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Wanting to buy Model S

alisk

New Member
Oct 12, 2019
2
0
Sarasota, FL
Good morning all! I am looking to purchase my first model S. I am very flexible with features, although I would prefer to stay under $35k. Anyone have one for sale? I live in Florida, but could possibly be interested in a long distance deal if the price is right. I did see a few recently listed, but I can't respond to the posts yet because I just signed up. Thank you!
 

SamDean

Member
Feb 4, 2019
108
103
Kansas City
keep an eye on ev-cpo.com - In keeps track of the CPO's offered by tesla and you will get a minimum of a 2 year Tesla Warranty with the purchase. There's also a lot on all of the usual sites like Ebay, Autotrader and Auto Tempest.
Good morning all! I am looking to purchase my first model S. I am very flexible with features, although I would prefer to stay under $35k. Anyone have one for sale? I live in Florida, but could possibly be interested in a long distance deal if the price is right. I did see a few recently listed, but I can't respond to the posts yet because I just signed up. Thank you!
keep an eye on ev-cpo.com - In keeps track of the CPO's offered by tesla and you will get a minimum of a 2 year Tesla Warranty with the purchase. There's also a lot on all of the usual sites like Ebay, Autotrader and Auto Tempest.

Most importantly though... do your research. Read about when certain features debut, and when particular "problems" start and stop (Door handles, battery pack issues, AP, Wheel noise, interior options, etc).

For what it's worth I think that you could land yourself in a high mileage (50k+) late 2014 with AP1 and some creature comforts in the general neighborhood of what your looking to spend. Additionally Jan/Feb is a better time to buy as the 2017's start to come off lease and opens up the market for more discounts on older cars.

Best of Luck.
 
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Target

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 9, 2018
560
380
Chicago Land
Model S - Options by Year - Tesla Motors Club Wiki
https://www.teslaadviceblog.com/blog/buying-guide-model-s-versions-1-2-3-and-4

I have no idea of your vehicle ownership history. If you have previously owned 5+ year old Mercedes S class cars, then this is no problem, if your previous cars are Honda Accords and Toyota Camry's read on. Many items on the Model S are expensive to fix, and some are very expensive. You are contemplating spending 30K on a car, there are several repairs that are in the 3K range. If that concerns you then I suggest buying one directly from Tesla to take advantage of their full coverage warranty that they provide with their cars. As you look at a car, check the VIN and realize this is the XX,XXX car Tesla ever produced from scratch. If X is less than 10,000 you are braver than I am.

If you buy one without a bumper to bumper warranty, consider how long it has been since it last had a warranty. If it is a single owner car then it had warranty for 4 years or 50K miles. If the car is 6+ years old you should assume that anything that broke (that didn't literally stop the car working) over the last two + years is still broken. This may not be the case, but getting service history from Tesla is difficult these days in my experience. The average repair cost on these cars is no laughing matter. Tesla isn't unreasonable in their cost to repair, but those costs are in line with a BMW 7 series or a Mercedes S Class, not a Toyota Camry. A car not serviced for two years could be looking at $6000 in deferred repairs. If you are a very good auto inspector you might catch a fraction of that, many of these issues are hard to detect on even the most vigorous test drive. Search the forums here, there is a third party warranty company on here and they can give you a quote for the car you are considering, if you want to buy from someone besides Tesla. That quote will give you an idea of what that company expects to spend fixing that car over that period of time. I am not saying you should buy the warranty, however you should budget that kind of money into your car fund to keep it happy over the time you own it.


These car's (assuming clean title here) have an 8 year unlimited mile warranty on the drive unit and the battery. This doesn't include wheel bearings, drive shafts, hubs, or anything outside of those two specific modules. If you are buying one at or past that warranty, you are again being quite brave. The aftermarket support for these vehicles is presently less than 6 serious shops across the country. That picture will likely change after 2020, but for now, it isn't easy.

I am not trying to scare you off, but I don't want to read your thread in six months about how you can't afford this car due to repair work and you had to sell it at a big loss.

