Buying a car typically involves haggling over prices and financing. Gearing up for a trip to the dealership can feel like shadowboxing before a fight. But purchasing a Tesla is little different.
Can you negotiate with Tesla? Tesla does not offer discounts or negotiations. The price you see is the price you get with Tesla because their vehicles are sold directly to the consumer, without any dealer markups added to the price. However, there are some potential savings when it comes to showroom models and demo vehicles.
Tesla’s business model is different, plus Teslas are in demand, so you can’t simply walk in and expect the salesperson to meet you halfway. But you can keep your eyes peeled for discounts, shop around for the best trade-in price for your current vehicle, and research options to help you get the most bang for your buck.
Tesla listed to customer feedback claiming that the negotiation process of a traditional car dealership was not enjoyable. So, they removed the negotiation process entirely.
At typical car dealerships, the car dealer acquires the cars from the manufacturer, then adds a 2-15% “dealer markup” on top of the sales price. This ensures that even when a customer comes in and negotiates a few thousand off the price, the dealer can still make a nice profit.
Tesla has chosen to eliminate the 2-15% dealer markup, and sell the vehicles directly to the consumer at the original price. This provides a win-win for both the dealer and the customer because Tesla spends less time in negotiations with customers, and we (the consumer) get the best price they can offer without having to rely on our negotiation skills.
How to Save Money on a Tesla
Though you can’t negotiate the price, there are a few ways of saving money and still getting that Tesla.
- Look for Demos and Showroom Models: Tesla cycles out cars used for display and test-drives at the end of the quarter, and if you manage to get your timing right you could get a slight discount on your car.
- Buy a Used Tesla: Buying a used Tesla through a third party (another car dealership or private seller) generally will allow you to negotiate on the price. You can actually buy used Teslas on the Tesla website, however these are fixed pricing and not negotiable.
Getting the Best Deal on Your Trade-In
Since there’s no negotiation in the purchasing part of this process, you’ll want to work for the best price when selling or trading-in your current vehicle.
- The first step of selling your car is to know what your car is worth. One of the most trusted resources is the Kelly Blue Book. This is an essential task: knowing your vehicle’s value lets you know what to ask for.
- The next step is to make your car attractive to its potential buyers. This means making sure it is clean (exterior, interior, and even under the hood) and that most (if not all) repairs are taken care of. Your car should make a good first impression!
- You’ll also need to decide whether you’re going to sell or trade in your vehicle. Selling it yourself will probably bring in the most money. You can simply place a “For Sale” sign on it, or you can post it online, for example on Craigslist. You will then, of course, have to handle the title transfer yourself, there will undoubtedly be some haggling over price, and it may take a while to find the right buyer.
Trading your car in is therefore much more convenient, though it does bring in less than selling it yourself. Third party trade-in places like CarMax will probably offer more than the dealership, but you can shop around and negotiate for the best price. Another benefit of trading in is there is usually a tax incentive, and there may soon be an extra incentive for trading in gas vehicles for electric ones.
Long Term Tesla Savings
The savings and discounts don’t end at the time of purchase. By driving an electric vehicle, you stand to save thousands of dollars every single year in gas and maintenance.
Try out this simple Tesla gas savings calculator below to see how much money you can save by driving a Tesla.
On top of the gas savings, you can expect to save a substantial amount of vehicle maintenance. Teslas are known to be highly reliable cars, and they don’t have the same regular scheduled maintenance as traditional gas cars. Most significantly, Teslas don’t require oil changes!
Hopefully this article has helped you in your Tesla buying process. Welcome to the electric vehicle family!