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Annual Maintenance Costs

There was a thread started on the Tesla Forum boards regarding what the maintenance fee would be per year for the Model S. I called a couple stores today and was surprised to find out they still don't know what the maintenance fee was or if there was any at all. One store said it would be $300/year and the other store said $1200/year because you needed 2 checkups per year. I was under the assumption that the upkeep and repair of the Model S would be far lower than an ICE car, so am surprised/confused that the maintenance fee would be anything above $200-$300 per year. at $500+, that seems like a premium to normal maintenance costs of an ICE, not a discount. Does anybody know what the yearly maintenance fee is going to be if anything at all? Thanks

bsimoes, it sounds like you got a lemon

No, mine has been great, but I probably do more preventative maintenance than most people. Example: I change the transaxle fluid every 40,000 miles--this is based on laboratory analysis of mine and other Yahoo Prius group member's cars. I also replace things like water pumps every 100,000 miles or so. Also the set of tires that had half the tread worn off because of dealer alignment over six weeks didn't help the cost any.

The lemon was the VW TDI. Even though there were 36K miles of maintenance included it still cost 22 cents per mile for 95,000 miles not including tires. The Prius with no maintenance included is about 7 cents per miles over about 140,000 miles and that includes tires.

bsimoes because we all know that installing software is neither time-consuming or difficult,

Well no, but writing the software is time consuming and non-trivial. Programmers don't work for free.

"Well no, but writing the software is time consuming and non-trivial. Programmers don't work for free."

$12 million is hardly "free!"...and that's only with 20,000 cars!

As I mentioned elsewhere, you have to pay the Rangers to be on standby, too, while they're not actually on the road. They need to be continuously retrained to keep up with new tech and new issues, also. They don't switch off and stack unpaid in the corner like cordwood when not in use!

Wait.... the rangers are NOT robots? ;-)

The Ranger costs are all part of the EXTRA you pay to have them come to you. The $600, as far as I know, is if you bring your car to a Tesla service center where they already have people maintaining Roadster. They won't have to higher any extras for two years I would guess, they will just have less workers stacked like cord wood and more working.

I asked a rep on the phone today, she said that pricing wasn't officially announced but that it will likely be $600/year, or you can buy 4 years in advance for roughly $450/year. She said forgoing the service does not void the warranty, as long as you do get any problems promptly serviced at an authorized Tesla repair shop. She said the on-board computer monitors fluid levels and the like, and that as long as you leave the "wifi on" the shop will be able to keep tabs on that stuff as well, even if you aren't paying the $600/year for the annual checkup. And last, she said that she knows that many Roadster drivers forgo their annual checkups without incident.

But don't quote her on that... ;)


This may be true, but Tesla makes the Service Required tone and warning pop very annoying in the Roadster. For this reason alone many people get their service done.

Odd that a Tesla rep may be saying that maintenance is optional?


Legally, I'm not sure they have a choice.

Just got an email from Mr Blankenship, responding to my polite request for clarity from TM on maintenance costs.

He said that this topic will be addressed in an official Tesla Communication coming "soon". Be on the lookout!

After paying $2,500 today for my 60k service on my infiniti I'm ready for my 600 a year Tesla :) It was just 8k miles ago I payed $1,500 for my last service!

@Michael23, you are royally getting ripped off by your Infiniti dealership/service center (I'm assuming you went to one such). At 60k, you can safely take the car to reputable third-party service shops that specialize in one brand or the other.

I think a lot of people get ripped off since at ANY time in the US you can take your car to whomever you want for servicing and your warranty is still valid.

yeah it's not just the service, it's the broken parts and labor. Something is always wrong when I go: engine mounts, water tank, door lock. Something!


Sounds like the VW TDI I used to have. Something was always broken. It was the most disappointing car ever.

Yikes, I hope not, my fiancee has a 2011 VW TDI Sportwagen...

I was told the same re: $600 /year with option to pre-pay for four years and get fifth free.

I'm not too concerned with that kind of maintenance costs if I'm getting my money's worth. Does anyone have any idea what this will include? I've been told it includes a full bumper to bumper inspection and software updates.

Picasso: well, there's te Roadster that went in for servicing and got a total frame rebuild for free because of an odd noise the tech heard while working on it, all covered by warantee. Will that do?

Consider the big picture and stop looking at the hole in the doughnut. I agree $600 annually for servicing sounds expensive, especially since most luxury cars gice you 36/36 servicing for free.

Here is a portion of an article that Teri Cettina wrote to help ICE drivers save money. The $9-11K was a bit shocking.

“Although you'd rather use your money on more interesting things, you're likely to spend a huge chunk of change maintaining and repairing your car. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), it now costs nearly $9,000 a year to drive an average-size sedan. And if you own a four-wheel-drive SUV, your annual expenses are more than $11,000.”

