My First Experience With My New Tesla Model 3
I just got a new Tesla Model 3 RWD with LFP batteries. I've been wanting a Tesla for about 10 years now and finally am in a position to afford one. It's a very exciting time for me as I am upgrading from a 14 year old Honda Fit to the Model 3. Here's what my experience has been like from delivery to the first 24 hours.
First off, the process of getting into a place to accept delivery is very simple. The Tesla app makes all of this simple by taking you through a series of steps once your delivery date gets close. For the first 7 months of waiting to take delivery of my car, it was simply refreshing the delivery date. As it got close to the end of August, it became time to take delivery of my car and the app let me know of the next steps to take.
The next steps were:
I needed to either get insurance through an insurance company or use Tesla insurance. Fortunately, I live in Utah, which was just recently added by Tesla for insurance. I was able to sign up for insurance using the app and my initial premium is $95. That is about $15 less than my current insurance company's quote! The insurance premium for the first two months uses a safety score of 90 and after two months, my current safety score will determine my premium.
The safety score is a genius idea. It uses how close you drive to cars, how aggressively you turn, how often you force autopilot to disengage, how hard you brake, and how many forward collision warnings you get. All of these are Tesla's ways of determining a safe driver by NOT having incidents in these areas, which will cause your safety score to go up. Mine got as high as 98 and it showed my premium down to $65 from $95. At a score of 100, perhaps the premium goes to $58 or $55. That's nearly a 50% decrease in monthly premium for safe driving. Sign me up! That would put my insurance cost less than my old Honda Fit!
Other steps included accepting a loan agreement and putting down money for my down payment. It was easy to connect my bank and submit the down payment and accept the terms of the loan agreement. There were a few other steps as well.
Delivery Day and Beyond
On delivery day, I got a text message and a final set of documents to review and sign through the Tesla app. I accept those terms and then waited in the Tesla service center where I was next in line. After about 15 minutes waiting, a Tesla employee came up to me and showed me to my car, which had its hazard lights on in the parking lot.
He gave me an envelope with some key cards, which I can use in the event that my phone is dead, to get into my car. Pairing those key cards was easy - I used the app and simply swiped the car on the center arm rest of the car. Pairing my phone was also easy and that is the primary way I will open my car.
Opening and locking the car is very easy. Just walk close to your car and it unlocks. Just walk away from your car and it locks. I always watch my car as I walk away and am sure it locks before I let my vision leave it.
It took me and my daughters about 20 minutes in the Tesla to figure everything out. We research online how to turn the hazard lights off in our Model 3 and it turns out, to turn the hazard lights off, you simply press the triangle button right above the rear view mirror. We laughed at how long it took us to figure that out and how simple it was.
Driving the Model 3 RWD has been a joy. Even with it being the lowest end Tesla, it still packs a punch in acceleration. Flooring the accelerator takes a lot of energy though, as does going up hills. In fact, driving on the freeway takes more energy than city driving, the reverse of how it is for a gas car. I think this is due to less energy being used for speed and more regenerative braking.
Speaking of regenerative braking, I rarely if ever have had to use the brake. By taking my foot off the accelerator, the car naturally brakes as if I was pressing the brake pedal. It took a little bit of getting used to, but now I like it. The brakes on the car will likely last forever.
There are NO issues with the car. Everything is in working order and I've driven it about 150 miles in the last 24 hours and have been having so much fun with it. I don't have a charger at my condo where I live, so I am working out how I will charge it. I went to a Tesla Supercharger here during peak hours and it was pretty expensive for 25% - about $7.50. I imagine charging at night or early morning will cost a lot less.
I feel like I own a space ship now and this is much better than my gas car - by leaps and bounds. I see maintenance being largely washer fluid, tires, and an occasional replacement for the air filter. Other than that, I'm not sure what else will need to be done - maybe the wiper blades every once in a while, but even on my Honda Fit, I only had to replace those a couple times.
This is a beautiful and magnificent car. I'm grateful I have the means to afford it and love what Tesla is doing and their mission. What do you think of my first experience with my Tesla Model 3? Are you considering buying a Tesla?
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.