Should you join the Tesla club? Nine things to know before you buy

Tesla bucks the car-buying trend by doing away with traditional dealerships. Instead, Tesla has 27 “Stores” in the UK. Rather than glass-and-metal palaces crammed with cars, Tesla Stores are intimate spaces with a couple of cars on display. 

But you can’t buy cars in them. The in-store product specialists simply tell you everything you need to know. You then go away and set up an account. This enables you to book a test drive, specify your car, order and finally pay for it through the website. 

However, like every other car manufacturer, Tesla has been hit by the semi-conductor shortage. Order a new Model 3 now, and you won’t take delivery until August at the earliest. 

How much will it cost? 

That depends on the model you pick. Prices for a two-wheel drive Model 3 start at £45,990. Model Y prices start at £54,990, the Model S is upwards of £100,000. Running costs vary depending on where you charge the car. Charge it at home (Tesla will sell you a wall charger for £449) and you can expect to do a full charge from empty for around £7. At a public Supercharger, a Model 3 charging up to 80 per cent will cost £21-£26. Tesla also offers Over The Air (OTA) updates, whereby owners are notified by their app that their car needs to perform a software update. 

Buy an older (pre-March 2018) Tesla Model S or X, and you can also pay £1,700 to have the in-car infotainment system updated. This gives a faster, more responsive touchscreen. Initially, electric cars were appalling at holding their value. Teslas buck that trend. Driving Electric estimates that a Tesla Model S Performance Ludicrous will hold around 60 per cent of its value after three years, or 36,000 miles.

Will I run out of power on the motorway?

Teslas are well known for having more range than rival electric cars. The Model S has an estimated range of 396 miles, the Model Y will go for 331 miles between charges. 

If you need to charge on the go, there are 5,000 Tesla Superchargers in Europe and 300 in the UK, most of them located at motorway service stations. But what happens if the Supercharger you want is full? It won’t be for long. For a start, a charge for up to 172 miles will take just 15 minutes. 

And if someone stays plugged in once they’ve finished charging, they pay what’s known as “idle fees”, at 50p per minute.

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