That $9K-$11K was fully loaded. If you go back to the source, the average car costs 4.47 cents per mile for 15K miles = $670. That includes replacement parts and labor, so if the S costs more than $70/yr in non-covered maintenance you are behind the "average".

Fully loaded cost to drive the average S will be way above $9K/yr when realistic depreciation is factored in.

I have no intentions on paying for anything in terms of service until my warrenty is out and something breaks(.) The plan is to fix it myself, even without a service guide (which does suck).

Is it possible that the majority of this maintenance/service fee is to cover technical updates, as well as the physical maintenance of the EV motor/car?

A $600 annual fee may be tolerable for the average 85 kWh buyer, but for people like myself who are stretching to buy the 40 kWh, it may be a deal breaker. Lets hope George follows through with his promise to answer this soon, as I am not sure I will be willing to hit the finalize button until I know for sure what the car is actually going to cost me.

@Rifleman, I can understand your position and I too would love to know and have asked reps on many occasions but must wait for GB's answer on this one.

@TheAustin, I was told or read that from official channels, you get the software updates regardless of the maintenance fees payment status. I believe it was Rod and Barbara who answered that if my memory serves me at all.

Wrap-up: Now we know what's really included in Tesla's service fees!

- Annual inspection (or every 12,500 miles)
- Replacement parts like brake pads and windshield wipers (excluding tires)
- 24 hour roadside assistance
- System monitoring
- Remote diagnostics
- Software updates
- New features

On top, ranger service is not charged by the mile, but it's $100 flat per visit.

More details:

I'm curious, if I don't get that annual service, can I still get Tesla service when I need it for some non-fixed price?

This system might work with people that have too much money, but for GenIII cars it wont work anymore. People will refuse to purchase a car with expensive annual maintenance which apparently is completely unnecessary.

OTOH this could be advantage here in Finland where new car taxes are insane, if Tesla manages to lower the initial price by using this (transfer money from initial price to "maintenance") it probably pays itself back many times over.

I think Tesla has vastly OVERpriced their service plan. $600/year for that list of "service" includes mostly what they are totally responsible for anyway, and yes, replacing wipers is nice, but give me a brake (pun intended) ....brake pads? Get real, on any car with strong regen, brake pads are going to last pretty much forever, unless the driver is doing hot laps at Laguna Seca every weekend.

And as many have posted, pretty much all the "competitive class" ICE cars have FREE service for at least THREE years!

So, is the "Tesla Service Plan" a dealbreaker? Almost it is to be sure. For those with 40kW battery packs, this is simply extortion.

Elon, we are not all internet millionaires! Many of us love the idea and the technology of driving emission free, but the total "service charges" on our 2011 Volt and 2011 Leaf for the first two years and cumulative 34,000 miles has been.....$$50 to rotate the tires on the Leaf and ZERO on the Volt!

How much SHOULD a "Tesla Service Plan" cost for the mainstream models (S, X)? As noted by others already....$200/year or prepaid for 4 years $600 seems MAXIMUM.

We should make a strong CUSTOMER PROTEST over the currently announced "service plan." I would call it more like a "post delivery extortion."

Following up....for me, I am still also considering the imminent new Acura NSX, the Infinite Emerg-E, and even the BMW i8 as performance alternatives to the Tesla S and in the same general price range as far as current rumors suggest.

While these alternatives are clearly not full EVs, they do not have the concerns of range limits, and they do have the backing of much more established corporate and service systems.

My own delivery plan is for mid or late 2013, so I have time to assess fully options to the Model S, and the current "service plan" makes it certain that I WILL be studying those alternatives closely. I am prepared to indulge in a "six figure" new toy, but I HATE having niggling follow up fees attached.

So if I don't get the service plan, I don't get software updates to fix bugs and design problems? If you use the analogy of iPhone or iPad, updates are part of the purchase until the hardware cannot keep up with new features. Will the car still be monitored for problems? Will a problem not be reported if not on the plan? I don't get it. I do all my own maintenance, 600 per year for brakes and fluid levels?


I don't quite see it that way. Is it more than Tesla needs to really maintain the car? Probably, but don't forget, we're all kicking in a ~25% profit (well, gross margin) on every car, presumably to assure the development of GENIII. So maybe $200+ per year (given the four year plan) goes to support Tesla -- that's A-OK with me.

Beyond helping assure the continuation of Tesla's larger goals, the $100 ranger fee is a huge relief for me personally. We travel a lot, and the cost of getting Tesla out to some random spot far away from the service centers was a financially intimidating prospect.

I'll be buying the maintenance just for the assurance of a $100 visit to wherever we are, if something goes wrong.

I do agree that the offer of brake pads is pretty funny -- our Prius has almost 100k miles on it and the pads still have about half their depth left.

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