Anyone have buyer's remorse now that they have owned a Tesla for a while

I know this is probably going to get a lot of defensive responses and if it's already been discussed I apologize for not finding that thread. But I've been speaking with my friends about making a Tesla Model S purchase and getting this kind of responses from some:

I personally think the Tesla is a really cool car, but its just too expensive and too limited for the price. The point of buying and electric car is to save money, and save the planet. But, with a $100K+ are you doing either? The amount of money you save on gas, offset by using electric off the grid, doesn't make up the amount of fossil fuel and other resources used in manufacturing.

So, even if I had your bank account, I would get a NICE hybrid that has unlimited range, and has a high speed electric mode 25-40mph, so around urban areas you stay electric.

$100K is just too much to NOT have your cake and eat it too. If the car had a 500 mile range, and a quicker charge, and a lower price tag, say $60-70K then I would say that's within reason.

Ask yourself why you want the car?

1. It looks cool, but there are WAY cooler looking cars for the same price.

2. Its electric with a decent range for city driving, but if you want to take a 2 hour drive somewhere, you can't, you won't make it back home, that's a deal breaker for me for a $100K car. So the reality is, if you do any traveling of long distance, the VERY reason to have a car that saves money and gas, then you need to buy ANOTHER car for those trips.

3. I don't want to baby the car, I want to hammer it down and feel the performance which means you will burn the battery 2x as fast, and your range go down to 100-150 miles with aggressive driver, else why the [unprintable] get a sports car?

The TS is a sick car, but if I had money to blow, I would still feel cheated by its lack of range, and lack of gas motor AT ALL, to get me where I want to go. Right now, the Chevy Volt is the best hybrid out there if you want range, performance, and something that looks cool, and won't break the bank. Save $50K, use it for something else :)

$100K for a car is just too much money by any standard, especially if it doesn't do everything. I feel like you will have buyers remorse almost instantly.

After driving a Tesla Model S since September 2012, we've just ordered another. Buyers remorse?

Mitchell, you are about to get schooled by some fiercely intelligent people... hang on to your seat.


Try this "Buyers Remorse" thread.


I was totally prepared for everything you might be feeling. I spent more on this car by $45,000 than on anything else I've owned. In one month I am so happy that I didn't listen to my practical side and when people ask me if I'm happy with my car I am at a loss as to what to say.

It's a life changing purchase.

I've had my car since early May and I like it better every day.

Regarding the range question: I owned my previous car, a Lexus LS460l for six years during which time I never drove it further in a single day than my P85 will take me. Twice during that period, however, I did have occasion to buy something extremely bulky (e.g.: a BBQ grill) that wouldn't fit into the car. For some reason I never thought about switching to a pickup truck because of this.

People who cite limited range as the reason for avoiding the Model S are all wet. The pros with this car far, far outweigh the cons.

As I said, I like mine better every day.

No buyer's remorse here. The MS is not the perfect car for everybody. However, I think many people worry too much about the range concerns. I was concerned before purchase. I drive 21,000 per year, with a daily commute of 75+ miles. However, after 7500 miles, I have never once returned home with less than 100 miles of range left, and I have only done a standard charge. That includes additional driving after work. In addition, I have not changed my driving habits in any way (except I still enjoy the spirited acceleration every chance I get)

I no longer have to go to the gas station every 4 days like I did with my previous car. I get to drive in the HOV lane every day during rush hour. I easily save over an hour/week by avoiding the gas stations and using the HOV lane.

I save approximately $5000/year in operating costs over a similar ICE vehicle.

If a long road-trip is planned, we would typically take my wife's SUV anyway. Two convenient Supercharger locations are due to come on line in the next few weeks making a road trip in the MS easier in my area. Lastly, when considering the time and operating costs savings, if I occasionally need to rent a car to take a trip that the MS can't easily do, I will still come out way ahead.

As far as appearances go, that is obviously subjective. However, I have easily had more than 100 people looking at my car, taking pictures of it and/or asking me questions about it in the 4 months I have owned it. In that time I have not seen a single person do the same with any other car, including those WAY cooler looking cars. I also have several friends with Maserati's, BMW's, AMG Mercedes, etc. They all agree the Tesla is amazing (including the looks) and several looked into buying one after the first ride in mine. Two of them have already put their deposit down.

When I see somebody in a brand new "WAY cooler" car, I see somebody who most likely made a mistake and is much more likely to have buyer's remorse. That doesn't look cool to me.

