From ordering to driving, step by step

Intro

This post is going to detail all the steps, from ordering a Tesla Model S 85D until delivery, while living in what Tesla Motors says and considers Other Europe. Ordering a Tesla Motors car with another configuration is a similar process. This post will be live edited until considered complete since there are several steps: the details will be added using all the notes taken during my process; instead of compiling and afterwards writing the post, the refined editing along time enables a more exact and complete written record, explicitly stating version, date and hour of the new entry writing. If you see another version reference, it means there will be new information. For now several vxx entries are introduced in the following list (later to be edited) for the sake of easiness of input.
Now it is v01, Jan 05th 06.35 h. Where to start
Now it is v02, Jan 06th 15.02 h. Reservation
Now it is v03, Mar 28th 18.59 h. Options and extras
Now it is v04, Mar 29th 12.48 h. Delivery, Registration & VAT, Maintenance, Warranty, OTA = Over The Air, Driving

Where to start, v01

Anywhere in the world Tesla Motors (Tesla for short) does not use any intermediaries or any franchise or any dealers or dealership entities or people to sell their cars. If you think of buying a Tesla car and are now using or going thru with someone other than Tesla Motors to do it, may be you already started with the wrong foot. Even in countries and regions where Tesla has their physical Tesla Motors Stores, the process of buying a Tesla car is the same everywhere, and it is always, but I mean ALWAYS using one single and only tool, the Tesla Motors website, https://www.teslamotors.com/ and from here you do and have everything, I mean EVERY SINGLE THING. If you live in a country not listed in the countries list (scroll down the page to get to the list) choose Other Europe. The site will take you smoothly from your wishes to your order to your delivery. I know, I just got my Tesla Motors car as a Christmas gift delivered to my doorstep, a shiny Tesla Model S 85D. In Solid White.

IMG_20160105_080020
top top Michelin tires for a top top car

Reservation, v02

You think you know the Tesla car you want. To start the reservation process you create your Tesla account, associating an email address. From this point onwards anything pertaining to your order will be delt from your My Tesla web place.

You choose your base, 70, 70D, 85, 85D, 90 (now gone, not available anymore) 90D, P85D, P90D with Ludicrous mode, … you choose your options. Smart Air Suspension? Autopilot? Yes yes. Sub zero package? Colors, trims, details, details. You place your order. You pay. By bank transfer or with Credit Card, this is also your choice.

You get your Invoice and a Reservation Number RNxxxxx and this is your key to the Tesla world: your RN code is yours to id anything related to your order.

From this moment on the time spent waiting for the car is a test on PATIENCE. A big fat long insanely ludicrous process of knowing your own limits to practice patience.

My Model S 85D was ordered on August 15 th 2015. It was ready on December 15th 2015. In Tilburg, Holland. The car is made in the USA. It takes time to arrive to Europe. It pays to wait, the car IS THAT GOOD.

IMG_20160106_115934
more than a car, much much more

Options and extras, v03

Communication with Tesla motors is mainly done by email. Since the car takes 4 months to arrive, the time frame here is a bit different from the normal car buy experience: you have plenty of time, you have too much time in your hands… This translates into anxiety. Loads of it, even when you think you are prepared for it. This entry is about options and extras, enough about the anxiety.

After you place your reservation you have a period where you can change your mind on the options. I bought these options:

  1. Autopilot: it is a must; this is car is amazing, and Autopilot makes it even WAY BETTER, you can’t get tired of Autopilot and someone not buying it does not know – DOES NOT KNOW – what s/he is missig!
  2. Smart Air Suspension: the regular coil suspension is low; the first one were way too low, with the smart air suspension (that keeps track of your geo points and updates itself to the previous settings you chose) you are clear, pun intended, in any situation; more than once it saved my day and the car’s bottom structure.

I could have opted also for:

  1. The 90 kWh battery option: I considered it too early to move into this option; today I might think differently.
  2. The Power lift gate option: it came also with front fog lights, front directional lights, and also some leather somewhere (where? can’t really remember now); since this option package included leather, something I don’t really like, I dismissed it; today I would have taken it, the power lift gate is really useful since the rear gate is heavy and it opens quite wide and high; being able to program it to open to the exact eight of your garage’s clearance is a must; today I really would have taken it.

