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New member, looking to buy a Model 3

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Jeremy Harris, Sep 12, 2019 at 3:48 AM.

  1. Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris Member

    Joined:
    Wednesday
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    Hi all,

    I've been an avid reader here for a while, and I'm now seriously considering buying a Model 3, but am finding things a bit frustrating. I live in West Wiltshire, and currently drive a BMW i3, and before that a succession of Toyota Hybrids, the last one being a plug in that I ran for 5 years, so I'm already a pretty confirmed EV person.

    I was seriously thinking of buying a VW ID.3, and placed a deposit down several months ago, but having seen the reveal at Frankfurt there are aspects of the design that I'm just not happy with. I've always loved to the look of the Model 3, but on a point of principle I wasn't going to buy an EV that attracted the punitive luxury car VED (really just because I've not paid VED for many years and see no need to start now!).

    I'm retired and always buy cars outright, and usually keep them for several years (the i3 will be an exception, as it was always bought as a stop gap car, and is really too small for our needs). Now that the Model 3 SR+ price has come down below the luxury VED threshold (as long as I don't opt for any added cost options), I'm seriously considering buying one.

    This is where I'm struggling a bit. The Tesla website seems really difficult to access. We don't have a fast broadband connection, and the Tesla website seems to always just stall, I think because it's trying to load lots of video. I've looked around several other sites, and read some magazine reviews, to try and pin down the exact specification for the SR+ in UK spec, but have found that there are some conflicting specs around and it's not clear what is and is not included in the base model specification.

    I'd also really like to see a Model 3 "in the flesh" before committing to ordering. Not too fussed about a test drive, as I drove a Model S whilst on holiday a couple of years ago, so have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It seems that the nearest place I can go to see one is ~70 miles away (Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, I think, although I've not been able to confirm that), which seems a long way to drive just to look at a car to me. Every other new car I've bought I've just had to pop into a nearby dealer to get the specifications, have a look around, etc. It seems that this isn't the way Tesla operates, which is a bit of a nuisance, as a potential customer.

    Finally, as well as having a pretty slow broadband connection here, we also have no mobile 'phone coverage. This does cause some difficulties with the Connected Drive system on the i3 not working at home, so would I be right in saying that it's likely to give the same sort of problems with the Model 3, or is it likely that there may be more serious issues if the car cannot connect to the internet for long periods?

    If anyone could point me towards a source of accurate, easy to access (i.e. low internet bandwidth!), information on the Model 3, preferably with detailed specifications as to exactly what is and is not included on the SR+ model, then I would be very grateful.
     
  2. totteraptor

    totteraptor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2019
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Hi Jeremy,
    Wikipedia does a good job at simply providing the specs without too much fuss. Scroll down to the long table.
    Tesla Model 3 - Wikipedia

    My personal advice is to NOT buy the option of "potential for full autonomous driving" (or similarly called).
     
  3. PB.Brown

    PB.Brown Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Lincoln
    Hi Jeremy
    All Model 3 variants are subject to the VED. Its based on SRP including delivery and does not take into account the OLEV
     
  4. davidmc

    davidmc Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2019
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Leicester
    Hi and welcome :)

    I'm afraid it still has the Tax applied as the cost is over £40k (by £840)

    Car Cost - £39,990 (SR+ with no options)
    Destination & Doc Fee £850

    = £40,840 (this is the Car Value)
     
  5. wickeruk

    wickeruk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    If your gonna go by looks the model 3 is a lot more striking in person then it is off pictures and videos. Just a warning.
     
  6. dst87

    dst87 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2019
    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    Welcome aboard, @Jeremy Harris :)

    As others have mentioned, you'll still get stung with the high VED even on the SR+ model. I think that has put a few people off and I wonder if Tesla intended for it to be below the limit but screwed up the arithmetic somewhere.

    If you can make it into a Tesla store one day the staff there will be able to answer all of your questions, let you see a vehicle in the flesh (always a good idea if you can) and help you complete your order online using the in-store computers.

    I hope you get the answers you're looking for, and happy EV hunting!
     
