla “ok” before it is sold. Anything wrong gets replaced before I even take it from them. Also wanted at least some sort of phone service line.

Haven’t thought of buying one private. But I guess if it could go for up to 15k less it might be worth that.

Maybe driving it in the States for a few weeks before shipping it to Costa Rica. That way I can take it for service to Teslaif something is wrong.

Roads here are not full of rocks and holes, unless you are in a remote location. Roads might not me as nice as in the States, but it’s not like we are cavemen. I’ve seen Lamborghinis here so I don’t think a Model S will have any problem.

I have seen a few Model S and even a Model X here. A company here as a PR stunt bought a Model 3. I guess they bought it and shipped it here. In any case, I don’t know any of these Tesla owners, to know what they did.

The main question now would be: how bad would it be to own a Tesla with absolutely no service from Tesla? As @croman said, I can probably fix minor stuff like door handles myself, but how common is it to have something mayor break down, like the drivetrain or the display?
 

mblakele

beep! beep! 💉
Mar 7, 2016
1,744
5,708
SF Bay Area
The main question now would be: how bad would it be to own a Tesla with absolutely no service from Tesla? As @croman said, I can probably fix minor stuff like door handles myself, but how common is it to have something mayor break down, like the drivetrain or the display?

That's a good question. I think the odds against a serious problem are pretty good, but I can't say exactly what those odds are. What's the worst case? You might have to ship the car back to the USA to get it fixed. Are you comfortable with that risk?

I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, but I'd wait for Tesla to open a service center a little closer to you.
 
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Carmiol

Member
Mar 24, 2018
12
1
Costa Rica
What's the worst case? You might have to ship the car back to the USA to get it fixed. Are you comfortable with that risk?

I wouldn’t be jumping in excitement, but I could do this, worst case scenario. Problem would be if Tesla won’t service me because I shippped it to another non-Tesla country.

How often does a Model S breaks down to that point? (Obviously excluding mayor car accidents). How often does the car break down by wear and tear?
 

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
761
981
Ann Arbor, MI
Hello! First of all I live on Costa Rica (not Puerto Rico)

I’m planning on getting a CPO Model S but I do have some questions.

(Needless to say, there is no Tesla in Costa Rica)

In case something mayor happens, will Tesla flight a “ranger” to my expense?

What kind of stuff have you needed service for (to see if I could live without it)?

For current CPO Owners: If you lived in a non-Tesla country, and money was not a problem, would you buy another CPO?

Thanks!
Rafael C. Sorry

There is probably more to a ranger visit than airfare. Suppose you have a couple of hour's worth of work for him. He's going to need to be paid for all the travel time as well as all he time while in Costa Rica. He'll need car rental, lodging, meals, insurance coverage, etc. He'll likely need immunizations, a passport, and possibly a work visa. He'll need a bunch of tools. I doubt Tesla is going to foot the bill for all of this even if you do pick up the plane ticket cost.

I think you might call Tesla and see if here is any provision for service in otherwise nonserviced countries.

I'm thinking you'll be better off with a car for which there is already existing support. I think a major disabling issue is unlikely but I'm afraid you might have an impressive piece of yard art, or maybe you can box it up, ship it back, have it fixed, then have it returned to you.

I suppose you could find someone here to put a few thousand miles on it and hopefully wring out any problems. I can help out. Perhaps some track time would be helpful. Are we getting a performance model?
 
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Carmiol

Member
Mar 24, 2018
12
1
Costa Rica
That was kind of the purpose of this thread, to find out if anybody has been crazy enough to do something like this and ship a car like this to a non-supported country.

Costa Rica just passed an EV law making them basically “free of taxes”, etc. The car would cost me what I’m going to pay for it plus shipping, period. Here in Costa Rica I wouldn’t need to pay a dime to get it running here.

I will probably just buy it in Arizona and have my brother drive it for a few thousand miles to sort anything out prior to shipping it here (in case I end up doing this)

The next question would probably be: where do I buy a used Tesla? I’ve searched eBay and Craigslist but prices are not that far south of Tesla’s CPO inventory. Where do I look for a good deal (or is it just luck to find the right one?). I read somewhere that I should wait for September, as many late 2014 leased cars are going to be up for sale (dropping the overall price)... what’s the best approach?
 

redy

Member
Jan 12, 2016
169
82
Brooklyn
That was kind of the purpose of this thread, to find out if anybody has been crazy enough to do something like this and ship a car like this to a non-supported country.

