A used Tesla can be an excellent option for a new car buyer. However, there are a few things to remember before making a purchase.
It’s a good idea to look at Tesla’s website and make sure the car is listed in excellent condition. Also, check that all the functions work (touchscreen, air conditioning, etc.).
A Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing a Used Tesla Model
1. Check the Mileage
When Tesla entered the market, it was heralded as the start of a new wave of electric cars that you didn’t need to be mega-rich to afford. While that dream has not come true for a brand-new Model 3, used prices have made them more affordable than ever.
It’s essential to check the mileage of a used Tesla because the battery degrades over time. A typical estimate is that it loses around ten percent of its capacity after 160,000 miles.
That makes it extremely important to look for a Tesla with a good amount of warranty on the drive unit and battery. Replacing them will be costly if they’re out of warranty.
In addition to checking the mileage, it’s also essential to check the condition of the car’s exterior and interior. Ensure the paint is in good condition and there are no dents or scratches on the vehicle’s body. Also, check that the headlight LED strips illuminate fully and don’t flicker or dim. If they do, this could indicate a half-shaft problem that will need replacing.
2. Check the Battery
If you’re buying a used Tesla Model 3 for sale, chances aren’t getting the battery warranty that comes with new ones. While this is legal, you must ensure the battery has at least some of its original capacity left.
It is easy enough to check through the Tesla app. Just head over to the “Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Information” tab, and you should see what percentage of its usable capacity the battery has left.
Alternatively, you can access this info in service mode by entering the vehicle settings and choosing “Service Mode.” But be warned: attempting to enter service mode will damage your car, so it’s best not to do this alone.
Finally, driving a used Tesla before buying it would be best. It is crucial if it’s an older dual-motor model. If it makes any weird noise or shudders under acceleration, it might have half-shaft problems that would be costly to replace out of warranty.
3. Check the Warranty
In addition to everyday things buyers look for when shopping for a used car, such as a clean car fax and evidence of repainting, a Tesla buyer should be aware of some unique factors. Teslas do not follow a franchise model, so each dealership can offer different incentives and warranty prices, which can lead to confusion.
One of the most important factors is the battery warranty. A Tesla owner’s driving habits and environment will heavily impact how fast a battery degrades. If the battery degradation rate is too high, it must be replaced. It’s essential to check the Tessie app to see how the battery has been maintained over time.
Another factor is that a used Tesla’s battery and drive unit limited warranty may only cover some things. For example, the warranty doesn’t cover damage from driving on rough roads. Also, driving a vehicle to 0% charge or using it as a stationary power source can void the battery warranty. If these types of issues occur, it’s crucial to have a repair budget in place.
4. Check the Vehicle History
Generally, buyers should always ask to see service records for any used Tesla they’re considering purchasing. It can help them understand if any repairs have been made or any open recalls are outstanding. A buyer should also try to buy a vehicle still under warranty because the clock starts ticking once a car is sold.
Generally, the best place to find a used Tesla model is the manufacturer’s website since they will have inspected it before selling it. However, Tesla no longer runs a certified pre-owned program, so if you buy one on the private market, you should look for things like panel gaps and condensation in tail lights.
It’s important to carefully assess Tesla’s features because some can be expensive to maintain. For example, if a roof is cracked or has been replaced in the past, then this will need to be repaired by Tesla and can add a significant amount of cost to the overall price of the vehicle.
5. Test Drive
If you’re considering buying a used Tesla model, it’s always best to test drive the vehicle before purchasing. It will help you determine if the car is in good condition and whether or not it’s the right fit for your needs.
It’s also essential to check for any cosmetic damage to the vehicle, especially on the windshield and roof. If there are cracks or chipped areas, you should ask the seller to repair them before purchasing.
Another critical thing to consider is if the Tesla has full self-driving capability. If a car has this feature, it can park and change lanes on the motorway with your supervision.
It would be best if you listened for any shuddering from the front of the vehicle when accelerating. A malfunctioning half-shaft often causes it and can be costly to replace if not covered by the warranty.