  7. TezzyMod3

    TezzyMod3 Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    London
    Saw a model 3 n white in person today and it looks stunning. Pictures don’t do it justice. Neither does the showroom when they put it next to a Model x or s
     
  8. Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris Member

    Joined:
    Wednesday
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    Very many thanks for the helpful advice, particularly that the Wiki data is accurate (helps a lot!).

    I'd no idea that there was an additional charge over the base price that pushed the Model 3 into the luxury VED bracket, I'd assumed that Tesla had deliberately set the price just under the £40k threshold.

    I might have to have a re-think, and perhaps wait a while to see if either the luxury VED threshold changes, or if Tesla change the price structure. With the state of our government at the moment, and a new budget due soon, it's anyone's guess as to what may happen. I'd guess that a lot also hinges on the $ to £ exchange rate, as far as Tesla pricing is concerned.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. tess19

    tess19 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    birmingham
    Being just over the 40k threshold affected my purchase as well. Decided to go for the Performance model instead. For the same VED price, you are getting a performance car. It is also a bargain performancewise compared with other supercar. Man maths :D
     
    • Like x 3
  10. Yev000

    Yev000 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Knaphill
    It's £1600 above a £40,000 car. Spread over 5 years.

    I mean, it sucks, but hardly a consideration when you are spending £40,000. I spent more than that to get an upgrade on a holiday package.
     
  11. pgkevet

    pgkevet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2019
    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    mid wales
    I live out in the sticks too. No cellphone coverage unless i walk across the field and up the hill. I can get almost 3mb/sec via copper and that does function well enough for most things. I put a sub-router in the barn for connection to the car via 'net and that works fine for updates although the car does pick up a mobile signal sometimes where it's parked (which no-one else can).
    From my viewpoint tesla issues are less the car (except for the yellow screen probs in the S) but distance to service and no superchargers in North Wales. I foolishly believed the map showing one due before end 2018 when i bought mine. Yes, one can work around it but it's annoying to have to accept tesla time. Horror stories of repair delays abound.
     
  12. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Waiting patiently for a tow

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2019
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    Surrey, England, UK
    And also £3500 + (optional charge point) £500 back in gov grants too.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Yev000

    Yev000 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Knaphill
    Consider this, you get a £3500 grant

    You pay £1600 tax over 5 years

    You save more than that in fuel per month

    Would you rather buy the Leaf or Kona for just under 40k, if the answer is no then go for the Model 3

    The problem is you can't actually buy that car... You just go in the queue. The Model 3 you can get in about a month or 2 now.

    Also you can buy a second hand S and pay 0 tax.
     
  14. Jason71

    Jason71 Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    England
    The earliest the threshold would be likely to change is April. VED rates always change in April and rarely at any other time. I would not hold your breath on that though. New car sales are down so overall take for DVLA will be down. Don't see them doing anything that would reduce revenue further right now but never say never. Maybe they'll scrap the additional rate for EV's altogether they did it for EV taxis.

    There are scenarios though where import duty on American cars may be scrapped by the EU or by the UK ( after Brexit) or even a post brexit temporary reduction in VAT is possible. Any of those would take it under the threshold. It is also quite possible Tesla will change their price. Just after the start of a quarter seems to be the most common time so fingers crossed for October.
     
  15. Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris Member

    Joined:
    Wednesday
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks again for the useful advice, especially that the car can connect via wifi, I'd not picked that up elsewhere, and thought it would be like the i3 and only be able to connect via the mobile 'phone network. I already have a wired wifi access point in the garage, so with luck that should be able to connect.

    I'm not too fussed about supercharger access for most of the year, as I've found over the past few years that 99% of charging is at home. This is mainly because I've been retired since 2010, so don't do a daily commute, plus we have over 6 kW of solar panels on the roof, so I try and stick to charging from excess PV generation when I can (I built a charge point that manages this more easily with variable rate charging - saves having to go out and start/stop charging according to the import/export display). I will admit that the simplicity of the supercharger network, when compared to the dysfunctional mess that other charging networks are in, is attractive though. Holiday route planning looks to be a heck of a lot easier with the supercharger network, particularly as it seems to be a great deal more reliable than any of the others.