I've never owned a car with 500 mile range.

And in the past three years, I've never put more than 200 miles on my car in one day. I *have* put 400 miles in a day on my wife's minivan. With a wife and 3 kids, we need serious space when we road trip.

So my commute car is used for commuting. Oh, and date night.

But for our second car, why would I not buy it because of features I would never use?

And are you telling me you'd rather drive a Volt on date night?

Base model starts in the 60's, not 100k. I get buyers remorse if I order a spendy dessert at dinner. I haven't had one ounce of remorse with the Model S. I'm just trying to figure out how I can justify getting another Tesla in a few years. I saved $615 in gas the first month i owned the car and spent less than $70 on electricity. You need to spend more time reading all the excellent posts on this forum and TMC and actually drive the car.

Mitchell, have you actually tried driving the Model S? It might change your perspective a little.

Although if you feel like the Volt delivers performance and looks cool, then we are likely working off of different value systems.

I plan on ordering my Model S this Fall and it will be more than double the price of any of my previous cars. But there is no car at ANY price that I'd rather have. To me, the compromise with any other alternative is worse than what you perceive as limited range.

To get anywhere close in performance requires an ICE, and that's something I want to avoid for many reasons. To get anything else all electric, there's nothing close in range, performance (or looks, in my opinion).

Six months ago, I was with you about feeling that was a lot to pay for just a commuter car, even if that's 95% of my driving. That (and concern about Tesla's long term viability) were the biggest reasons I bought a Lexus instead...and here I am regretting not just getting the Model S and will be taking a loss on my Lexus to get the Tesla.

To me, the range issue isn't about the Model S, it is the charging infrastructure. Imagine is there were gas stations only 100 miles apart--we'd all have range anxiety without the benefit of filling up at home every night. But Tesla is aggressively expanding the Supercharger network. The charging times are acceptable to me for a road trip, and I have faith that the network will only continue to expand--along with other options.

1. Is opinion

2. That's what the Supercharger infrastructure is being put in place for. Its not ready yet, but will be.

3. You can "hammer" it down. It doesn't change the laws of physics. Its the same in an ICE car, the more you "hammer" it down, the less range you get. In an ICE car, the "hammering" will cost you a lot more than in a Model S

The Chevy volt, and many other hybrid vehicles, lack storage space. You are sacrificing things on both sides. Where as the Volt will never aquire more space, the Model S can improve range, and will have the Supercharger network that negates the "range" argument.

The Model S just isn't right for you right now, but Im sure it will be right in the near future!!

Okay, for starters, I didn't spend $100,000, or anywhere close to it, and you don't have to either. Start thinking about which options you really care about and why.

If the point is to save money by fueling with electricity, no, this isn't your car. That's coming in a few years. This is an exciting, expensive sports sedan.

The point for me is to save the planet. I'm not doing that by cutting my own personal impact by driving this car. That doesn't help that much. My contribution is that by buying this car, I'm subsidizing the R&D that's going to make mass adoption of this technology a reality in a few years. Because I can afford to do it, I'm stepping up to participate in that project, which I'd like to point out is a group effort.

The question of whether the car is an overall net gain or loss, environmentally, is addressed in other threads, here and on Tesla Motors Club, and the answer is in Tesla's favor. But the point is that technology needs time, room, and experience to develop, and this is the beginning of that. It's only going to get better, cheaper, and more efficient... but some folks need to agree to be guinea pigs in order for us to get there. I'm proud to have the opportunity to be in on the ground floor.

As for your range anxiety, it really doesn't exist. I live in Boston, and I took the car to Philly a few weeks ago. Stopped for 45 minutes at the supercharger to have a cup of coffee, and arrived with plenty of miles in the tank. Big deal. Right now we have to get a little creative, planning trips around chargers, but inside of two years, the supercharger network will be built out enough to make that a thing of the past.

As for around town, anywhere you want to go is covered when you wake up in the morning, without even taking it out of the garage or spending time fueling while inhaling toxic fumes. It's a net win.

And that goes for exciting driving. Plenty of overhead to do that every day, and I do. What you can't appreciate until you've driven it is that this car is astonishing to drive - no car can do what it does. You have to experience it to get it. Go try it out.

