The 11 Mistakes You Could Make When Purchasing A Used Tesla

by Jul 17, 2023Car buying, Used Tesla0 comments

The 11 Mistakes You Could Make When Purchasing A Used Tesla


If you are considering purchasing a used Tesla, you are making a smart decision. With their stunning design, eco-friendly nature, and ever-improving range, it’s no wonder they’re a popular choice among drivers. However, buying a used electric vehicle comes with challenges and requires different thinking. There are some critical factors that can make or break your experience. Many prospective Tesla buyers overlook this crucial aspect, leading to unfortunate consequences down the road. 


In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the eleven most common mistakes when purchasing a used Tesla and provide you with expert advice on how to avoid them. By the end, you’ll be equipped with valuable insights to ensure you make a well-informed purchase of a used Tesla.


The 11 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Purchasing A Used Tesla


Related: Electric Vehicle Buying: How to Avoid The 8 Common Mistakes When Buying An EV

Disregarding Battery Health 

The battery is the heart of any electric vehicle, and Teslas are no exception. Like your smartphone or other electronic devices, Tesla cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which degrade over time. This degradation affects the vehicle’s performance and range, much like how your phone doesn’t last as long on a single charge as it did when it was new. 

Ensure you understand the battery’s condition and remaining capacity. Batteries degrade over time, impacting the car’s range and charging efficiency. Knowing the battery’s health will help you anticipate potential costs in the future.


Failing to Research Model Differences 

Each Tesla model offers distinct features, battery ranges, and performance capabilities. For example, the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y may have different battery sizes, range capabilities, performance levels, interior features, and autopilot functionalities. 

Researching model differences can involve reading user reviews and feedback from Tesla owners. This information can provide valuable insights into real-world experiences with each model and help you identify potential issues or advantages. Before making a decision, thoroughly research the different models available on the used market. Consider your needs, driving habits, and budget to determine which model suits you best.



Purchasing A Used Tesla

Neglecting Warranty Coverage 

Check the remaining warranty coverage on the used Tesla. Tesla’s warranty includes different components such as the battery, drivetrain, and general vehicle coverage. Understanding the warranty’s status will help you plan for potential repairs or replacements.

If you are purchasing a used Tesla from the Tesla CPO program, you’ll get an additional 1-year or 16,000-kilometre warranty that can be added to the original 4-year or 80,000-kilometre warranty. However, it’s crucial to be aware that the 8-year battery warranty is only activated if the battery’s charge capacity drops below 70%. While Tesla provides specific overhaul and refurbishment work for their used cars, opting for a private seller may come with higher risks and potential expenses for battery replacements.


Overlooking Vehicle History 

Just like buying any used car, it’s essential to obtain the vehicle’s history report when purchasing a used Tesla. This report will provide crucial information about the car’s past, including accidents, repairs, and odometer readings. A clean history ensures you’re investing in a reliable vehicle, while a questionable one might indicate potential issues.

It’s recommended to check the number of previous owners the Tesla has had. Multiple owners might indicate that there were potential issues with the vehicle that prompted previous owners to sell it. Ideally, aim for a used Tesla with a single owner.


Not Research Pricing on the Used Market

Using online used car marketplaces and classified websites to browse used Tesla listings will give you a good idea of the current market prices for different Tesla models. Without knowledge of fair pricing, you might find it challenging to negotiate effectively. Understanding market rates empowers you to negotiate from a position of knowledge and potentially get a better deal.

On the other hand, failing to research pricing might also lead you to overlook potential hidden defects or issues with the used Tesla. While getting a good deal is crucial, basing your decision solely on the lowest price might lead to unforeseen complications. Remember the old adage: “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”


Neglecting Pre-Purchase Inspection

Doing a pre-purchase inspection is highly recommended when buying any used car, including a used Tesla. It is an essential step that helps you ensure the vehicle’s condition is as advertised and identify any potential issues that might not be immediately apparent. Even though Teslas are known for their reliability, a professional inspection can identify hidden problems or maintenance needs that might affect the vehicle’s performance.


Ignoring Charging Access

If you plan to take frequent long trips with your Tesla, access to fast charging infrastructure in your area is crucial. 

Tesla has a Supercharger network that enables faster charging for long-distance travel. Having accessible charging options nearby can make owning an electric vehicle, like a Tesla, more convenient and practical for daily use and long-distance travel. If you have a garage or access to an outlet near your parking space, you can also consider installing a Level 2 home charger. This allows you to charge your Tesla overnight and wake up to a fully charged vehicle every morning.


Not Considering Charging Cost

The charging cost for a used Tesla will depend on various factors, including the model of the Tesla, its battery size, your location, and the electricity rates in your area. Additionally, your driving habits and how often you charge your Tesla will impact the overall charging cost as well. If you have long daily commutes or take frequent road trips, you’ll need to charge more often and use the Supercharger more, which will increase your overall charging expenses. Understanding these costs will give you a better idea of the overall cost of ownership.


Related: Charging an EV: How Much Electricity Does It Take to Charge a Tesla?


Forgetting Software Updates

Tesla frequently releases software updates to enhance performance, introduce new features, and fix bugs. Whether a Tesla vehicle is brand new or used, as long as it is connected to the internet and within the supported software update period, it will continue to receive OTA updates from Tesla. 

However, it’s important to note that used Tesla vehicles might not receive updates as frequently or as quickly as newer models, as Tesla tends to prioritize updates for the latest vehicles. Additionally, if a used Tesla is significantly older, there might be some limitations on the type of updates it can receive, depending on the vehicle’s hardware and capabilities. Ensure the used Tesla you’re interested in is capable and has received regular updates. Since an outdated software version may cause compatibility issues and restrict access to new functionalities.


Overlooking Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability

Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) are sought-after features in Tesla vehicles. However, they may not be included in all used models. Tesla offers Autopilot and FSD as optional add-ons at the time of purchase. Some used Tesla vehicles may have been equipped with these features if the original owner selected them as part of the vehicle’s configuration. However, other used Tesla vehicles may not have Autopilot or FSD if these options were not added when the car was initially purchased. If you desire these capabilities, confirm that the used Tesla you’re interested in has them and whether they have been activated.


Not Test-driving the Vehicle

Lastly, just as you would with any other used car, never skip the test drive. Test driving a used Tesla allows you to evaluate the vehicle’s condition, performance, and overall driving experience. Experiencing how the car handles, accelerates, and brakes will give you a better understanding of its condition. If you are considering multiple used Tesla models or comparing them with other vehicles, test driving each one can help you make a more informed decision about which model best meets your needs.


While purchasing a used Tesla can be an exciting and financially smart decision, it comes with some potential risks, just like buying any used car. Avoiding these 11 common mistakes will help you make an informed decision, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the revolutionary world of electric driving.


More from Carnex Blog:

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Buying a Used EV in Canada: What You Need to Consider

Should you charge your electric vehicle every night? Here are what you should know

Will Buying an Electric Vehicle Save You Money?

Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.

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