Do you have to drive the Model S before signing a hard contract?

Elon said in the conference call that he didn't expect most of us to need a drive before taking delivery. I for one require a drive. How about others?

Because of my location and the HUGE investment, I expect to drive before I buy.

I expected one. In the summer I was told that test drives would take place in the fall. Then, at the Fremont event I was told that test drives would take place in the spring. Now they're saying test drives start when deliveries start...

I want to test drive the car before I purchase it.

+1 for test drive prior to paying the rest of the cash. This is a norm for all car purchases, and Tesla is not that different. Way different yes, but not THAT different.

+ 1 for test drive. I don't pay $100K for something without trying it first!

There are many reasons for wanting a test drive:

1) To see if the car is as advertised and to see the final product
2) To decide between performance vs. nonperformance
3) To see if the interior has been updated
4) To see the actual interior/exterior colors in real life
5) To see the options
6) Because we were promised one before we sign the contract

I'm sure there are other reasons. Each of those reasons alone is compelling enough to warrant a test drive. You add all of them together and it would seem like test drives are a must for most people. I can understand the Special Signature holders who have a Roadster may not require a test drive, but for just about everyone else, I'm guessing the majority want a test drive.

I would certainly prefer to drive before finalizing the purchase. I asked a customer service rep about this today. She said we could expect test rides in the spring and test drives in the fall.

She was also unaware of any plans for a new Tesla store in the Midwest. Since there is no Tesla store here in KC, I am hoping they will have a Model S tour in the summer.

I require a Model S to test drive before signing away the rest of my money. I also expect to be able to compare the Signature, Performance and Standard versions.

I'll go take a test drive, but I'm P5651 so there's no danger of me running into the problem that early folks; the car will be ready long before my number is up.

My dad, who is a Sig. res. in the 400s may have a problem with it.

I'm expecting a try before buy.

I don't need to drive to buy. I would prefer to sit in a finalized interior so that I can decide between standard and performance.

Assuming test drives are available, I wonder how many will cancel their orders after trying the car ...
Surely out of all those thousands there'll be one?

Only the first 500 or so signatures will have to decide whether they want to delay delivery for a test drive or to order without a test drive. Everyone else will be able to get a test drive before ordering.

The problem appears to be that they have to get the cars to pass federal tests before customers can drive them on the road and they don't expect to get those certifications until May or June.

Well, in any case, what's your guess for the number of cancellations or downgrades after test-driving?

I think folks misintepreted what Elon said, which isn't surprising because he worded it a little weird. I believe he was trying to say that customers are so smitten with the car that they don't seem to even need a test drive. They just want it. The CFO then clarified that everyone that wants a test drive will be offered a test drive.

I would need to sit in the car and drive it before I buy it!!!

More specifically, I want to test drive the model S standard VS. performance version to decide which one I want.

If I got a 15% off for not test drive it, that will be ok, otherwise I would like to testdrive to confirm my current choises.

But would you use your one time defer to wait for a test drive? That's a tough question if it meant waiting another 3 months or so.

If there was a Car and Driver full review or Motor Trend, where they said something like "M5 has lost it's crown" then no test drive needed.

I shall need a test drive also.

In 1989 as I was stationed in Stuttgart Germany, I walked into a BMW dealer, sat in a nice 5 series, asked for available options, ordered my car, and waited several weeks while it was being built (American specs). No test drive, just a firm belief that the car I was getting had a reputation for excellance. Fast forward to 2009. I ordered a car sight unseen (except for a video of the unveiling). Since then I have driven the Roadster several times, ridden in the Model S beta at the Factory tour, sat in it several times at different locations, and don't need to know anything more about it. I'll get to drive the crap out of it when it arrives at my front door. I'm that committed. You won't hear me threatening to cancel or even delay my order.

Every complaint I've heard over the past 3 years has somehow been resolved. There was the ground clearance issue, The alpha nose, cup holders (give me a break), no buttons to push. Now its center consel, head room, and more. This car obviously won't please everyone and that's fine with me. Those that can't live with the engineering "faults" won't buy. As for me, I'll be waving with a Tesla grin on my face as I pass you all by. :D

I want a test drive. I will make time to go to the factory for a test drive and test viewing of as many variations of the S as possible.

And then I'll prolly get the Sig perf variation I am planning on anyway. But it'll be handy to be there for the paperwork.

The 'worst' part after a test drive is I'll go from counting the days to counting the hours till I get my car.

I think what Elon said is probably true, because say for instance, they did not make test drives available for the first year (and there was some convincing reason; we didn't feel it was because they were trying to hide problems). I imagine that the vast majority of of reservation holders would still take delivery of their cars.

I am definitely going to test drive the car. I definitely want to use it as only chance to find out if there's anything about the car that I find unnacceptable for my tastes, expectations, and driving habits.

I'm just kind of like that though. I waited until the Beta came to my town so that I could see it in person before I made the deposit. That was foolish because now I'm much farther back in the line than I would have been if I had made a reservation when I first started thinking I actually wanted the car. After all, I could have always cancelled my reservation if I saw the car and didn't like it.

Yes to a test drive.

I WANT a test drive, but it's not a deal breaker.

Yes to a test drive. Surely those able should be able to test drive around the factory (it is big enough) even if the are not allowed to drive on public roads? That would be a reasonable compromise for the early deliveries?

@dborn - Way to think...inside...the box. :)

I want a test drive for one reason. I expect it to be super fun. I only live 10 miles from the Florida store so i'd love to go for a test drive once a month. Hopefully they'll let me. It will keep me excited for six months til I get mine!

Of course I want a test drive, for all the reasons that have already been stated plus the mere fun of it! If it was only for me, I probably didn't strictly need a test drive, but it'll help convincing my other half.

Oops, too late. Now harry was quicker to mention the fun factor. :-)

Great minds....

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