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Tesla as a 1st car?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by nybw51mr42, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. nybw51mr42

    nybw51mr42 Member

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    So it finally happened, my wife passed her DMV written exam and now has a permit. She grew up in a country where most people don't drive and as a result, has never driven a car in her life. But now that she lives in California with me she will obviously need to be able to drive.

    I'm not sure what route to go here in terms of getting her a car. Part of me wants to be a Tesla family. I could get her a very basic CPO/used Tesla and if the car is already dinged/scratched up it wouldn't matter since she will probably play bumper cars with everything on the road the first few years. That, and the safety of an S would be nice in case of an accident which let's face it is incrementally higher with a new driver.

    Other part of me says why waste the money, get a used car for 10-15k for a few years then once she has more experience, move on to the plan above.

    I'm curious what others think. Another question to ponder is if Teslas are easier cars to drive than regular ICE cars? I would not necessarily think so, but a few months ago I went to a Tesla event with a buddy who has a foreign wife and who just learned to drive, and she was telling us how much easier it was to drive a Tesla than other cars - mostly because of the regenerative braking.

    I don't think I could handle the stress of sharing my P85D with her. I think my hairs will skip going grey and go straight to white in two years.
     
  2. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    My only reservation would be that Model S/X are big, wide cars with less than amazing visibility (S in particular here), and that makes parking and other tight maneuvers more challenging. That’s where new drivers usually end up swapping paint.
     
    • Like x 5
  3. commasign

    commasign Tesla Superfan

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    Is she comfortable using a smartphone? If yes, I think Model 3 MR would be a perfect starter car. Much easier to drive than a gas car. Don't need to start the engine. No jerkiness or hesitation associated with automatic transmissions. Parking distance sensors, automatic emergency braking, forward and side collision warning and avoidance, etc., all standard. Low dash makes it easy to see what's in front. Rear view camera works great. Overall, a safe and easy car to drive.

    Agree with the above post, Model S is a much larger car and not for everyone.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. nybw51mr42

    nybw51mr42 Member

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    You folks make a good point, I didn't even think of the size of the S which is a big consideration. The problem with the 3 is I'm not sure I want to drop 50k+ on a car as a first car, where I know it may get dinged up. But you do make valid points on all its benefits.
     
  5. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    How much will she be driving daily? What about a different EV as a starter? Still the same easy 1 gear driving and regen, but smaller, much cheaper, and possibly better visibility.
     
  6. richrootes

    richrootes Member

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    Buy her a beater and let her drive that for a couple of years - no way a new driver knows how to avoid accidents, and I mean that in the nicest possible way
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    Our granddaughter is nearing completion of her driver's licence testing and she wanted to try out our Model S. She handled it with ease as it wasn't that much bigger that the SUVs in her family, however she didn't like Regen braking. It may depend upon which car your learn to drive first that sets the precedence. Our neighbours have children joining the workforce and as first cars they got a Civic and a Hyundai which suits their needs for commuting.

    I would let your wife pick car that she wants. Pride of ownership makes for a safer driver, in my opinion.
     
    • Like x 2
  8. gsteele

    gsteele Member

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    I’d suggest a used Toyota Prius. It has regenerative braking, good efficiency, and isn’t horrendously expensive to repair. Parts are available in days, not weeks. It’s small enough to park easily, but has good interior room. She can move up to a Tesla in four years or so.
     
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  9. 2012MS85

    2012MS85 Member

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    $10k for a nice used Volt, or $25k for a beautiful 2014 Cadillac ELR (Volt dressed up for the prom). That way she’ll be safe when she has her first fender bender (which is part of every new driver’s experience), and then you’ll still love her just as much knowing she didn’t wreck a Tesla :p
     
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  10. dark cloud

    dark cloud Member

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    How deep are your pockets?
     
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  11. Evil Twin

    Evil Twin Member

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    Get something cheap and easy to fix, not an aluminum car. She's going to hit things, guaranteed.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. SilverSp33d3r

    SilverSp33d3r Member

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    $7,000 Nissan Leaf!
     
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  13. IdaX

    IdaX Member

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    If she might be accident prone, then you want her in the safest car out there, and that’s a Tesla.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  14. Brettski

    Brettski Member

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    As a husband, I’ve realized it’s important to ask what SHE wants, too
     
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  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    There are basically two approaches to a first car. 1) Buy a cheap car that doesn't cost much if wrecked. 2) Buy a safe car because the car can be replaced easier than the driver. Tesla is definitely a safe car.

    I'm not sure that it's easier to drive, but it's not harder and it's more relaxing. A Tesla becomes more of an extension of your body than an ICE car, but sometimes there is a loss of regen. So I'd suggest that it's the same level of difficulty but the areas of difficulty are not the same.
     
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    This, given that you're considering a Tesla: Volt or ELR; safe, reliable, lots of electric driving within range.
    And, if it hasn't had one before, it can get an HOV lane sticker, should she benefit from it.
     
    • Love x 1
  17. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    S is big. I have a 15 year old. She is going to be learning in the 3. I think the Tesla is easy to drive. Well controlled power, chill mode, etc.

    Not sure what we will do once the kid needs her own car. Cannot find a $7k leaf here.
     
  18. Benjanos

    Benjanos Member

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    Give your wife a big congrats from me on passing the test. My wife wants to drive but has not started any of the processes (yet) :rolleyes:

    This would be sound advice to me....
    Plus IMO no car damage is worth a relationship breakdown, so for example a Model S with a wide all aluminium body may be a booby trap. If she does not need much range, perhaps consider a used i3 if it fits her use case?
     
    • Like x 1
  19. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    Not having any real experience driving before or parking, I think a Model S would be harder to handle especially in big city driving situations. If Model 3 is beyond what you want to spend right now for a second car, I would at least go with an EV like a used Leaf so she could get use to charging it and get comfortable with the general EV feel. Also might be a good idea to go with an EV with slower acceleration.
     
    • Like x 1
  20. Leeclanual

    Leeclanual Member

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    I think everyone has to go through a learning period for regen breaking. I originally thought it was weird but now love that feature.
     

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