What to Know Before Buying a Tesla: A Beginner’s Guide

red tesla in a Tesla showroom. Title reads A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Tesla: Pre-Purchase Tips and Advice

What to Know Before Buying a Tesla:
A Beginner’s Guide

If you are thinking of buying a Tesla, you might be wondering what you need to know before making your purchase. Tesla vehicles are known for their advanced technology, electric power and sleek design, but owning one requires some preparation and knowledge.

EVPro Tip: If you’re still thinking about the pros and cons of owning an electric vehicle, check out these 12 myths about EVs.

Going Gas-Free

Firstly, it’s important to understand that Tesla cars are not like traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. They require charging instead of filling up with gas. Plugging in your vehicle at home and planning your trips to a supercharger are a small adjustment, but we think it’s well worth the shift. Charging infrastructures are growing rapidly and charging stations are predicted to be as commonplace as gas stations.

Range Anxiety

If you’re worried about the range of your Tesla EV, check out how far your Tesla will go, (ranges depend on the model.) In most cases, you’ll get about as much range in a charge as you would a tank of gas in a comparable vehicle. Some Teslas will travel over 400 miles on a single charge.

Cost of a Tesla

Another important aspect to consider is the cost of owning a Tesla. While the initial purchase price may be higher than many traditional cars, the cost of ownership over time can be significantly less due to the lower cost of electricity compared to gas, and the potential for tax incentives and rebates. Many owners keep their Tesla longer than traditional vehicles, as frequent over-the-air software updates add features that can make your car feel new again! Make sure to factor in the cost of installing a home charging station and any maintenance or repairs that may be needed.

In our experience, our Tesla vehicles have been a smart investment and have saved thousands of dollars in gas and maintenance. 

Understanding the Tesla Models

Tesla offers a range of electric vehicles that cater to different needs and budgets. Here is a breakdown of the different models:

ModelRangePrice (USD)
Model Sup to 412 milesstarting at $79,990
Model Xup to 371 milesstarting at $89,990
Model 3up to 358 milesstarting at $39,990
Model Yup to 326 milesstarting at $41,190

The Model S and Model X are Tesla’s luxury models with larger battery packs, longer range, and more features. These models are more expensive and cater to those who want a high-end electric vehicle.

The Model 3 and Model Y are Tesla’s most affordable models. These models have smaller battery packs, shorter range, and fewer features, but are still packed with advanced features, superior technology and offer an out-of-this-world driving experience. The Model 3 is a sedan, while the Model Y is a crossover SUV and has a larger cargo capacity and up to 7 seats.

When deciding which model to buy, consider your budget, driving needs, and desired features. Tesla also offers different trim levels for each model, which can affect the price and features available.

The Tesla Buying Process

Buying a Tesla is a unique experience compared to purchasing a traditional car. It is stress-free because there is no haggling or even sales people to deal with. Here are the easy steps you need to take when purchasing a Tesla.

Multiple Tesla in a parking lot - What to Know Before Buying a Tesla

Step 1: Choose Your Model

Tesla currently offers four models: the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. Each model has its own unique features and price point, so it’s important to research and determine which one fits your needs and budget best.

Step 2: Place Your Order

Once you’ve decided on a model, you can place your order online or at a Tesla dealership. You’ll need to provide your contact and payment information, as well as any customizations you want for your car. 

EVPro Tip: Tesla’s updated referral program offers immediate benefits when you order your Tesla, enjoy 3 months of Full Self Drive completely free.

Step 3: Wait for Delivery

After placing your order, you’ll receive an estimated delivery date. Depending on the model and location, delivery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Tesla will keep you updated on the delivery process, and you can track the progress of your car through your Tesla account.

Step 4: Take Delivery

When your car is ready, Tesla will contact you to schedule a delivery appointment. At the appointment, you’ll sign the final paperwork and receive your new Tesla. The Tesla team will also provide a brief tutorial on how to use your car’s features.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Tesla

Now that you have your new Tesla, it’s time to hit the road and enjoy the ride. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the car’s features and charging process to get the most out of your experience.

Overall, the Tesla buying process is straightforward and convenient. With a little patience and research, you can become a proud Tesla owner and enjoy the many benefits of driving an electric car.

Charging Your Tesla

One of the most important things to consider when owning a Tesla is how you will charge it. Unlike traditional gas-powered cars, electric cars need to be charged regularly to keep them running. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Home Charging: The most convenient way to charge your Tesla is to do it at home. You can install a Tesla Wall Connector in your garage or outside your home, which will allow you to charge your car overnight. This is the most cost-effective and convenient way to charge your car.
  • Public Charging: If you are traveling long distances, you may need to charge your car at a public charging station. Tesla has a network of Superchargers across the country that can charge your car quickly. You can also use other public charging stations, but they may not be as fast or convenient as the Tesla Superchargers.
Tesla supercharger station - 
What to Know Before Buying a Tesla
  • Charging Time: The time it takes to charge your Tesla will depend on the type of charger you are using and how much charge your car needs. A Tesla Wall Connector can charge your car at a rate of up to 44 miles per hour, while a Supercharger can charge your car at a rate of up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.
  • Battery Care: To prolong the life of your Tesla’s battery, it is important to charge it regularly and avoid letting it drain completely. Tesla recommends keeping your battery charged between 20% and 80% to maximize its lifespan. 
  • Cost: The cost of charging your Tesla will depend on the cost of electricity in your area and how much you drive. On average, it costs about $0.28 per kWh to charge a Tesla, which translates to about $15 USD for a full charge. However, this cost can vary depending on where you live and how much you drive. 

