I’ve been driving electric cars for 13 years, and 10 of those have been in a Tesla. Every so often Tesla finds themselves with an abundance of inventory at the end of the fiscal quarter and will discount the cars heavily to get them off the lot. This is one of those times.
In my latest video I take a look at how to find the best deals – in some cases you can save thousands of dollars off the sticker price. But just be prepared to do your due diligence as Tesla isn’t always focused on customer satisfaction these days.
So where are the deals? Click through my affiliate link and then click on the “explore inventory” button below the model you’re looking for. You’ll find filtering options on the side to narrow it down to your desired feature set.
I recommend sorting the cars from “Price Low to High” to find the ones that are significantly reduced in price. For example, I found a Model 3 Long Range All-Wheel Drive model for a little less than $4,000 off the list price:
In addition to the price reduction my affiliate link gets you an additional $500 off a Model 3 or Y and $1,000 off a Model S or X.
Tesla’s website also provides information on federal tax credits available for Model 3s and Model Ys. These credits can be applied to your taxes if you meet certain eligibility criteria. Leasing options are also available, where the tax credits may be worked into the lease. There may also be some tax credit options on used vehicles.
If you already own a Tesla with the full self-driving option, you can transfer it to a new vehicle. But, this is a short-running promotion, so act quickly if you’re interested. Also, note that the new vehicles come with full self-driving hardware version 4, which is not yet compatible with the full self-driving feature.
Be cautious when browsing the inventory. Tesla mixes demo models with new inventory models. Demo models have mileage on them and could have been used for test drives or even returned by other customers. They’ll note the demo units on the top of the listing like this Model S example:
Although the car above only has 52 miles on the odometer it’s possible it could have sat in the showroom being manhandled by customers for several weeks or more. My advice on the demo models is to head over to the Tesla store location and take a look at the vehicle yourself before putting a deposit down.
Here are a few things to expect in regards to the buying experience: Tesla’s purchasing process has always been a bit impersonal but it’s gotten worse. In fact the first time you’ll actually hear from someone is after the deposit is made, and it’s mostly a one way conversation via text message to set up the appointment. Any questions you ask will go unanswered. Perhaps it’s a little better in areas where Tesla has a retail presence but generally it’s a self guided sales process all the way up until the point you’re picking the car up.
To reserve a car, you’ll need to put down a non-refundable deposit of $250. If you have a trade-in, Tesla won’t give you a final offer on your trade until after that non-refundable deposit is made. Right now it appears as though that offer won’t arrive until about day or two ahead of your pick-up appointment. This is a significant change from Tesla’s previous process where customers knew up-front what they were being offered. If you walk away from the deal you’re out the $250.
The good news is that throughout my decade of Tesla ownership I’ve found the cars to be reliable and a ton of fun to drive. I’ve had very few interactions with Tesla service and the cars require very little maintenance beyond tires. For service calls they now have a mobile service program where a bulk of maintenance and service issues can be taken care at your home or office. They’ll come to you!