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Tesla Financing Question - Down Payment

I just watched the Tesla Financing video again, and it left me perplexed. The website seems to suggest that with financing, you need to put a down payment in the range of 10% to 15%. However, in the Tesla Financing video, Elon says that the financing allows the down payment to be covered by the tax credit. This isn't compatible with what the website suggests. Even a lower 10% down payment will be more than the $7500 provided by the tax credit. Also, it's not clear if this is just a play on words, or if the bank taking the tax credit in lieu of an actual down payment is actually part of the deal.

Can anyone clarify?

Nevermind. I found some other financing threads that basically answered my question. As I first expected, the tax credit is not part of the financing deal in any way. Likewise, the federal tax credit will only cover about half of the down payment.

What Elon said in the financing video I would say was a little dishonest in the same way that controversial Tesla review by John Broder was a little dishonest: it gives a false impression of the real product. I'm surprised Elon was willing to say what he did in the video.

I started to get a little excited that maybe I didn't need $25K set aside to buy the car, but no, I do. Back to saving...

Depends on the model you buy. A base 60kWh is not going to exceed $75K, making the tax credit 10% or more.

You are right. If you go base 60 kWh Model S and add almost no options, the $7500 does roughly equal a 10% down payment on a 60 month term.

Still, the video made it sound a heck of a lot rosier than it is, and needs about 4 additional disclaimers at the bottom:

1) If you buy the 60 kWh Model S
2) And you add almost no options
3) And you use the 60 month term to limit down payment to 10%
4) And you have to pay the down payment up front and reimburse yourself from the tax credit after the next tax cycle

They should have reworded it a bit, as they really made it sound like this special financing deal included a way to surrender your tax credit as the down payment, which is not in any way true.

Not trying to be negative here. It's really my only complaint about anything Tesla has done to date. But at the same time, I really appreciate that Tesla has come up with some financing options so that coming up with financing doesn't fall entirely on the buyer. I would have liked to have seen their cars come in closer to the original price points, but I give them a pass on that as I know they are doing their best and generally doing a great job.

I really like Tesla's approach to financing. Its an important part of auto
finance these days. However, I would advise my clients that if they can't afford
to pony up a significant down payment for an auto ($10K) without blinking, then
they probably should look at less expensive options for now.

the Gen III is not that far off.....at least to me...

Yes, I really wish Tesla would change the marketing around their financing product. The product itself is not bad, but the way it's marketed is not honest enough.

@jamesd567

Agreed. That's why they shouldn't be advertising the financing as if you can get the car with no down payment for only $500 a month. It's insanely far from reality. Heck, taxes alone will probably be in the neighborhood of $8000, something a buyer needs to be prepared for in addition to whatever the down payment will be.

After 3 years with the buy back program is there a limit on miles travelled

once you 'look under the hood' the true economics of buying an S is quite different from Ellon's video and what the website says - I highly suggest you look into all the details before placing an order as you will most likely be shocked at the true total out of pocket and monthly payments...I love Tesla, the product and what they have done to the industry - however thumbs down on the marketing spin with regards to the true price and out of pocket cost...not cool

My purchase will be finalizing next week. I was given a terrible option financing through Wells Fargo from Tesla. They wanted $45,000 down. I went to my local credit union and they offered financing 115% of the car price to handle any sales tax and other expenditures for the car. It pays to shop around. Also it was a lower rate than offered by a bank. You'll have a higher payment but no need for a down payment

The WF financing is parcelled with the guaranteed 3-yr. buy-back.


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