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Relocating to UK...what to do with my Tesla?

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
2,669
1,231
QLD, Australia
In what way do you think it is advantageous? I struggle to think of anything

if you like fast driving and spend a lot of time in the overtaking lanes it gives you slightly easier visibility to the left of the car via the left door mirror. If you got the steering wheel on the right side you often have to do a shoulder glance to make sure its safe to go back into the cruising lane. You just generally have a bit more awareness of the left side of the car.

On the flipside its also easier to to do angular left turns. Where in a RHD you have to do a proper owls turn you can just quickly glance into the right rear window. If this is blocked you got trouble though - so the traveling european business man never hangs his shirts in the right rear window! haha.


Curbside parking is also much easier because you can just look out of the window onto the ground lol.

Now, the other thing is that the cars infontainment systems are a bit easier to operate with your right hand for most people.
On rural country roads in the UK which are very narrow (you struggle to fit 2 SUVs next to each other) its also easier because you can basically hug the curb as you can tell exactly where the left side of the car is.
 

name you wish

Member
Aug 19, 2017
27
12
UK
Tesla insurance in the U.K. isn't cheap, and not every company does it. I suspect it'll be very expensive for you to insure a lhd Tesla, since you'll have no U.K. driving history ('no claims') and it'll be a very unusual Tesla.
 

GreenT

verT
Mar 14, 2014
1,002
345
France
You'll lose your your warranty if you move it. You have no choice but to sell it and buy another in the UK.

Homolgation is VERY different.

The Americans allow red turn signal (dangerous) and so many differences.
 

eladts

Member
Jul 31, 2016
746
1,007
Brookline, MA
You'll lose your your warranty if you move it.

Technically, he won't lose his warranty. He'll just have to ship the car back to the US to get service under warranty, or any service at all for that matter. Tesla service service center in Europe simply won't touch US-spec cars.

Beside that problem there are many differences between US-spec and UK-spec cars that would make a US-spec car not road legal or limits its usability in the UK.
  • RHD vs LHD
  • Symmetric vs asymmetric headlights
  • Red vs amber rear turn signals - may change soon as new Model Y in the US have rear amber turn signal now.
  • Different charge port
  • Cellular network - you can't just swap a SIM as it is an eSIM.
 

GreenT

verT
Mar 14, 2014
1,002
345
France
Technically, he won't lose his warranty. He'll just have to ship the car back to the US to get service under warranty, or any service at all for that matter. Tesla service service center in Europe simply won't touch US-spec cars.

Beside that problem there are many differences between US-spec and UK-spec cars that would make a US-spec car not road legal or limits its usability in the UK.
  • RHD vs LHD
  • Symmetric vs asymmetric headlights
  • Red vs amber rear turn signals - may change soon as new Model Y in the US have rear amber turn signal now.
  • Different charge port
  • Cellular network - you can't just swap a SIM as it is an eSIM.
There is NOTHING illegal about driving RHD in Europe or vice versa. Vehicles do it all the time in the "tunnel".
No difference in headlights between USA and UK.
Res vs. amber. Yes, America should have banned that years ago.

"He'll just have to ship the car back to the US to get service under warranty, or any service at all for that matter. Tesla service service center in Europe simply won't touch US-spec cars."
If that's not losing the warranty, no idea what is.
Love misinformation spreaders!

I moved from the USA to Europe last year and was told so SELL or I'd lose my warranty. From the horses mouth.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,681
2,049
Seattle
I have an opportunity to relocate to the UK for work. Of all the challenges (and excitement) associated with such a move, I am most concerned with what to do with my new M3P that I took delivery on in December. I feel like I would take a huge loss if I sell it (taxes and depreciation.) On the other hand, I don't know if it is possible to ship the car, or if the software is able to be updated to reflect the changes.

Does anyone have any experience relocating to Europe with your Tesla?

-- UK cars dont use the Tesla custom charge connector (they use CCS in Europe/UK), so you would have almost nowhere to supercharge.
-- Of course, the driver seat would be on the wrong side of the car.
-- I've no idea if the car nav system would ever get the appropriate map updates.
-- I've no idea if you can even *get* the correct software updates at all.
 

Perscitus

Member
Jan 29, 2019
807
498
New York
Having shipped and then lived with US spec cars in the UK and across Europe, and then EDM spec cars brought back home to North America... I highly recommend unloading the US spec Tesla and picking up some local market machine.

There were issues galore with either scenario in the 80s, 90s, 00s and have only become exponentionally worse in recent decades. And further still with dial-home and always online non-global spec EVs.

