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What are you thoughts on buying used Tesla from Non Tesla Dealer

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,606
1,650
Lancaster, CA
A non-Tesla car lot is a risky choice simply because the folks there are likely to be unfamiliar with the car and may very well wrongly describe it in ads or on their website. On the other hand, here in Southern California, I know of two used car places that know Teslas and sell a lot of them. If you want to know about those places, hit me up. I bought Tessie from one of them.
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,302
502
USA
Used car dealers are an unsavoury bunch to say the least, additionally Tesla WILL NOT sell you the four year extended warranty unless bought from them or private party. I echo the above comments, dealt with a very fine gentleman from the other coast and had car independently insptected from out of state and delivered to me. Good news is that with Facializer and Google you can reconstruct almost anyone's bio, Escrow.com will also help keep you safe.
 

Alset4S

Member
Oct 9, 2018
547
353
Illinois
I purchased my S from a Mercedes dealer who had taken it on trade. Very happy with transaction and the car. I had grown very frustrated trying to buy used from Tesla. Finally demanded and received my deposit back. The car had 10382 miles on it so I did give up that many miles of warranty but got more equipment for less money.
 
I'd only ever buy used from Tesla. Bought a used Model S thru tesla last year and while i love the car, it's needed 3 new door handles, a leaky sunroof fixed, and a bad trunk latch opener; all of which were covered in full under the 4 year 50k mile warranty. Having that piece of mind is worth it.
 

Alset4S

Member
Oct 9, 2018
547
353
Illinois
I'd only ever buy used from Tesla. Bought a used Model S thru tesla last year and while i love the car, it's needed 3 new door handles, a leaky sunroof fixed, and a bad trunk latch opener; all of which were covered in full under the 4 year 50k mile warranty. Having that piece of mind is worth it.
I purchased my S from a non Tesla dealer. All of the items you listed would have been covered by the original factory warranty. Happily I've had no such issues.
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,614
4,536
Fairfax County, Virginia
Just make sure you buy a car that is still under warranty and find out the in service date that Tesla transferred it to the owner and then activated the warranty. Hell even my daily driver 2014 Tesla P85+ with over 90K on it still has some warranty coverage (battery & motor) My in service date was Dec 2014 even though the car was manufactured in March 2014. So my battery and motor warranty dont expire until December 2022! My regular warranty expired in Dec 2018.
 
Last edited:

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,607
Canyon Lake,CA
Like with everything automotive...you gotta shop around.

When buying from a used car dealer, you need to know that you probably have more information about the car they are selling than they do. Used Tesla are relatively rare in a used dealerships inventory.

This means you might find a deal there, or you might only find frustration.
 

Alset4S

Member
Oct 9, 2018
547
353
Illinois
Agree with your statement but it was a 2015 S P85D so that warranty has now ended. Buying used and getting an additional 4 years 50K miles is worth it.
I'm not saying there's no value to the warranty though not all come with 4 year 50K from Tesla. Just don't agree the warranty is a reason to only buy from them. In my case I had 39,618 miles of factory warranty left on the car. By giving up 10,382 miles of warranty I got a car with FSD, high fidelity sound and a $2500 interior upgrade for 2K less then I had found on the Tesla site. I had actually placed a $2,500 deposit on a car but cancelled the order after 23 days and they were still not able to provide a delivery date. Not to mention that I was able to see, drive and inspect the car before giving the dealer any money. I also have the option of buying an extended warranty it I so choose.
 
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Alset4S

Member
Oct 9, 2018
547
353
Illinois
Like with everything automotive...you gotta shop around.

When buying from a used car dealer, you need to know that you probably have more information about the car they are selling than they do. Used Tesla are relatively rare in a used dealerships inventory.

This means you might find a deal there, or you might only find frustration.
I've had experience with both. Trust me dealing with Tesla used I found way more frustration. Many examples here on TMC to document that. I'm also sure there are many satisfied buyers that are just not as focal.
 
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Recently I tried to close a purchase on this beautiful 2018 Tesla S I found on another used tesla cars for sales website. The car is still owned by the Bank. Seller does not have the cash to pay off the loan to get so the agreement would be for me the buyer to pay off his loan (which roughly equates to the purchase price - say 57000). It's a lot of money to put up front and not receive the title right away. Seller was going to hand over the key and car at point of payment to bank.

How does a transaction like this should be conducted when the seller still does not have the pink title (legal ownership of the vehicle) to transfer ownership. We were going to sign and notarize a bill of sale where the buyer will pay at the point of signing to the bank for the purchase amt and the seller agrees to transfer title once he receives the lein release from bank and title from DMV (this can take a month or two with DMV).

It was agreed until I asked the seller about how he would transfer the logon with Tesla to me during this waiting period while I technically own the car but things are in process. Basically buyer can't register as a new owner on Tesla app and therefore cant use the app to control the car. I asked the seller to let us have the access (and he can remove his credit card etc.). We just need to be able to manage the car from the app. The owner/seller refused to agree with giving access to us, the buyer. He said without an app, you can drive the car with the key no problem. I dont think that sounds right. We would have paid in full with no ownership transferred and no software access to control our car.

Does this sound off? How would a transaction like this be carried out? I verified the legitimacy of theit ownership. I asked to hold back 5k until the title is received and transferred, he refused. I asked for access to the Tesla app, he said no. He said he had other buyers waiting. I really like the car and want to give the benefit of the doubt but need to make sure to be safe. I offered to use an escrow service and pay for the fee, I have not heard back. Any thoughts would be helpful maybe not for this car, but for other ones. Thank you~
 

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