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Tesla Test-drive Volunteers

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
Canyon Lake,CA
The largest auto dealers in the US sell most of their cars over the internet, without test drives.

They go huge by cutting out the need for a showroom and test drives, but offered slightly lower prices than all their competitors.

Millions of cars are sold every year by people internet shopping at remote locations. The cars are shipped direct to the consumer.

This is far more efficient than going to your friendly local dealership, haggling with the sales people, taking your test drive and then getting bent over on price.


Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
I had always thought that their marketing approach was brilliant. Save the money on advertising and offer test drives. Tesla should continue to encourage test drives to the fullest, even for looky-lou's. There are very few who are not thoroughly impressed (especially in a performance model) to the almost otherworldly experience of the precise, powerful and quiet drive train and otherwise awesome technology.. There is nothing else like it.

I have encouraged many Tesla "virgins" if they are looking for a cheap and fun date to go to the showroom for a test drive. Consider it like a educational Disneyland kind of date with free rides. Even if they do not buy, how many friends and family will be told of the experience with, "hey, you got at least try one of these things and peek into the future"!
I agree that test drives are a game changer. You can't really appreciate a Tesla until you drive it. I took a Model S test drive four years ago and it was such a compelling experience that I ordered one the same day. Since delivery, absolutely every time I drive the car, I know I am driving the future. Incredible performance, quiet, technology.
So, while Tesla has been vague on whether or not test drives will be on offer, I think that they should be available. Whenever people ask about my car, I always tell them to take a test drive. It's impossible to not be impressed. It appears that most people don't need a test drive to be convinced but for those on the edge of a decision, it can make the decision to buy easy.
You don't need a showroom or a salesperson to offer test drives. In fact, I'd prefer not to have a salesperson along for the ride. Test drives with a salesperson tend to be perfunctory since the salesperson is bored.


New Member
Jun 9, 2019
Hales Corners
It's not illegal to simply be a rogue salesperson! You are legally allowed to sell your own car or just let people look. Just post an Ad and say hey do you want to test drive or drive in a Tesla. You could do it via Facebook and see who the people are before agreeing. I think someone would just be impressed to drive as a passenger if they then really want the next step they can go to a dealer. Your insurance will cover this grey area. If you do it for money you have to tell them just like Lyft and Uber.


Apr 3, 2021
We share cars with our nearby daughter and her husband. They always have one of our cars - Tesla Model S or Hyundai Sonata- in their driveway. They also have their own minivan. In return they split expenses.

At first we were going to add them to our insurance policy. Instead our agent added a third-party driver feature to the policy. Suspect it was developed for these situations. Would also cover demo use.

I did earn a referral bonus last fall. A friend was undecided about whether to buy a Tesla, or which model. He came over one Sunday. Drove my wife’s 3. We ended at daughter’s house. Drove the S since it was there.

He decided on LR 3 D.

The referral HPWC will be installed at the condo our other daughter and her fiancée are buying in DC.
That's interesting, Nick! A third-party driver option which cover demo use. I wonder how much that adds to an insurance.


Apr 3, 2021
I've been trying to reach Tesla regarding the insurance coverage situation for allowing test-drives. I hope they will support my initiative for home-delivered Tesla test-drives. Let me know what you think of this intro page I've put out there:

Thanks, Nick!


Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
Redmond, WA
That's interesting, Nick! A third-party driver option which cover demo use. I wonder how much that adds to an insurance.

Nothing, in some cases. My regular PEMCO insurance covers any other driver that I give permission to (and yes, I have double-checked with the carrier). Of course not all policies allow that, so be sure to check. I have let a great many strangers drive my Teslas. Well, none since COVID, and frankly it was getting fewer even before that as other opportunities to drive EVs have been increasing.

I doubt any personal policy will cover commercial use; so you can't get paid to offer your car for test drives.

The primary insurance should be the test driver's...but of course even if you look at their insurance card, you can't be positive it is really in effect. So it is important to make sure you are covered one way or another.


Apr 3, 2021
I'm trying to get this intro site off the ground. To scale fast and furious, Tesla needs to see ahead an have a network in place to provide test-drives to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of folks wanting to buy. The funny thing is that all the ingredients are already there to make his happen. We just gotta sort it out.

Tesla: Cars and insurance (for demos)
Current owners: Driver and cars

This is the idea behind home ordered test-drives. Check this out, see what you think.


Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
Visalia, CA


Apr 3, 2021
Most people want to test drive a vehicle before purchase. It’s a major investment. The lack of test-drive availability will turn away most non-tesla/EV enthusiast prospects. Tesla should do the following:

  1. On their website, allow Tesla owners to register to volunteer to be a “Test-drive Volunteer.”
    1. Need to own a current Tesla
    2. Need to be the registered owner of the vehicle
    3. Need to be over 25yrs old
    4. Need Proof of insurance
    5. Waiver signature
    6. Define test-drive availability times
  2. Place a “Test Drive a <Tesla model>“ button on the model’s product page of the Tesla website.
  3. Upon pressing the button, request the postal code of the requester and direct them to a list of “Test-drive Locations” in their area. This will be a list of all pre-qualified Tesla owner test-drive volunteers’ locations and associated Tesla vehicles. A list item would include:
    1. Location (just town/city, state)
    2. Vehicle Model and Year
    3. Test-drive Experience Reviews (from previous participants)
      1. Reviewer Comments
    4. Availability times
    5. Contact form (no personal info)
      1. Name
      2. Email
      3. Interested Tesla Model
      4. Requester Comments
  4. Upon submitting the contact form, a formatted email would be sent to the “Test-drive Volunteer”:
    1. Subject: “You have Received a Request for a Tesla Test-Drive”
    2. Body: form data
  5. The volunteer and requester then communicate schedules/meeting place, etc (this part could use an online scheduling tool such as teamup.com)
  6. Upon the completion of a test drive, the volunteer directs the requester to give a review of the experience and provides a “test-driver number”
  7. If the requester purchases a Tesla, there is an option to enter the “test-driver number” during the purchase process so that the volunteer can get some “loot” of their choice (ie: free super-charging, rims, wall charger, etc)
Wow! That's quite a list. Obviously, you are a Tesla fan like I am. An independent grass-root platform can handle most of these details on the page, as needed.
I just launched a simple page to gauge the interest for such a service. The key is to make it very convenient for folks to test drive a Tesla as make it very simple for the test-drive volunteers to offer such service right to the potential buyer's (home) location and give both parties proper incentives via designated referral links. I truly believe Tesla should be ahead of the game and be prepared to cater to new buyers needs. It is a different game when millions of car are going to be built and sold as the lower-priced models roll in. Check this out ,Jeff. Let me know what you think. www.testlatestdrive.club


Apr 3, 2021
To test drive with Tesla, Tesla requires a driver's license. If there's a crime or accident, the driver is traceable.

How will the issue of being a potential crime victim be addressed if testers are not pre-screened for prior criminal records?
Check out this "home-ordered" test-drive service in the works. They would pay a sign-up fee- credit card, home address, and waiting at their home locations for a test-rive volunteer. Incentives for everyone once they order a Tesla via referral links. When the buyers are going to be in the millions, then a continuous, reliable service like that would be a wise idea. I am pushing for this: www.TeslaTestDrive.club
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