Just ask all the grey-market shops that convert US spec salvage/flooded/crashed Teslas and resell them across the UK, Central and Eastern Europe.
 

futuret

Member
Feb 13, 2021
8
2
Zürich
FYI, I knew that a guy in Ukraine or something similar bought and imported a Model Y directly from US. Except the pain in the back about taxes, shipping costs, registration, homologation (he had to deal also with a rear engine failure), he had to deal on a daily basis with an _epic_ pain in the back called:
  • charging port: in EU and UK there is the Type 2 (AC charging) and CCS Combo 2 (DC charging), not a Tesla connector like in US
  • he has no map/online services available
  • as said, he had to fight to have his rear engine replaced by an official Tesla garage
A guy in Italy rented it for 2w and he had every time to find a public charging station with a ChaDeMo connector, so he used an adapter ChaDeMo <--> US Tesla. Of course, max charging at about 50 kW
 
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Perscitus

Member
Jan 29, 2019
807
498
New York
Yes, all well known issues with US spec Teslas abroad. There are more too.

However, in the case of the US cars that end up in Eastern and Central Europe... there is an entire industry thats developed to 'jail break' them (so to speak)... replace the eSIMs with local carrier SIM cards with data service, whitelist US VINs in dial-home EU Tesla car<->mothership communications or disable it completely and side-load firmware updates (with some 'improvements' such as regional nav maps, etc), all the way to replacing Imperial with Metric units and swapping charge ports and whitelisting the cars to supercharge across the EU.

The hassle and the cost are NOT worth it... even for a minor fender-bender, but US totalled S100D purchased at $20K and imported without duty fees, VAT or other taxes.
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,786
1,756
Houston
Depending on your company, see if you can negotiate some relief into your relocation package for taking a hit on the quick sale of a new car. I have seen some very generous provisions put into relocation packages when I was in the oil field.
 

Dasbush121

Member
Oct 14, 2018
59
7
Somewhere across the pond
Here's my take on having a US spec vehicle in Europe, Germany to precise. Friend drove his to the UK from Germany with no issue. Supercharger adapter via 3rd party is available along with plenty of slower type 2 to Tesla adapters (awesome for free 3rd party charging.) Maps work but no nav/lte. I hotspot mine everywhere so it's meh. Depending on the service center, they will work on the vehicles, you just have to pay labor and parts. Software updates are available pending you sign and submit a pdf to Tesla saying the cars out of region. Warranty is still in tact for return to the states. My local service center back home understood my situation and we keep in touch about different things and my eventual return home.

Would I do it all over again? Barring the minor inconveniences. Yes I would. It makes traveling Europe so much nicer and taking a $20k hit on the car 3 months after I bought it wasn't worth it.

Biggest issue is registration. If under SOFA status then it's no issue but if not, homologation comes into play concerning various things that are a pain in the ass. And then OP has to weigh what to do financially. I'd honestly store it, work on paying off, buy something cheap local for the time there if not under SOFA.
 
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dc121gw

Member
Oct 19, 2019
91
113
Atlanta
Lol how is a red turn signal dangerous exactly?

Europeans have decided that there is a benefit in having turn signals that are visually distinct from brake lights. They use amber turn signals. Either color is allowed in the US. For aesthetic or other design reasons, many US cars have only red lights. There is some data that supports the conclusion that stopping time is faster when different colors are used.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,252
15,180
New Mexico
Europeans have decided that there is a benefit in having turn signals that are visually distinct from brake lights. They use amber turn signals. Either color is allowed in the US. For aesthetic or other design reasons, many US cars have only red lights. There is some data that supports the conclusion that stopping time is faster when different colors are used.
In my city drivers have decided that turn signals are optional, so the lamp color is a moot argument.
 

erhanercan

Member
Feb 9, 2021
17
0
San Diego, CA
In the same boat here, planning to take my 4 month old Model Y in June 2021 to the Netherlands from the US, but it doesn't look good after more research - which, in hindsight, I should have done before buying the car :(
 

Jez_GB

Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2019
559
454
Nottinghamshire, UK
I have friends who drive US imports here in the UK and have no problems whatsoever with LHD, rear turn signal colour or any other thing that might be different in terms of homologation. That said they are driving Dodge Rams so they can see over or around pretty much everything else on the roads, and what they can't see they don't feel as they roll over them :p I'd not like their fuel bill @ the equivalent of circa $8/gal - but that would not be an issue for you of course.

Tough call, I manage for a couple of weeks when I take ours to Europe for a holiday (when we could leave the country of course) but I wouldn't want to drive a "left hooker" (UK slang for LHD cars) long term. And you would have the added complication of charging/software updates/lte, etc.

Good luck and enjoy your time over here ;)
 

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