It Took 2 Months to Get My Tesla Model 3

I placed my order for a Tesla Model 3 Long Range on October 19, 2019. Here’s what happened while waiting for the car. Here’s the video I made.

New Owners Workshop

After a few weeks, I received an invitation to attend a new owners workshop held at the dealership where I placed my order. If you decide to go, you will be able to get a more detailed look at their cars’ features. There is a dedicated person for each Model. Aside from the cars, you will also learn more about their solar roof products, batteries, and home chargers. I did not really benefit from the presentation. I have already done a lot of research into the car which made me decide to purchase one. We already have solar on our house.

What was helpful was meeting a specialist to help me complete my Tesla profile. Your profile needs to have the following.

  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • Copy of your insurance
  • Delivery location
  • Payment method
  • Trade-in information (if applicable)

I had most of the information provided. I planned to finance the purchase through Tesla. This part was a bit weird because my car would not be ready until 6-10 weeks. Generally, pre-approval for financing is only valid for 30 days. The specialist informed me that they have “in house” partnerships with banks and the validity of the pre-approval can be extended without running additional credit checks. He was able to get me pre-approved.

I got more information regarding my trade-in. I planned to trade in my 2016 Prius. He updated the mileage information and VIN. I was able to get an estimate within a few hours – it showed up on my profile. Because Tesla is the dealer, the prices are the same across the board. They are able to give me my final price along with the trade in. Simple!

Rebates

In California, there is the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. It is a rebate for owners of electric vehicles and hybrids. Prior to December 3, 2019, the amount was $2500. Afterwards, it was lowered to $2000 and less vehicles are eligible. Luckily, the Model 3 remained on the list, but I “lost” $500 because I still didn’t have the vehicle.

You also get a Federal tax credit. Below are the amounts and expirations.

  • $7500 up to December 31, 2018
  • $3750 January 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019
  • $1875 July 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019
  • $0 after December 31, 2019

It was important to get my vehicle delivered before December 31, 2019 or I won’t be able to get my Federal tax credit. If for some chance I don’t get the credit, I would still purchase the car. This was not the reason why I buying the vehicle.

Soft matched to a VIN

In the morning of December 21, 2019, I come to find out I was soft matched to a VIN. This means the vehicle is in pre-production and has been assigned to me. There is a small chance that it doesn’t pass quality control and I can get a different VIN, this is why it’s a soft match.

That night, I received another notification informing me that the car is in transit and that I will be scheduled for my delivery date. Very impressed that within a day, the car is in preproduction and that it’s in transit to the dealership.

I was scheduled for delivery pick up Christmas Eve 2019 the following day. I called to confirm this on December 23 and found out that slots were available that night. Rather than waiting for the following day, I took the slot and got my car.

Why did it take long?

I found out by talking to different people but it turns out that in October and November, Tesla only built cars to fulfill orders for outside the United States. This put a major delay on my order. They started fulfilling orders for the United States on December 1. Even then, they focused on non-west coast orders because it took longer to deliver the cars to the other states. The factory is in Fremont, California. They need to deliver cars prior to the Federal tax credit deadline. In addition, I ordered the white interior and Long Range. Tesla builds their cars in batches. The most common order configuration is Standard Range and black interior.

The video linked above has more details. It is a 21 minute video but I shared timestamps to different sections. Take a look if you have time and/or are interested in more details.

If you are in the market for a Tesla, please use my referral link so we both get free super charging miles credit https://ts.la/sherwin24159.

I test drove the Tesla Model 3

Test driving Tesla Model 3

Back in October, my son and I went to the Tesla dealership in Buena Park to check out a Model 3. I didn’t have an appointment but they were able to schedule me for a test drive. I have heard about experiences with Tesla dealership. How there is no middleman. You are buying straight from the company. The price is publicly shown and everyone pays (for the most part) the same. But I didn’t expect the events that lead to the test drive.

Buena Park Tesla
Buena Park Tesla

We checked in and the sales associate (SA) greeted us. He was working with another customer at the time but he gave me an iPad to sign some liability stuff for the test drive and he copied my drivers license. So far, every thing seems normal. He came back and told us to hang tight, he’s going to get the car. A few minutes later we meet him in the front with a blue Model 3 Performance. Very nice looking car.

He had us get inside. I sat in the driver seat and through the window he went over some basic features like how to change the gear from park, reverse, drive, etc; where the turn signals are; adjust seats. Again, every thing seemed normal. After this, I expected him to get in the passenger seat and off we go. “Alright, go ahead and take her for a spin. Be back in 15 minutes. Someone else has scheduled a test drive”. Whoa! I asked, “You aren’t coming with us”? He said, “Nope, I still have to finish with another customer”. Apparently, this is how test driving works with Tesla. They literally give you the car and you experience it on your own. I figured, many who are interested have already done the initial research of the car and it’s just the matter of driving it. It frees up the SA to help other customers as well.

So my son and I went on the test drive and it’s an awesome experience. This is the fastest and most technologically advance vehicle I’ve ever driven. We drove around Buena Park. I can’t begin to describe the accelaration. The cameras around the car detected other vehicles, people, bicycles. The suspension is hard and stiff – it’s a sport sedan. But the ride isn’t rough, at least for me it wasn’t.

The interior is minimal. It has two stocks on each side of the steering wheel that controlled various things like turn signals, changing the direction of the vehicle (to put it in park, you press a button on the end of the stock). Most of the functionality is on the huge screen in the center of the dash. It felt like a giant iPad and the interface is similar to iOS. It’s a touch screen with menus that activate with slide gestures and long presses.

I couldn’t get on the freeway because it’s traffic. He didn’t explain autopilot so I didn’t get a chance to play with it. I think this was good as I would’ve wasted my time playing with it rather than just taking in the driving experience.

We went back to the dealership and the SA was just finishing up with the previous customer. We hung out and waited for him.

Afterwards, we sat in front of a computer and we talked about what the next steps are. At this point, I wasn’t planning to buy one, just test drive. My wife doesn’t even know what we’ve done yet haha. He configured the vehicle I was interested in and showed me the price. In October 2019, you can reserve a Model 3 for a non-refundable $100. The SA suggested to reserve it and if I change my mind, I will only lose $100. I really like the car and after doing some calculating, I would save money in the long run with my commute and expenses – even compared to my Prius. It’s not a lot of savings, after all the configuration I chose is quite a few pennies. But the longer I keep the car, the more I’ll save. I don’t plan on trading in the Model 3 after 3-4 years and/or 100K miles. There’s a lot less maintenance and the battery is supposed to last 300K+ miles. With Tesla always updating the software, the car will continue to “feel new”. So I reserved it for $100 and had to think of a way to tell my wife what I just did haha.

I usually take photos and video but I wanted to focus on test driving. My son did do a Facebook live during the test drive. I found the file but it’s compressed and I’m not sure how well it will play in full screen. I do plan on sharing the video, I just haven’t put together something for it. It’s very shakey. So stay tuned for more content on the Tesla Model 3.

Finally, if you are interested in purchasing any Tesla vehicle, please use my referral link https://ts.la/sherwin24159. We both could get free car charging.