As an automobile maker, Tesla sits in a league all its own. Founded by a group of dedicated engineers, Tesla is home to some of the only all-electric vehicles on the market, making them a frontrunner in the green energy category. Tesla cars are one of the world’s most desirable vehicles. Unfortunately, buyers soon discover that their Tesla comes at a cost beyond the sticker – the Tesla deliver fee.
Can you avoid paying the Tesla delivery fee? Tesla’s delivery fee is not negotiable, and is charged on all new vehicles. The delivery fee is associated with transporting the vehicle from the factory to your delivery location. However, Tesla does offer some incentives that may offset the delivery fee.
Ready to learn a bit more? Keep reading for all the details that you need to know to determine how you may be able to avoid paying additional fees for delivery. In this article, we will attempt to explain the reason behind the delivery fee and uncover at least one way that you may be able to get your very own Tesla without paying it.
How To Avoid Tesla Delivery Fee
You have picked out your new Tesla, decided on every upgrade and feature that you just must have and then sit down to place your order. Suddenly, just above the final price, you see a delivery/destination charge.
In the United States, this fee is currently $1,200 and Tesla will not negotiate this fee even if you live next door to the Tesla manufacturing plant. Really. However, there are a few exceptions.
At the end of each fiscal quarter, Tesla showroom locations cycle out their showroom and test drive vehicles. This means you can ask to buy them and receive a slight discount compared to buying new.
If you are okay with your new Tesla having a few miles on it from test drives, then this is the most reliable way to save money when buying a Tesla.
On rare occasions, such as the sales drive the company had in 2016, Tesla has program incentives that allowed salespeople to waive the delivery fee. However, these instances have been few and only during a small window that you needed to place your order.
Sources within the Tesla sales organization have been known to claim that they are given a limited number of waive options in any given period. So, we figure, it could not hurt to at least ask, you might get lucky.
Another possibility for avoiding the delivery fee is to refer friends, family, and just about anyone to Tesla to purchase their next vehicle. When active Tesla owners are given a unique identification code to distribute to potential buyers. This code identifies them as referral originator.
In the past, this referral code qualified the new buyer for a $1,000 discount to be applied toward the purchase price of their Tesla. While this does not eliminate the entire delivery fee amount, it will at least help to defray the cost.
Tesla does not do this often. In fact, they did away with the bulk of their vehicle referral program in 2021, and usually only offer referral discounts on Tesla Solar.
To make things easy, I’ll link my personal Tesla referral code here so you can quickly find out if there are any active promotions going on.
Another secret to cutting down on the overall cost to offset that delivery fee is to negotiate vehicle upgrades. Tesla salespeople will often be able to offer buyers a discount on specific upgrades. For example, another promotion during the 2016 sales drives offered buyers a chance to upgrade from the 5 passenger Model X to the 6 or 7 passenger model for half price. Buyers were also given the opportunity to choose Smart Air Suspension at a 50% cost reduction.
Buyers that chose one or both of the above options saved more than the delivery fee charged at the time.
Personally, when I bought my Model 3 in 2019, I was offered Sport 19-inch Wheels (a $1,500 upgrade) for free, if I placed my order that day. I took them up on this offer and instantly offset my delivery fee (plus, I secretly wanted those wheels anyways).
While Tesla vehicles may be few and far between on the used car market, they do still exist. This is perhaps the only sure-fire way to guarantee that you will not have to pay any delivery fee.
We suggest getting involved in forums and community boards dedicated to the model you prefer. Reach out and let people know you are looking to purchase a like-new or gently-used Tesla and cross your fingers.
We absolutely suggest that you have the vehicle checked by a reputable service department that is qualified to test and examine a Tesla. Always test drive the vehicle before you buy it. If you are lucky, you may find a really great deal.
Getting More Bang For Your Buck
When it comes to buying a premium vehicle, you should expect to pay a premium price tag. However, there are some tips and tricks that buyers love to share when they have saved a few extra coins on their Tesla purchase.
When You Buy Matters
Most automobile manufacturers distribute to dealers who order a certain number of each model in an array of colors and options. Tesla, however, builds and delivers its products directly to consumers, cutting out the middleman.
Over the course of a fiscal year, Tesla manufacturing produces several vehicles that end up being rejected by the consumer at delivery. This results in several models that will be less likely ordered to exact specifications. This is where being a bit flexible becomes important.
If you’re timing is right, you may be able to find a vehicle that a previous customer “rejected” at delivery, or returned during the 7-day money back guarantee period. Just ask your Tesla sales advisor if any are available.
For example, say you were planning on ordering a Model 3 in red with 18-inch wheels and there is already a Model 3 in white with 19-inch wheels that was rejected at delivery. The Tesla sales staff is authorized, in most cases, to offer you the Model 3 in white with the upgraded wheels for the same price as the original order, plus it may be already sitting at the delivery center. Just an upgrade of the wheel size could run over $1,500.
This is what happened for me, and I was able to take delivery of my Model 3 in 1 week, instead of 3 months. Asking the sales advisor can make all the difference!
Where You Buy Matters
As mentioned before, some Tesla vehicles are rejected at delivery. This could be because of a tony paint scratch, but the customer has the right the reject the car no questions asked. Tesla typically fixes the issues on-site at the delivery center, or local paint shop.
There are Tesla delivery centers all around the US. This means your local delivery center may not have any of these fixed cars sitting on their lot, but others may. Asking your Tesla sales rep to check their computer to see if any other delivery centers have any of these cars to offer may help you discover a hidden gem.
While there is no guarantee, if you can find a rejected vehicle at a distant delivery center, it may be worth it go pick the car up and drive it back home.
Tesla owners are a loyal and innovative group of vehicle owners. Once you become part of the Tesla family, you will more than likely fall in love with the car and community. Tesla depends on customer loyalty as the company faces some of its biggest competition in the next few years. We can only hope that during this time, Tesla will begin to offer a bit more wiggle room with their prices to satisfy the masses.
Until then, consumers must depend on one another to help find different ways of trimming the cost and finding ways to pinch the sales staff for some added bonuses. If you are lucky, you may be one of the chosen few allowed to waive the dreaded delivery fee. Until next time, we wish you all the best as you journey into the world of premium electric cars, as only Tesla can provide.