Here’s how it works in a dealership.
- Go into the dealership
- Car salesman shows you all the cars
- You decide on on
- Negotiate some more
- Listen to the salesman sell you unnecessary things
- Get your car (Maybe. If your paperwork is good)
Here’s how it works in Tesla.
- Design your car and order online
- Input your information online on their portal
- You get a call to pick up your car
- Pick up your car
Here are my timeline and detail of my car buying process.
May 19, 2018
I made my reservation for my Tesla Model 3. I put in a down payment of $1000 for the reservation. I was immediately given a reservation number which is an order number. Shortly after, I started talking to Alliant Credit Union which was the bank that Tesla used. I received a loan for 72 months at 3.49%. You can have Tesla talk with the bank, but I had already contacted Alliant Credit Union because I thought I was going to buy a Model 3 from a private seller. That deal fell through.
June 28, 2018
I received an email about the next steps for my reservation. It asked me to input my Delivery Location which was Nashville, Tennessee, for me, Driver’s License information, vehicle insurance, registration information, payment method, and trade-in information if I was trading in with them. I sold my car myself but I’ve heard that some owners got really good trade-in values. To confirm the reservation and the car, I had to pay another $2500.
July 5, 2018
I received an email from my delivery specialist asking about the delivery information and my VIN number (30xxx) so I can get my insurance. He also confirmed my delivery location, my payment method which was a loan from the Alliant Credit Union and confirming that I had no trade-in. I quickly got on the phone with my specialist and confirmed my delivery for July 10th.
July 7th, 2018
I was requested to pay the cash amount for the remaining balance that wasn’t being funded by my loan. I was able to wire the money directly from the website. I also called my loan officer and she made sure that everything was in order. One thing you’d want to do before picking up is to make sure that they’ll be able to send the money to Tesla on time. This can delay the picking up process if not confirmed.
July 10th, 2018
Pick up day. We rented a car so my wife and I can drive back together. Some Tesla centers pay for the rental car, but I was told by my specialist that Nashville location does not. It took us over 4 hours to get there and we arrived early. A staff member quickly helped us out and started getting the paperwork ready. There was a small issue with the loan and the rep requested an invoice number. He was on the phone with my loan officer and quickly resolved it (This is even after I confirmed with my loan officer). After using a checklist like this to make sure the car was in good condition, we drove off with our brand new Tesla Model 3. The whole delivery process took about 40 minutes because of the paperwork issue. There were minor issues like the headlights protruding outside the body on one side, but we decided to get it fixed later.
We were lucky we picked our car up before the “logistics hell” because I’ve heard some horror stories when picking up their cars. The advice I’d give is to stay on top and ask as many questions when you have them on the phone. It can be extremely difficult to get access to reps as sales are still strong for the Model 3.
If you have any questions about the ordering process, feel free to shoot me an email.