All that said, this car isn't for everyone. Even if you can be convinced that you have plenty of range and plenty of excitement, which you do, it may be that the price is too high given your tastes and constraints. That's okay, everybody's situation is different, and I think inside of ten years there will be a Tesla that suits you.

But I have to say... you think a Chevy Volt looks cool?

I think it looks like a Chevy...

All of your comments are completely valid, but lack the proper context. I shall try to provide some.

(I say this as someone who doesn't currently own a Tesla, but has been researching it intensely for a while. I have driven one and attended a Tesla event as well.)

Yes, the range is an issue. This issue means that you need to devote some quality time to thinking about how you'll use the car. The Mod S goes much, much further on a charge than any other electric car ever has, but it still can't come close to matching an ICE car's ability to gain 300+ miles of range in a few minutes at any one of the 150,000+ gas stations in the country. Still, with Superchargers being quickly added, and by taking advantage of other charging facilities (RV parks, up-to-date hotels, Superchargers, etc.), very long trips are possible among an increasing number of routes.

The Mod S' styling is dictated to a large degree by aerodynamics. It's a very slippery car, as it much be to make the most of its battery charge-- energy spent pushing air out of the way at highway speeds is energy that isn't moving the car. With no internal combustion engine, there's no radiator and no air needed for combustion, so the scoops, vents, and other aero frippery common on high performance ICE cars aren't needed. Learn to appreciate the beauty of efficiency in form.

Just as with an ICE car, time spent reveling in the performance of the car will indeed reduce its range. It takes more energy to fling mass down the road. Like they say, there's no getting around the laws of physics.

And the price. Ah, the price: yes, you're paying for being an early adopter. A loaded Mod S performance is a $110K car, and at that range you're looking at some very nice competing machinery: BMW M5/M6, several AMG Mercedes, low-end Porsche 911s or very loaded Caymans, stripped Audi R8s, Nissan GT-Rs, et cetera so on and such forth...none of which suffer from the range limitations you're concerned about.

So, why buy a Tesla? Well, there are several reasons:

  • You're really, really concerned about AGW and/or fossil fuel usage in general, or maybe you just want to help wean the country off foreign oil
  • You don't really buy into the reason above, but you want your friends to think you do. (Yes, this is cynical of me, but I do know people like that.)
  • You're a techie that just loves having the latest gadget
  • You've actually driven the car and had the epiphany that you're driving the future. Yes, it's that different. Seriously, nothing can prepare you for it.
  • It's fast. Did I mention fast? It is even faster than its raw performance specs indicate.

Now, for me personally, I tend to gravitate towards the latter reasons on this list. But that's the brilliance of the car: it's so good that it stands entirely on its own merits without needing any other "green" justifications.

So, my advice to you would be to schedule a test drive. Since the sales folks aren't on commission there's no pressure to buy, and you'll be able to see if it's something you're really interested in and if you're willing with live within its current limitations.

I'd say everyone goes through the same angst, because it IS a lot of money to spend. But if you are SERIOUSLY in the market for a luxury car then you will end up buying this car and join the club! My major concern was long-term reliability because it is a brand new model... but once you spend some time in the forum you realize long-term reliability looks good too (but to be seen of course).

The only remorse i have is that i tried to save a bit of money by getting a 60 without the tech pack.
If you do it do it right.

  1. A very picky friend of mine called the Model S a "work of art on wheels"
  2. 2-hour drive @ 65 mph = 130 miles x roundtrip = 260 miles. The EPA rated range for an 85 kWh model is 265 miles. You were saying?
  3. If you try that with any gas car, you will experience a similar reduction in gas mileage, so I don't understand why you would criticize only an EV for this?

Judging by the tone of your post, it doesn't sound to me like the Model S is the right vehicle for you. I'm not sure which vehicle would be right for you, to be quite honest, because the Chevy Volt (which you praise in your post) can only satisfy 1 out of the 3 needs you identified above, and then only if you drive more than 265-300 miles at a time which very few people actually do.

Also, the Model S only costs $100k if you lack the ability to evaluate your own driving style. For instance, if you like the Volt then I would say the base Model S will suit you very well. And that vehicle is priced right around $70k. So it already meats your "lower price tag" wish, you just need to have some willpower when configuring your vehicle. You can't configure a Volt this way because it simply does not offer the features and options that are available to every Model S buyer.

Come back in a few years. This obviously isn't the car for you. :)

Mitchell. You say "I've been speaking with my friends about making a Tesla Model S purchase and getting this kind of response from some".