Costa Rica just passed an EV law making them basically “free of taxes”, etc. The car would cost me what I’m going to pay for it plus shipping, period. Here in Costa Rica I wouldn’t need to pay a dime to get it running here.

I will probably just buy it in Arizona and have my brother drive it for a few thousand miles to sort anything out prior to shipping it here (in case I end up doing this)

The next question would probably be: where do I buy a used Tesla? I’ve searched eBay and Craigslist but prices are not that far south of Tesla’s CPO inventory. Where do I look for a good deal (or is it just luck to find the right one?). I read somewhere that I should wait for September, as many late 2014 leased cars are going to be up for sale (dropping the overall price)... what’s the best approach?


You probably know this but just in case you didn't, the forum has a sub-forum for private sales: Tesla for Sale
 
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mblakele

beep! beep! 💉
Mar 7, 2016
1,744
5,708
SF Bay Area
That was kind of the purpose of this thread, to find out if anybody has been crazy enough to do something like this and ship a car like this to a non-supported country

A few people imported cars from Australia to New Zealand, before Tesla had a presence in NZ. There are also some Teslas in Poland, far from the closest service center in Berlin. There are even Teslas in Turkey. So it's possible, but it may not be easy. You might search for threads where people from these countries have discusses their experiences.

Besides access to service, you'll probably also run into problems with navigation and mobile data. A vehicle intended for the USA will have an AT&T SIM card and will be configured with North American maps. Probably neither of these will work in Costa Rica. I don't think it's possible to fix the maps until Tesla has an official presence there. You could provide your own SIM card, but it's difficult to install so you'd probably want to get that done by Tesla before it leaves the USA. I understand some of the early NZ owners were able to make this happen.

It might be educational to read this thread. It's a discussion of the sort of things people in the USA run into, trying to fix up cars that have been wrecked and that Tesla won't support.

Salvage Car Owners Support Group

I suppose the good news is that some parts of the car are normal and anyone can work on them: tires, brakes, and steering. Still, in your shoes I'd wait for an official Tesla service center.
 
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Carmiol

Member
Mar 24, 2018
12
1
Costa Rica
Thanks, I’ll take a look at that thread. It would be good to have a place to get spare parts if Tesla won’t sell them (which was one of my worries).

The thing about waiting for Tesla Service is that it could take a really long time. Tesla only has service in Mexico as far as Latin America goes. No Argentina, no Chile... I guess if they opened up Panama it would just be over 200 miles from here, which is better than some places in the US. But honestly Indont think there is going to be service in a really long time. Hence this thread.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,865
Canyon Lake,CA
Reports are that over the years many owners have done this.

While the cars can be pretty dependable, it is the luck of the draw as how any individual car will hold up.

You might need to have parts shipped to you, but some are embargoed by Tesla and are only sold to authorized businesses.

Worst case is that you will need something serious handled by shipping your car back to the States if you cannot figure out another "bush fix"

Costa Rica has an amazing electrical system. They have the first water battery I heard about where they use excess electricity generated at night, when the demand is low, to pump water from a lower lake into an upper lake. Then, when the grid needs additonal electricity they release it back down to the lower lake, passing it through hydro generators to get the electricity they need during the daytime.

That country is also very eco oriented. A non polluting Tesla would be super popular there. I would imaging that sometime in the future Telsa will open distribution in that country...Pura Vida.
 

Carmiol

Member
Mar 24, 2018
12
1
Costa Rica
Thanks for the compliments on my county. Last year the country ran 98% on renewable energy. Over 300 days straight on renewable energy. Trying to go Carbon Neutral by 2021.

Teslas are súper popular here. The first Tesla to arrive here made headlines on all major newspapers.

I think the best option is probably to buy it, have my brother use it for a month or two, and then ship it here. That way I can get anything obvious fixed, and pray nothing important gets busted.
 
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gabrielpc

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
1
0
Costa Rica
I'm planning on getting a Tesla in the best 2-3 years if things gets easier.
How it has been for you having a Tesla?
Any problems with electric systems or electronic/software or needing parts?
Some days ago I was driving by La Garita and saw a Blue Tesla Model X there. Really impressed there are already some Tesla owners here.
 

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