Happy hunting!
 
Last edited:

BerTX

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,647
Texas/Washington
keep an eye on ev-cpo.com - In keeps track of the CPO's offered by tesla and you will get a minimum of a 2 year Tesla Warranty with the purchase. There's also a lot on all of the usual sites like Ebay, Autotrader and Auto Tempest.

keep an eye on ev-cpo.com - In keeps track of the CPO's offered by tesla and you will get a minimum of a 2 year Tesla Warranty with the purchase. There's also a lot on all of the usual sites like Ebay, Autotrader and Auto Tempest.

Most importantly though... do your research. Read about when certain features debut, and when particular "problems" start and stop (Door handles, battery pack issues, AP, Wheel noise, interior options, etc).

For what it's worth I think that you could land yourself in a high mileage (50k+) late 2014 with AP1 and some creature comforts in the general neighborhood of what your looking to spend. Additionally Jan/Feb is a better time to buy as the 2017's start to come off lease and opens up the market for more discounts on older cars.

Best of Luck.
Keep in mind that Tesla removes the Free Unlimited Supercharging perk from the cars they sell. Buying a pre-2017 car from a private sale will still have that.
 
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Target

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 9, 2018
560
380
Chicago Land
BerTX is correct. I do like my free Supercharging too, but if it means the difference between a warranty and no warranty, take the warranty. (my opinion, not everyone will agree with me on this)
This comes back to your tolerance for repair costs. I would prefer to let Tesla carry my repair costs for a couple of years. Historically I have traded cars as the Tesla used car warranty approaches it's end. Leave a couple of months for the next owner, and it is much easier to move it on.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,718
1,748
TX
BerTX is correct. I do like my free Supercharging too, but if it means the difference between a warranty and no warranty, take the warranty. (my opinion, not everyone will agree with me on this)
This comes back to your tolerance for repair costs. I would prefer to let Tesla carry my repair costs for a couple of years. Historically I have traded cars as the Tesla used car warranty approaches it's end. Leave a couple of months for the next owner, and it is much easier to move it on.

Yes, the 4 year/50k miles warranty from Tesla is way more valuable compared to free supercharging from private sellers.
What I don't understand is how can most sellers ask such insane prices for cars with very little warranty left, some even higher than what Tesla sells the used cars.
 
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cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,718
1,748
TX
Right, about the delivery... if you click request callback on any particular used S from Tesla, fill out the form and select email contact preference, you'll shortly receive a mostly automated reply with some details about that specific car, most importantly it will show the location.

At least you'll know ahead if there's a chance to go pick it up or you have to pay the $2k delivery.
 
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Target

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 9, 2018
560
380
Chicago Land
The vast majority of people buy cars with little to no research. My brother sells cars and he tells me about people who walk in and buy the car he suggests. Of course he suggests the one that has the most compensation for him! (not usually the most expensive) I am not saying they buy a specific car/option package of the model they wanted, they had no model in mind at all. They just pull into a dealership and see what they have! I haven't done anything close to this since I was quite young.

With me the actual purchase process is all over email with the final step over the phone sometimes. I then show up and am gone in half an hour to an hour. Realize that I shop regionally if not nationwide (on used cars) so the deal is set before I show up. If they do try to sell me any addons the answer is no. This leaves the finance guy unhappy as he doesn't make anything on me, but oh well!

If the deal changes I take the bus home! (or whatever transit I have available) This hasn't happened yet.

Tesla used cars take all this out of the picture, you look through the listing and decide if it's worth it. If the price is a bit high you wait another day two and see if anyone else buys it or not. They automatically lower the price on a regular basis, and sometimes they raise it! When you feel like it will get snapped up if you wait any longer you buy it, and wait the week or two to see what you got. You hope the guy with the camera had a sharp eye for flaws and the desire to take pictures of them.