1)I have to ask, since it's implied, but not clearly stated. These they own a Model S. It would really surprise me if Model S owners gave you that kind of feedback, but I guess it's possible. I may question their motivation? I have discouraged a friend from buying a Model S, but only because I knew she truly truly could not afford even a base model and it would cause her more heartache, but she really wants one.

2) Sometimes we make choices in life based on pure logic.....1+1=2, all the facts make sense and we do it....but sometimes a purchase is 'mostly' logical, and the rest qualifies as intangible, blissful, fly by the seat of your pants exhilaration that just makes our blood flow a little faster, and makes life sweeter..........and you just go for it!!.......Model S is pure joy and no remorse....1+1= 100,000....but it could be less.

I'm impressed with everyone's reply so far.....very smart, thoughtful, intelligent answers......
No has accused you of being a GM VP or anything.........:-))). ( Are you? ).


+1 AmpedRealtor

BTW - I'm very happy to see some great, reasoned responses here without a flame war erupting.

I think you DO have some valid concerns but I think the others have provided EXCELLENT answers.

Absolutely I had some of those same worries as you did. I don't consider myself an "early adopter" type. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE technology. I don't think you have driven the car based on your post. Go take it for a test drive and you will understand a bit more what makes it so special.

I looked at the car dozens and dozens of times in the showroom here in San Diego. I'm fortunate that I only live 15 minutes from the UTC Tesla store so I'd go in there all the time. The day I finally test drove it, was the day I placed my order and made a down payment.

You REALLY must test drive it. I joke with my friends that sitting in the car in the showroom floor is like watching a porno. Driving the Model S is like STARRING in a porno. Both possibly enjoyable but Quite different. LOL.

For someone like me the car will be perfect. We don't take many road trips at all. And we will have another car (that we've only taken on 1 road trip anyway).

For everyday driving, this will be perfect. I DO acknowledge that the technology will keep improving and I'll probably lose out on a much better car as the technology will keep improving. But my feeling is even if it improves, right now I'm more than happy with the Model S and what it can offer.

Actions are more dispositive than words.

Our second Model S will arrive soon.


I've owned a lot of Mercedes cars, and they were very good. This car is more performance, more innovation, and more joy for the money.

I am passionate about sustainability, but I absolutely would not rationalize a subpar purchase on those grounds. No other EV was good enough to get me to buy.

If a premium price range car is too steep, wait for the gen 3 model. But don't sink your money in another legacy tech car.

Knowing what I know now, I will never buy a gasoline car again.

We are most definitely on the cusp of change.

I saw the original post before anyone had a chance to answer. Had to go clean out the garage for our impending arrival, though. Mind you, I had a head full of reasons why all of your concerns were invalid, at least to me. I'm happy to see so many thoughtful responses and I'd echo all of those.

There is a component that has been mentioned about promoting the technology for the future at the premium of extra dollars now. I think there is a civic pride and philanthropic aspect to this. Fortunately, many like-minded individuals not only invested in the car, but the company and have been richly rewarded. Many people are far ahead when you factor in their investment gains--do you believe in Carma?

From Mitch who started the post:

1. I guess it was not a very well framed question and I am sorry about that.
2. The responses are just amazing, thoughtful, funny, intelligent, insightful. I learned a great deal from your answers and I am really grateful for all the time each of you spent explaining why you love this car.

Some clarifications.

1. I did test drive the Model S Performance and I'm sold on the car - it's my friends who aren't
My test drive was a life altering experience. I had the same visceral, life altering experience when I got my first Apple One computer from Steve Job's at the Home Brew computer club at Stanford in the 80s. That event changed my entire career and resulted in a future of writing books about computers and eventually a publishing company (Waite Group Press). Some of you may have bought our computer programming titles. I got to know Steve well and while I turned down his job offer I always felt he was an incredibly rare visionary. I now publish apps for the iPhone and I bless Steve's creativity everyday. Elon Musk feels to me like he has that same genius as Steve and it's one of the reasons I am confident that Tesla will go on to be a huge success, the Apple of the car industry.

2. Negative Comments
The negative comments were from a brilliant engineer physicist friend who is an expert at the art of 3D game programming. He has never had a Tesla and never driven one. I like to get hear his opinions because he often hits an argument from an angle I have not considered.