    I think I may just hold off and wait a while to see how things pan out. My objection to paying the £320 a year "luxury" VED is really just a moral, rather than financial, one. Given that the Model 3 seems to be a game changer in terms of EV mass sales elsewhere, and also given that our government is supposedly keen on incentivising EV sales, it seems a bit unreasonable to include EVs in this additional tax.

    There's no great hurry, as our next couple of holidays are within the range of the i3, with destination charging at the hotels we staying at, so it's really not until next year that a bigger car with more range would be useful. I'm already early in the queue for an ID.3, as I put a deposit down in May this year, really just to get an early delivery slot (latest is that this will be June/July next year). Nice to know that the delivery times for the Model 3 are down to a couple of months. Pity that this isn't clear anywhere of the Tesla site, as far as I could see (accepting that the site is so slow to load that trying to scroll through it needs the patience of Job!). Tesla must have pulled all the stops out to get the initial deliveries out to all that ordered cars a year or two ago, quite an achievement given that they've only had a couple of months or so to get cars delivered.

    I loved the Model S that we had when on holiday a couple of years ago, but it's just too big for our needs, and I doubt that it would be at its best driving around the narrow, single track, lanes around here. Fantastic car on open roads though, even if I did have to refrain from pressing the go pedal, just to reduce the level of exclamations from the passenger seat (mind you, I get that when she's in the i3, with nothing like the same level of performance). My car also has to be something that my wife can drive if need be, and she's not comfortable driving big cars (she normally drives a Yaris Hybrid),

    Right now I definitely prefer the look of the Model 3 over the ID.3, although the ID.3 does have the advantage of being a hatchback. Not a big deal, but there were lots of times in during the 13 years of Prius ownership that the additional height and relative ease of access to the luggage area was useful (the Prius will easily take a washing machine, in its packaging in the back, with the rear seats down, for example). Then again, the ability to fit a tow bar to the Model 3 is a plus, although having to include this as an initial purchase option is a bit of a pain. Given that there seem to be several Model 3 hitch suppliers in the US, I wonder why Tesla have insisted that it be a factory option for the UK?

    I'll keep my fingers crossed to see if there are any VED changes in the next budget, assuming there is one. If the luxury VED rate goes away for the Model 3 then I probably won't have any reason to keep my wallet shut any longer...
     
  16. Rooster6655

    Rooster6655 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    UK
    This is what I believe was their reasoning and makes a lot of sense from a up selling perspective!
     
  17. Roy W.

    Roy W. Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2019
    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Derby, UK
    Welcome to the madhouse! (Sorry, I meant Forum)...

    Another useful resource for comparing EVs is here:

    https://ev-database.uk/

    As for the Model 3, I’ve had mine 3 weeks now and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. In the past I’ve had numerous ICE cars, and more recently a Nissan Leaf then a Hyundai Kona Electric. Both of those pale beside the M3.

    Like you, I’m retired, and we usually buy our cars outright. We’ve bought the M3 - red LR AWD with white interior - and it is absolutely stunning!

    Tesla really are well ahead of the current competition. All the M3s incur the luxury tax, but tbh I’d recommend you buy sooner rather than later. With all the Brexit hoo hah the Pound is getting weaker, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a price rise from Tesla soon to compensate.

    If you do decide to order one be sure to ask on here for someone’s referral code. Currently that will give both parties 2000 free Supercharger miles.
     
  18. arg

    arg Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,395
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    To my mind, the idea of selling from (relatively few) shopping centre locations makes sense - yes it's a long way to go to look at a car, but you can fit it in when going there for some other purpose. In your case, do you ever go to London? Might not be the closest, but if you are going there anyhow it's convenient. Also, Tesla run occasional "test days" at lots of locations around the country - they bring a few cars to (typically) a hotel and you can book an appointment to go over one, so local but just not on a day of your choosing.

    OTOH, service is a real pain if you need it and it's not local. Luckily I've needed relatively little service (ironically, since I bought they've opened a local showroom but not a service centre!). Mobile service is touted as the answer, but they can't do everything and IMO significantly more service centres are needed, while the current level of showrooms is probably OK.
     
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