On a fluke, I placed my order for a Tesla. I followed Tesla closely, and it was announced that the full self-driving mode would increase in price. I love Tesla. I think all-electric vehicles are where the automotive industry is heading in the next ten years. However, I also heard that the long-range Model 3 was ‘unavailable’ until 2023. I panicked and placed my order. Now I am awaiting the Performance Model 3 by November. I also bought the complete self-driving package.
I thought my family would also have the same level of excitement that I had. I was wrong. My wife told me,” Don’t rush into all-electric cars. You don’t know how long they are going to last.”
Surprisingly, my son told me, “Big mistake. Did you test-drive it?”
I said, “No.”
“Dad, you’re tall, and your back sometimes bothers you. How do you know that you can fit in? The seats may be hard or uncomfortable. You never buy a car unless you test-drive it.” He said all of this while throwing his hands up in the air.
Rule number one: Never buy a car without test-driving it.
I thought scheduling a test drive with a Tesla dealership would be easy. I was surprised that no slots were available for a test drive in my city. My city is a decent size. The city proper had a population of 400,000, and the populace of the metropolitan area exceeded two million. There was one Tesla store in my city. I tried a few days later. No openings. I checked every week. No openings. It took me six weeks to finally get a test drive scheduled.
I talked to my friends and announced that I had broken down and pulled the trigger. They all asked what I ordered. Finally, I confessed that I had ordered the Model 3.
My friend Ray, who has owned three Teslas since 2014, told me, “For a few thousand more, you could have gotten a Model Y. The Y is much better.”
I started to regret my decision.
After work, I called Tesla to see if I could change my order from the Model 3 to the Model Y. After ten minutes holding for a live person, I finally talked to someone. I explained, “ I don’t want to cancel my order, but I simply wanted to change it from the Model 3 to a Model Y. I don’t want to lose my deposit.”
Rule Number Two: You must cancel your order and lose your deposit if you want to switch from one model to another. Talk to someone who has owned a Tesla for several years, preferably more than one Tesla model, before placing an order.
“ I’m sorry, sir, that will require you to cancel your Model 3 order and reorder your Model Y. You will lose your deposit. If you want to change within the Model 3, no problem. You can change from the rear-drive model to the performance model without difficulties. Again, no problem if you wanted to change the color of the exterior finish, interior upholstery, tire size, etc..”
I sat on the phone in silence. I didn’t know what to do. I had time on my side, so I said, “ I’ll leave everything as is. Don’t change anything. Thank you.” I hung up and decided I needed to test drive both models before doing anything. I hope I guessed right.