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Understanding People Who Don't Drive Their Roadsters

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Habious, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. Habious

    Habious Member

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    So, this has had me wondering for quite a while.

    What's the deal with people who buy Roadsters...and then steadfastly refuse to drive them?

    I mean I get the whole "Only drive it on nice days" attitude. I also get that almost no one has a Roadster as "their only car", so it's relegated to being someone's second, or even third car.

    But, I see quite a few Roadsters that have almost NO miles on them.

    When I bought my 2011 (in 2014), the guy who owned it before me put a whopping 3,900 miles on it in the 3 years he owned it.

    There's a Roadster for sale right now (in the "for sale" forum), it's 2008, and it's got 3,500 miles on it.

    Here's another Roadster for sale...with 1,350 miles on it! and it's a 2-owner car!!! (first owner drove it only 900 miles).

    I know there are at least a couple of Roadsters out there with over 100K miles on them so, it's not everyone.

    I know it's not a financial decision. I don't see anyone selling their low-mileage Roadsters for more than they paid for them. I think probably the only Roadster owner that sold their car for more than they paid for it was the guy selling the first 3.0 Roadster (that got the $29,000 3.0 pack as "goodwill" from Tesla).

    I'm not mocking these owners; it's their car, they can do what they want with it (including plugging it in...and never, ever, ever touching it again) but, I guess I just don't understand the mindset.

    I can imagine someone coming over to the house. Them: "Wow, that's a nice car!" You: "Thanks" Them: "Is it really fast?" You: "I don't know. I've never driven it." Them: "Really? How long have you had it?" You: "About three years."

    Thoughts?

    (P.S. It's a VERY slow Friday...so I'm just making conversation)
     
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  2. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    I have no idea... I can't STOP driving mine I love it so much.

    Maybe in 20 years a Roadster with 1,350 miles on it will be worth $140K. ;-)
     
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  3. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    I don't understand them either... We got my wife's 2008 as CPO in 2013 (and we're the second owner) with 2220 miles on it... It's well over 21,000 miles, only reason it isn't being driven as much as when we first got it is she's now working from home for the past 2 years!

    It only goes out on good weather, but we're in Southern California, so that's pretty much every day.
     
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  4. MileHighMotoring

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    I agree, but I can also relate. I used to be a serial car collector and have owned plenty of cars I haven't driven. Then after some years, they understandably lose favor with me (because, you know, I'm not friggin' DRIVING THEM) and I sell them. It's silly, and I regret doing it, and I do drive my Roadster. But I'm guilty of this big time, I've probably done it with four or five vehicles in the last 20 years.
     
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  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @Habious, I am also mystified by Roadsters with very low miles. To me, the point of owning the car is to DRIVE AND ENJOY IT.

    I bought mine in Oct. 2014 when it had about 12K miles on it. So it was driven an average of about 2,200 miles/year, probably more than a lot of Roadsters get driven.

    It now has about 31K on it, which is about 10,500 miles/year. Yes, I've been driving it, though lately I am traveling less for work so my annual miles driven is down quite a bit...but I really miss driving it as much.
     
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  6. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    I've had similar questions. I've noticed 3 kinds of people who do this (there may be more).

    1) There are wealthy people who have many homes and end up spending less time at the house where they put the roadster than they expected. For example, people who have primary residences in NYC or San Francisco with limited parking and keep the car somewhere else.

    2) There are wealthy people who have 8+ cars and just don't get to drive any one of them that much.

    3) There are people who have realized that they really don't fit in the car or can't get in and out of it - but keep it anyway since it is so cool.

    I also know at least one person, who like me, just has a very short commute and thus only puts 100 miles or so a month on the car as a daily driver.
     
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  7. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    Speaking as an original owner of a Roadster that has just shy of 110,000 miles on it, I consider it criminal to let such a fun car to drive just sit around languishing unused, undriven, dare I say unloved? Yes, I'm (mostly) joking about the possible criminality of such behavior, but it is frustrating to know that there are Roadsters out there that could be owned and truly appreciated by their owners. Instead, there they sit, ignored and, yes, unloved.

    @MileHighMotoring, thanks for giving me some insight into the mind of a serial car collector. I'm happy to hear that you're changing, and leaving a bad habit behind! :)
     
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  8. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

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    This is interesting to me. I have never been a collector (although I do like cars and would love to be). However...

    My wife and I have 3 cars - the Roadster, her Prius and an SUV. I choose to drive the Roadster daily because it is the most fun (even in the winter, unless we get > 6 inches of snowfall and I cannot get through it). So in effect, I am keeping an SUV for those rare times when we need to carry more than 5 people, tow the boat or jetskis, or for family/friends who visit.

    In effect, if you look at the mileage pattern on the SUV it mirrors what others are doing to the Roadster - probably less than 2,500 miles a year.

    I would bet that many are in the same situation - 3 cars for 2 drivers, or 4 for 3, etc...
     
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  9. JohnGarziglia

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    Another interesting discussion along these same lines might be a comparison of a equally-aged roadsters with different mileage and whether being a garage queen, while cosmetically advantageous, might contribute to early failures in other components.

    The integrity of some roadster parts are, of course, strictly dependent upon miles driven -- tires come to mind immediately (although I would not want to drive a car at high speeds with eight year old rubber between me and the road). I also assume the battery degrades more with miles driven and numerous charging cycles than with age but I am not sure.

