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What to expect taking delivery of your Model 3

With the impending arrival in Port Kembla of the first boat in 2022, I thought that I would summarise my delivery experience in November 2021 in case it’s helpful in knowing what to expect and the steps in the process. Your experience will differ (e.g. they won’t be telling you that “they all only have one reverse light, it’s normal”), however I’ll focus on the key events so that it’s applicable to everyone taking delivery at a Tesla showroom in the next few months.

To get things started, I took delivery in Chatswood NSW, and my car was eventually delivered later than the worst estimated delivery date. That’s now a minor detail, and for me the period of waiting in the dark ended as follows.

  1. Vedaprime confirmed that the ship carrying my VIN had arrived in Port Kembla. It however became apparent that my car was one of the ones parked at the back of the boat. Like when you fly into Sydney and you're sitting at the back of the plane, you pick the slowest passport queue, your luggage is last to come out - that was my car in Port Kembla. Whilst others were posting photos of their new cars, my car was still sitting in Port Kembla.
  2. Vedaprime alerts me that my car has been scheduled for a car transporter to Chatswood in 9 days time, and then a couple of days later I get an SMS from Tesla asking me to book my delivery date. This was the first time that Tesla had reached out to communicate with me, ever. I like most people received three date/time options, all week days. No surprise, I booked the earliest time slot.
  3. At this point I then booked in my ceramic coat + window tint, and then paid my final invoice. You’ll note when making payment that the Citibank bank account for you to make your final payment is the same as your RN, my funds from ING cleared overnight.
  4. The day before delivery I got an SMS confirming the delivery date/time, and reminders to have watched “Meet your Tesla” videos and to have downloaded the app. The SMS advises that your call will have a minimum of 60% charge on pick up (most people from that batch had more than 80%). Bank on having enough to cover at least 200kms that first day.
  5. That same day I also then got a call from an SA to basically go through everything in the previous SMS and to remind me that delivery is no more than 10 minutes. At this point I asked the SA to SMS me the car rego so that I could give the details to my insurer, which they did. Insurance is all set.
  6. Delivery day, I arrived 15 minutes early and it wasn’t a problem. The first thing that they do is ask you to sign for the car, which is weird because I haven’t seen the car. I knew from reading up online that this was standard practice, and that if there are any issues with your car that Tesla have been committed to making things right. So I signed the papers, no questions. They then gave me a Tesla folder with all of my paperwork to keep.
  7. The next thing that they did is get me to open my Tesla app, and they paired it with my car. They then escorted me to the garage where a long line of new Model 3s are lined up waiting for owners. This is the best opportunity to open your app, select “Controls”, and press “Honk”. A lot. It’s then super easy to identify which car is yours, and it drives the SA escorting you nuts. That’s for not returning my calls and keeping me in the dark, champ.
  8. Upon getting to the car I did an initial walk around to check for any scratches. Flawless. Then with the SA still present, I did a “The Electric Man Quality Check”, the car is a Pass. Everything is looking fine however I asked the SA to leave me alone with the car to continue to look over it. I then spent another 15 minutes going over it and familiarising myself with the car. No issues. This would be a good opportunity to change your battery measurement from kilometres to percentage (plenty of discussions on why this is better in other threads, YMMV)
  9. I then informed the SA that all is OK and he unlocks the garage door, and for the first time ever I get to drive a Tesla. I had ordered the car without ever having sat in a Tesla. On the way out I was careful not to scrape it on the steep driveway leaving the Chatswood showroom.
  10. The TACC (cruise control) won’t work until the cameras calibrate, which according to the manual normally requires around 40 kilometres of driving. Consensus seems to be that driving on well marked multi lane roads helps with this. None of this worked for me, and I needed around 130 kilometres, so be patient and keep on driving.
  11. I Took it home and spent a lot of time finding and installing all of the accessories that I’d bought during the wait.

The thing that I’m happiest about doing in the entire pick up process is focusing on enjoying the experience. I can be as pedantic as the best of them and there are even checklists online that you can follow to make sure you do every right. I decided not to treat the pick up process as a job that had to be executed to perfection, and instead tried to savour the joy of getting a new Tesla whilst making sure that the car was good. The quality coming out of Shanghai has been very good (my detailer commented unprompted on how much better the Tesla paint is these days), and by all accounts if there is an issue Tesla Service is responsive and committed to making things right.

Congratulations on ordering the Model 3, it’s a great car. I’ve bought over 20 cars since 1989, and it’s only my first car that has ever brought me a joy that’s comparable to my Model 3.
Awesome post, thank you :)
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