Thinking about picking up a new Tesla? Did you know that you can, essentially, have it shipped anywhere within your country? In this post, we will discuss why you might want to do this and along with the steps I took to have my Tesla Model Y delivered as far from my home as possible.
Why Take Your Tesla Delivery in a Different Location?
Before diving into my experience with my Tesla delivery across the country, let’s look at why anyone would want to do this. Delivery day can be both exciting and stressful so why complicate things?
For me, it simply comes down to the experience of flying to a new location and driving home. It essentially gives you a one-way road trip and an excuse to travel. With my travel site lacking in content thanks to the pandemic, travelling domestically was my only option. On top of that, doing this trip in a brand new Tesla just seemed like fun. Spoiler, it was.
On top of that, it was also a great way to rip that range anxiety bandaid right off.
Why This Might Not Be for You
That said, having your new Tesla delivered to a different location certainly isn’t for everyone. The process can be stressful and Tesla certainly does not make it easy. As you are supposed to identify deficiencies within the first 3 days/ 100 miles this can be extra work for you. I’m still trying to get Tesla to address my delivery day issues despite documenting everything before driving off the lot.
Pending on your location, financing and trade in options may not be available to you if you pickup in a different location. In my case, I had to finance the vehicle myself (I used an LOC) and could not trade in my vehicle for obvious reasons.
If you are in a hurry to receive your Tesla, taking delivery out of province or state might not be for you. With the coordination and back and forth, your delivery date may be longer than at home.
Lastly, if you are looking to add PPF to your Tesla (and you should), getting it done anywhere not your home can be a challenge. Initially, I was going to have mine done in Kingston, Ontario however the shop wanted to be able to make follow up adjustments which would not be possible. Also, with my panel gap issues, they advised against it. So I drove 9,000 km unprotected and have the rock chips to prove it. 😔
How To Take Tesla Delivery Out of State/Province
If you are still reading this, the idea of picking up in a different location probably doesn’t scare you. Good for you! It does take some extra work but I can say, the trip can be worth the effort. Here’s how to take delivery out of state or provience.
Order Your Vehicle
The first step is, obviously, ordering your vehicle. Create an account with an address in the location you want to take delivery in. In my case, I used a hotel address. Then, pick out your vehicle and customize it through the Tesla website.
Next, contact a Tesla Advisor (if there is a shop in your area I suggest going in person) to discuss delivery options out of province or state. In my case, the advisor reached out to me once a VIN was assigned. I was told Tesla delivery in a different location was not possible, citing insurance restrictions. In reality, this is just outside of the normal Tesla delivery processes. I challenged this stating I had done this with other vehicles. On top of that, I found other Tesla owners who have done this as well. Considering this, it may take some convincing on your part.
Finalize Delivery Location
Tesla will technically deliver a vehicle anywhere for the same fee. Regardless of if you live in a location where Tesla has a footprint, you will pay the same delivery fee. This means there is no extra cost to you, the consumer, on where it is delivered. That said, depending on your situation, you may want to stick with a delivery centre.
Initially, I was going to take delivery in Halifax, some 5,800 km away from home. Since there is no Tesla service or delivery centre in Halifax I had to coordinate delivery with the Quebec City delivery team. They are the closest service centre and handle all deliveries east of Quebec City.
From there, a third-party delivery company would take the car east to the address of my choosing. Since the pandemic had required a two-week quarantine to any visitors to the area at the time, aligning this with a company that wasn’t able to nail down a date made it impossible. Because of this, I opted to stick with a delivery centre in Quebec. I was also told by the Quebec delivery team that this would be best. They added that I would get the full “Tesla delivery day experience.” More on this later.
So, pending your situation, you may want to pick up your vehicle at a delivery centre and not via third-party delivery. That said, if you have family or friends in the location you are looking to take delivery in it may make your experience easier.
Pay For The Tesla
Due to the pandemic, Tesla has pushed touchless deliveries to almost be the norm, even at delivery centres. This means that payment is done in advance before you can add the VIN to your Tesla app. In my case, I wire transferred the funds the day before pick up. Again, no trade-in or Tesla finance options in this scenario.
As for taxes and fees, I was told that I had to pay the local taxes and then again when I registered back home. After that, I would then have to apply for a refund on the original taxes. To my surprise, when I registered and paid for insurance in BC, this was not the case. Be sure to look into this with your local insurance provider in advance. There may be tax savings at play depending on your situation.
Obtain Binder Insurance and Permits
Now that you have your Tesla delivery location sorted, it’s time to get your insurance and permits in order. Check with your local motor vehicle location to determine what is required to import a new vehicle from out of province or state.
In British Columbia where I live, this meant purchasing binder insurance for the duration of the trip. This cost me roughly $350 for 30 days. A 30-day permit was provided by Tesla delivery centre in Quebec through three 10 day stickers. Again, this will vary on where you decide to pick up your car. Initially, I was going to pick up in Halifax where Tesla does not have an office. I contacted their motor vehicles office. They confirmed that I could purchase a 30-day permit by booking an appointment after taking delivery.
One caveat on the binder insurance being valid is if the permit is recognized in the areas you will be driving through. This seemed odd to me but under the advice of my local insurance broker, I contacted all of the motor vehicle departments along the way to validate if a Quebec permit was recognized on their roads. After a combo of six emails and phone calls, I obtained confirmation and was good to go.
Pick Up Your Tesla
Tesla’s typical process is to advise owners once their vehicle is ready for pick up. They then hold the car for seven days for you to collect. I was able to have the Quebec delivery team hold mine for four weeks, although this took some convincing and payment in advance. Even though I picked it up at a service centre, it was a touchless delivery. All the paperwork, including the permits, were inside the car. I just had to validate with staff and have my phone key connected.
*IMPORTANT* Document AND Discuss Deficiencies
Since you are about to drive several kilometres or miles, be sure to thoroughly inspect your vehicle before leaving the lot. Document any deficiencies with photos. To ensure there are no discrepancies, flag down a team member from the delivery centre to go through with them. Get their name and email then send the deficiencies along with the photos to your service advisor with a CC to the local team member that you went through the issues with.
Again, I am still dealing with the deficiencies I found on my delivery day. Your tolerance for this may vary. Despite being told I would get the “Tesla delivery experience,” if I picked up at a delivery centre, I was told on-site that they were not allowed to help me. This may have been because of the pandemic but I think it may have been because of the extra work I created going outside their norm. To minimize issues, ask the delivery team to send you photos or walk through the car on a video call before pickup. I regret not doing this.
Now that dealing with Tesla is out of the way (for now), it’s time to actually enjoy the trip! For me, I spent 30 days driving home, coast-to-coast. It was an incredible trip. I saw so much of my country that I would have missed had I picked up in my home city.
Once you are home, you will need to register your vehicle in your home province or state and obtain insurance. Depending on your location, you may be able to do this before pickup. Again, be sure to discuss your options with your local providers before pickup!
Despite the headaches that have followed dealing with Tesla to get the delivery day dings, dents, and scratches sorted, the trip was amazing and would do it again. I would just be more thorough. It may take some convincing on your part and extra work but picking up your Tesla in a different part of the country is a great experience. It certainly makes it that much more adventurous. Given the current travel restrictions, it’s also a great excuse to get out on the road. That said, be sure to check and comply with local travel restrictions!