Checklist for Buying an Out-of-State Tesla

Jun 12, 2019   

Whether purchasing a Tesla on Only Used Tesla or any other outlet without seeing the car in person first, these steps help protect both buyers and sellers to ensure expectations are set.

We find that most if not all used Tesla sellers we come across are honest and upfront, so we want to help make the process as easy and straightforward as possible:

1. Request detailed, up-to-date images. Ensure that you can clearly see the condition of the exterior (including all wheels), interior (especially the seats and dashboard), as well as overlooked areas like the frunk and trunk. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific images, and verify that the features/VIN on the build sheet match the specific vehicle. Feel free to go an extra step and ask them to FaceTime you so that you can see the vehicle as it sits today.

2. Check the warranty that is still active on the vehicle. All Tesla’s with a clean title will come with a transferable four-year, 50,000-mile new vehicle warranty as well as an eight-year warranty that covers the battery and drive-train for 100,000-120,000 miles. Older Tesla vehicles can be inspected by a service center for a fee to ensure that they are mechanically in good condition. This is completely optional and unnecessary for most vehicles, especially those that are still covered by warranty. A vehicle history search is also optional but may be advisable for older vehicles.

3. Ask for service records. While Tesla maintenance is minimal and much of it is optional, it can still be helpful to know what items may need to be replaced or how much tread is remaining on the tires.
Be sure to ask the seller any questions you may have, or request documentation. Most sellers will be eager to make sure you are confident with your purchase.

4. Setup a time to pickup the vehicle or have it shipped across the country. You may also ask the delivery company or a third party to verify that the vehicle is in the expected condition. It is recommended to leave a deposit through a verifiable payment method to hold the vehicle and pay the remaining amount via a certified check at time of pickup, or to to use an escrow service if the vehicle is being shipped.

We wish all used Tesla buyers a happy buying experience, and to use these steps to proceed with confidence when purchasing an out-of-state Tesla. Please feel free to email us if you have any other questions.

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