The extras are those small, but sometimes important, bits you need for every day life or not so much every day life, like:

  1. Dual charger (incl. installation): it adds another 11 kW charger, and with 22 kW you can charge twice as fast, you really want to reduce in half your waiting time.
  2. Blue Adapter: the charger comes with the Schuko plug and the Three phase 5 pin red plug, you want to be able to address all kinds of plugs, thus the Blue three pin plug.
  3. Type 2 cable (7,5 m): to charge in public places with Mennekes connections.
  4. CHAdeMO adapter: to charge at any CHAdeMO charger, at up to 250 km/h.
  5. All weather – interior set: mats to keep it clean inside.
  6. All weather – Trunk set: mats to keep it clean in the trunk and frunk.
  7. Tire Repair kit: to avoid nasty surprises.
  8. Touch up pen (solid white): to correct nasty surprises.

The frunk and interior mats were available and delivered. The trunk mats, payed, are still due, they were out of stock. The Tire Repair kit was not payed, they detected that it was out of stock. A friend bought it for me in one of Miami Tesla’s store, it is a universal kit.

Delivery, v04

For a Non warranty zone like Portugal, Tesla forces you to fetch the car with a transport company. In the past it was possible to arrange for a a transit plate and go to Tilburg to drive he car all the way to your hometown. Due to problems with people that schemed to avoid paying VAT tax after driving the car, Tesla disabled the “get & drive” the car possibility. After trying to hire FAMA Transportes, that didn’t work, I hired Rodo Cargo transport company. It went without a glitch, very professional.

The car was fetched on Dec 17 2015, Tilburg, and put at my garage’s door on Dec 23 2015.

Using the Tesla App you can monitor every second of the car’s voyage by truck.

Registration & VAT

Do it yourself. You need from Tesla the Invoice and the COC. From the transport company you need the Invoice and the CMR. If you have patience and time to spare you can pay and wait. Paying to ACP is the best way to have the job done with a long waiting period time: the paper work was initiated Dec 23 2015. The plates arrived Jan 18 2016. Talk about efficiency. Not all time lost was ACP’s fault: IMT (the department that does the legal registration work) made at least two mistakes in the registration process. If possible avoid the holiday season. The legal process only started on Jan 4 2016. As if all days between Dec 23 and Jan 4 were holidays. Amazing.

During this process you pay the VAT. It hurts.

Do check all the details when someone delivers you official papers: the 5 seater was registered as a 4 seater. When, from the COC, it can officially seat 7! Amazingly enough, in the end, all went well and the 5 seater – without the option of the +2 seats – is actually registered as a 7 seater to be!

Maintenance

Since getting the local official plates on January 18 2016, I have performed two maintenance tasks:

  1. Inflate the tires a tiny bit, leveling their pressure.
  2. Fill the windshield water deposit with distilled water.

That’s it. Very complicated indeed. I’m joking.

Warranty

The motors and battery have 8 years warranty, unlimited mileage, or should I say, unlimited km. It’s up to you to do the annual maintenance at a Tesla Service Center. It does not void your warranty if you don’t. Some do it. Some don’t do it. I think I am going to wait a couple of years (two?) and see if there’s the need.

OTA = Over The Air

These are the updates you receive periodically. While having the car, it received updates on

  1. Better and more accurate Autopilot function: I drive all the time with Autopilot, on highway it is amazing, with light or heavy traffic it is amazing.
  2. Auto park: I use it regularly, it parks better than me.
  3. Maps: better and more complete maps and navigation.
  4. Summon: I am faster putting the car in and taking it out of my garage.

The car gets better with time. That marketing phrase, as catchy as it might be, is in fact real. The car gets better over time.

Driving

By today’s date of March 29 2016, two months and 10 days after the plates arrived, I’m almost with 10 thousand km. It has been quite a wonderful ride.

Driving this car is amazing. AMAZING. You can’t have enough of it. There are no words to describe the sensation. If you see the youtube channels showing the car being driven, multiply that by one thousand and you are not even there knowing or grasping what it is like or what you feel like driving this car.

Do yourself a favor: do a test drive. If you can’t, ask someone with a Model S to give you a test ride. Your life will feel different afterwords.

I love my car. I love this car.

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