Confirming a Tesla Purchased from a Dealer Has Autopilot/Full Self-Driving Active

Sep 11, 2020   

There are multiple steps buyers can take to ensure that a Tesla purchased from a dealer has Autopilot/Full Self-Driving Capability active.

In some cases a dealer may not properly differentiate between the Autopilot hardware and software. It’s possible for a Tesla to have “Enhanced Autopilot hardware” or the “Full Self-Driving computer” but for those features to not be active due to the software not being paid for. Dealers also may not properly indicate whether a Tesla has Autopilot 1.0 (older hardware) or 2.0/2.5/3.0.

The first step a consumer can take on a Model S or Model X would be to check the vehicle’s “Additional vehicle information” screen to find out which version of Autopilot hardware the Tesla is equipped with. (All Model 3 and Model Y vehicles produced to date include hardware capable of the latest Autopilot features.) While this doesn’t indicate that the feature is active and paid for, it does give buyers a better idea of the vehicle’s Autopilot capability. Vehicles with Autopilot computer 2.0/2.5 are capable of the latest Enhanced Autopilot features, and will receive a complimentary upgrade to Autopilot computer 3.0 if Full Self-Driving is paid for.

A Tesla with Autopilot and/or Full Self-Driving Capability features active would have those features listed as an “Included Package” on the Software page of the settings menu. (Accessible via the “T” emblem at the top of the display.)

If the original owner of the vehicle had equipped the vehicle with Enhanced Autopilot and/or Full Self-Driving Capability it would be listed on Tesla’s Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement. It is possible that the owner added the features after delivery via their Tesla account, in which case the features would be accessible via the Autopilot menu on their Tesla. However, simply having the features active in the Autopilot settings menu is not a definitive indication that the features are paid for and will remain active as Tesla does intermittently offer a trial of Autopilot features.

Tesla may remove Autopilot/Full Self-Driving features that were paid for by the vehicle’s previous owner when a Tesla is sent to auction. Dealers should proceed with caution when purchasing a Tesla advertised with these features. (Tesla is less likely to remove features listed on the Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement due to negative press regarding the practice in the past.)

Dealers should take extra precautions to ensure that a Tesla has Autopilot/Full Self-Driving Capability paid for prior to purchasing/trading the vehicle, including checking the packages on the Software page as well as the owner’s Tesla account via the Tesla app when applicable.

We suggest that buyers ask the dealer to provide a bill of sale stating that Autopilot/Full Self-Driving features are active and paid for on the vehicle to clear up any potential confusion, if they are advertised as such. In the case that the features are deactivated for whatever reason, the buyer would have grounds to ensure they receive what was originally valued and paid for.


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