Overall, charging your Tesla is a simple and convenient process that can be done at home or on the road. By understanding the different charging options and taking care of your battery, you can enjoy all the benefits of owning a Tesla without any hassle.

Maintenance and Repairs

Compared with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, Tesla owners enjoy lower maintenance requirements (and costs) on their EVs. 

You won’t be needing oil changes, but plan to keep your Tesla in good condition with these new owner tips:

  • Regular maintenance is required to keep your Tesla in good condition. This includes tire rotations, brake inspections, fluid checks and windshield wiper replacement.
  • Tesla offers annual service plans that include a comprehensive inspection, brake fluid replacement and air conditioning service.
  • It’s important to keep your Tesla’s software up-to-date to ensure that it’s operating at its best. Tesla releases regular updates that can improve performance, add new features, and fix bugs.
  • In the event of an accident, Tesla has a network of certified repair centres to ensure that your vehicle is repaired to its original condition. 

While Teslas are generally reliable and require less maintenance than traditional vehicles, repairs can still be costly. It’s important to consider this when deciding whether to purchase a Tesla.

One way to mitigate the cost of repairs is to purchase Tesla’s extended warranty. This will cover repairs and replacements for up to 8 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. As with all cars, the warranty does not cover wear and tear items such as tires and brake pads.

Teslas are not maintenance-free, but they make great vehicles for busy people that don’t want to spend a lot of time or money maintaining a gas-powered engine. 

Tesla Features and Technology

When it comes to features and technology, Tesla is known for being ahead of the curve. Our Tesla drivers at EVehiclePro range from “tech-lovers” to “non-techies” but we all love the easy, intuitive, stress-free features of Tesla. 

Here are some of the key features you should be aware of before purchasing a Tesla:

  • Autopilot: Tesla’s Autopilot feature uses cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors to assist with driving tasks such as lane changing, parking, and even navigating on the highway.
  • Over-the-Air Updates: Tesla is continuously updating its software and features. These updates are usually done remotely, without the need to visit a dealership.
  • Supercharging: Tesla’s Supercharging network allows you to charge your car quickly and conveniently at a growing number of charging stations across the country.
  • Features like Sentry Mode, Dog Mode and Car Wash Mode make protecting your vehicle (and its passengers) safe and comfortable.
  • Touchscreen Interface: The 15-inch touchscreen display in the Model S, Y, 3, and the 17-inch display in the Model X allows you to control all aspects of your driving experience, from the climate control to the audio system.
Interior of a Tesla - Guide to Owning a Tesla

Use the Tesla App on Your Smartphone

One of the most unique features of Tesla’s technology is the ability to control your vehicle through your smartphone. With the Tesla app, you can remotely start your car, adjust the climate control, and even summon your car to come pick you up.

Tesla Community and Support

One of the great things about owning a Tesla is being part of a passionate, supportive and forward-thinking community. Tesla owners are known for their enthusiasm and willingness to help others. Here are some ways to connect with other Tesla owners:

  • Join a local Tesla club or group. These groups organize events, meetups, and social gatherings for Tesla owners.
  • Join the Tesla Connect Community by EVehiclePro. Sign up for our newsletter for expert tips, updates and tons of savings on accessories – you’re gonna love your Tesla even more!
  • Participate in online forums and discussion boards. There are many active Tesla communities online, where you can ask questions, share experiences, and learn from other owners.
  • Attend Tesla events and conferences. Tesla hosts events and conferences throughout the year, where you can learn about the latest products and technologies, and connect with other Tesla enthusiasts.

If you need to get your Tesla serviced or repaired, simply schedule an appointment through the Tesla mobile app or website. Tesla has a network of service centres and mobile service technicians that can perform most repairs and maintenance tasks.

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Thinking about a Tesla EV? The EVehiclePro team has got your back with loads of expert advice and honest reviews for new and seasoned Tesla drivers. Join the Tesla Connect community on social media and sign up for our newsletter with helpful tips and exclusive coupon codes for great savings!

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Darren Globe

Darren is a Tesla EV owner, Professional Firefighter and former Paramedic. His experience and passion for EVs inspired him to create EVehiclePro.com, where he works as CEO and Chief Editor. Darren is a recognized Tesla expert featured in gobankrates.com and referenced by MSN, Yahoo and in numerous forums, websites and social media.

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