    But other roadster parts such as the electronics in the PEM and other components, the connections in the battery pack, the A/C unit and the electric motor itself, for instance, may age more through corrosion build-up that would not otherwise occur if the roadster was driven frequently? Just wondering.
     
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  10. sethr

    sethr CPO Roadster #1089

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    I, for one, am both grateful and mystified. I got my CPO Roadster with only a bit over 1,000 miles on it. I therefore got a pristine car in excellent shape. Now that I have it, I am mystified as to how the previous owner resisted having all the fun I do. But to that unknown person - Thanks!
     
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  11. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    I, too, am confused around the whole issue of not driving an automobile. I have a good friend who grew up always wanting to own and drive a Corvette. Two years ago he finally got the OK from his wife to purchase a slightly used red one. Now that he owns it, he basically parks it in the garage and only takes it out for a Cars and Coffee event, where he will park it yet again, or an occasional romp along the local coast. When he parks it in the garage, he always has the hood open so he can have the engine always in view and is constantly wiping what little dust might have settled on it overnight. He is also prone to sitting down behind the car and shining the chrome tailpipes even though he had already done that 30 minutes before having not even taken the car out in between. In his case, he fulfilled his dream of owning a Corvette. However, to me his dream of actually driving one has not been fully realized. What good is anything if you do not take fully advantage of all of it's basic capabilities. Life is far too short to simply sit and stare at something.
     
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  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #12 TEG, Aug 5, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
    I know of stories of Tesla reaching out to owners of cars they saw not getting driven. They sent service people out to drive the cars around a bit just to make sure they don't suffer from neglect. Apparently some Roadster components do need to be run at least occasionally to keep things in good shape.
    I am thinking perhaps that the battery needs a good cycling now and then for balancing reasons. Also, I would imagine that things like gearbox oil and other lubrication need to be cycled sometimes so they don't pool up and degenerate. Any car left sitting too long can develop flat spots on the tires too. Even if they just backed it in and out of the garage occasionally it would probably be better than just letting it sit.
     
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  13. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I recently met a guy that was excited to buy a 2008 Roadster with extremely low miles...I don't remember the exact number, but it was 3k at most.

    Anyways, he said the original owner drove it almost every day...to the golf course 1/2 mile from his house.
     
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  14. int32_t

    int32_t Tesla Spotter

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    That proves it then, electric cars don't need much range after all. Where's that used Leaf I saw for sale ... ? :p

    They're like slightly functional museum pieces for some people I guess. The Roadster is a nice-looking car!
     
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  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    But Tesla was supposed to break the myth that EVs are just glorified golf carts ! [​IMG][​IMG]:p
     
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  16. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Guys... Remember, the Roadster's trunk is perfectly shaped for one golf bag! ;)
     
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  17. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I've always been baffled by low mileage Roadsters. I know some are people who bought them, the orig buyers, to get the latest and greatest thing to sports-car technology. My 1.5 Roadster also was a low mileage Roadster when I purchased it back in Apr '14, had 3k on it. Was previously owned by a guy who's company was bought by Google, had other rare sports cars in his collection. He purchased the Roadster with a friend, friend paid the deposit and he paid the remaining sum. They both time-shared the Roadster but then it became neglected by not being used, they seemed to have lost / forgotten about it for 1-2 years. Really!? They thought the other guy was using it, but ended up none of them did.... Luckily it was in good hands, Tesla @ Menlo Park kept it inside the work bay, just sitting there, keeping it charged and cared for when needed. Was definitely in good hands. Love how they took pride and love these cars as much as we do. For myself, its the best daily commuter, I was averaging 12.5k / year on it, loving every moment and minute of it. Now that I'm taking the bus/electric skateboard to work I don't put nearly as many miles as I should, so I'll be just making more regular weekend Big Sur, coastline, and Napa weekend trips with it to keep the enjoyment flowing. Not driving it daily makes me feel like I'm missing something in my life really.

    As for the golf bags in the trunk of the Roadster, two actually fit in there :)

    Two Golf Bags in a Roadster

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Well... There you go... Not really a golfer here... :)
     
  19. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    I too have wondered this.
    Having owned a 2011 Roadster 2.5 for nearly a year before having to move to LA for my career, I couldn't imagine NOT driving the thing every day at LEAST twice.

    As one of the aforementioned daily drivers with ONLY a Roadster as my main car, I happily put over 1500 miles a month on the thing.

    I'm currently looking into purchasing my next Roadster because I actually can't stay away from the experience and sheer happiness that comes from driving what I consider to be THE greatest and most unique car on the road.

    To me, I see keeping these things on the road synchronous with driving them as frequently as they deserve to be. Otherwise, the Roadster will feel even more of a "myth" as some call it. For me, driving it as much as I can means sharing it with the world around me.
     
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  20. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    When I bought 783 it had 500 miles on it after a year - the guy never installed his HPC (came with car still in wrapper) so I imagine that
    he used the 120V charger and there weren't many charging stations back then especially in Texas so he really couldn't go anywhere.
    I'm sure some people will have their roadsters as collectables but others realize the lack of charging options in their area so they don't drive it as much.
     
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