What I am getting at is that people don't shop for cars in a methodical and logical manner. They might search in a very narrow region or even only at a few dealers. Considering how many cars my brother sells to repeat customers most people to just go talk to the guy they know at the dealer down the street and drive away that day with something off the lot. It is easy and they are comfortable with that guy. If you are fine buying the same car brands over and over again then this works, and honestly repeat customers who are reasonably smart do get some good deals. The dealer knows they will be back again, so they treat them well on their trade and on the new unit. That isn't how I operate personally, but it is an approach that can work if you rotate cars every 2 years.

As B&B said "there is a sucker born every minute" try not to be the sucker. It might happen anyway, but learn from it when it does, admit to yourself that it didn't go the way you wanted, and learn from it. Improve for the next one.
 

SoGA Fan Club

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 22, 2019
557
3,151
Savannah, GA
Just one correction to some excellent info in this thread. Not all Model S trims have the 8 year, unlimited miles battery warranty. The 60s (and the 40s, just to be thorough), I believe, were limited to 125,000 miles.
 

Target

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 9, 2018
560
380
Chicago Land
Just one correction to some excellent info in this thread. Not all Model S trims have the 8 year, unlimited miles battery warranty. The 60s (and the 40s, just to be thorough), I believe, were limited to 125,000 miles.
Unless I am mistaken even the 60's had unlimited miles at some points. I will summarize that figuring out the drive unit and battery warranty on a 60kwh car is not easy. The same sort of concern would also apply to if it is capable of supercharging or not for the very early ones.

My opinion, don't buy a 60 or 70 kwh car unless you REALLY know how you intend to use it actually fits that car while also accounting for battery degradation. 75kwh and the 85kwh are very similar in their amount of capacity, and considering the 75 is newer there is a good chance the 75 will actually have more range than the 85. For my use cases I go for the large batteries, 85, 90, 100. If a 75 came in at the right spot with features and all that I would consider it. Caveat to the above statement on 60 or 70 cars, its worth noting more recent 60 and 70 cars are software locked 75's, and if you want to know more about that, dig in to the forums. Also 75's could be "uncorked" feel free to search for that term on the forums too if you want to know more. Having a software locked car 70 of 75 available may not be that big of a deal if you do Supercharging based road trips. There are many threads on those topics too, but generally you don't want to charge those last 5kwh at a supercharger anyway as it takes FOREVER.
 

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,594
1,635
Lancaster, CA
Right, about the delivery... if you click request callback on any particular used S from Tesla, fill out the form and select email contact preference, you'll shortly receive a mostly automated reply with some details about that specific car, most importantly it will show the location.

At least you'll know ahead if there's a chance to go pick it up or you have to pay the $2k delivery.
It would be cheaper to fly to wherever it is and drive it home.
 

dirkbike1

Member
Feb 8, 2014
115
93
Arizona
Wouldn’t count on free supercharging on a private sale. My account no longer says it will transfer to new owner
I would still recommend private party. I want to see the car and get to know who I’m dealing with
 
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Lectric_Agent

2015 S85 AP1
May 25, 2019
99
50
Orange County
Wouldn’t count on free supercharging on a private sale. My account no longer says it will transfer to new owner
I would still recommend private party. I want to see the car and get to know who I’m dealing with

Where does it say this on your account? Did you buy your car used from Tesla? I purchased used from Tesla 6mo ago when they still offered free supercharging (2015 S85). I don’t remember anywhere that it said the supercharging is transferable and on my account it just says “free supercharging”. there is a “learn more” link but it takes you to some general info
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,718
1,748
TX
Sort of related question:

How much harsher is the ride quality in a P car vs non P? I'm thinking about a P85D vs 75/85D (both with air suspension).

Is there a difference?
 

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,594
1,635
Lancaster, CA
Sort of related question:

How much harsher is the ride quality in a P car vs non P? I'm thinking about a P85D vs 75/85D (both with air suspension).

Is there a difference?
All I can tell you is my P car is definitely sports suspension. You feel the road. A bit too much at times. I wish there was a way to soften the ride but there isn't. Oh well. I'm getting used to it.
 
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