Unclean at Any Speed
I do not believe that a Tesla or any electric car on the market is going to help save the planet. I offer this article in the IEEE Unclean at Any Speed-Electric cars don’t solve the automobile’s environmental problems. That is a very sobering article and I'm sure will push a lot of buttons here, but I also don't think its a reason NOT to own an electric car. The fact that we are subsidizing the R&D effort by buying a Tesla is reason enough to own one.

4. Range Issue
I am not a commuter so the range issue is not something that concerns me from the POV of getting to and from work. Its more about feeling safe that I can drive to LA and not worry about running out of juice. I have not heard anything about what happens when you lose charge in the middle of i5.

5. I'm a gadget freak
I love the technology of Tesla and that is the strongest reason for my buying one. I have studied the car and its very clear how it goes beyond anything on the planet and completely turns the automobile industry on its head.

6. Consumer Reports gave the Tesla 99 out of 100 points
I trust CR and there review was really incredible. "Slipping behind the wheel of the Tesla Model S is like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future". They have never given a car that high a score. They would have given it 100 out of 100 but they did not have enough reliability history yet. They probably did the best job I have seen of pointing out its flaws. "The Tesla not only leaps beyond all normal expectations of electric cars but it also shines in several areas compared with conventional cars." And a few negatives: When it’s left unplugged, we noted a parasitic loss of energy that amounts to 12 to 15 miles of range per day. That could be a concern if, say, the car is parked at an airport for an extended period. Tesla has promised a fix for that. The Model S also lacks some high-end features that are expected at this price, including a lane-departure warning system. Another concern is investing in a new car and startup company with no track record for reliability or resale value, and a skimpy (although growing) service network. So, yes, despite its stratospheric road-test score, we can’t recommend the Model S until we have sufficient reliability data."

7. Tesla Sales Needs Work
One place where the sales side of Tesla fell apart for me was after I did a test drive I asked if there were any preowned cars for sale. They had this big Excel spreadsheet with a ton of cars (~100) of all colors, style, etc. These were cars people ordered then changed there mind at the last minute, some showroom cars, etc. They got really close to what colors and options I wanted but they could not get the exterior color so I left without making a purchase to think about it some more. Over the last month I have emailed back and forth with my sales person and its pretty clear that he is not monitoring the inventory and letting me know what is out there that is close to what I want. Yeah I know I should just go ahead and order the car but I don't have the patience to wait and want to find a car with 50 miles or less that a pre-buyer passed on. But they won't let me see the spreadsheet, and so unless I call my sales person everyday I will never know what comes in.

8. How do you Pick Options?
I mentioned the car I wanted was $110K. Someone here said make sure you are buying what you really need. I guess I don't know how to do that. Does anyone know where there is a list of the options and what people think about their importance?

So please keep those arguments coming as I am getting much more encouraged to pull the trigger. I just don't know how to realistically configure the car.

Mitchell Waite
Publisher of iBird, the world's best selling birding app.

I have a picture from yesterday, of five people taking pictures of my car.

Average weekly fuel bill. 7 bucks. Travel cost round trip between SF and LA. Zero, not including snacks. Tesla grin. Priceless.

Ive tried driving in an ice again since Feb a couple time on our other cars, and I dont like it. Sold both. Never going back to the ice age.

No buyers remorse here after 6 months of ownership. With SC networks being set in place, getting to destinations is doable, you just have to have a little patience or opt for the battery swapping alternative. I would buy this car again with absolutely no hesitation. No ICE car drives or feels like this period. EV's are the wave of the future, and we early adopters are very proud to be at the front of that revolution.

I regret not buying it sooner. I took a big loss on my one year old Porsche 911S. I didn't buy it to be green. I bought it because you can't get better performance for under 150K, and it is incredibly cool and comfortable. Anyone who compares a Volt to a Model S doesn't understand the performance difference. It is like saying why did you buy a Ferrari when you could have bought a Mustang.

as to the options, please go to the My Tesla page and click the Order button, which will take you to the design studio page. There you can select battery type, color and all available options are there as well.
From ordering to delivery is roughly about 4 weeks currently. Why waste another week by calling into your sales person? :)
I hope you find the perfect choice of options for you so your wait will be short.

@ Mitchell

Your 8. How do you pick options? really confuses me.

There's a website (you're on it) that allows you to design the car any way you want showing you all the options. If you're not sure about the necessity of some options simply go to and search for that option. You will find no shortage of opinions.

Have fun?

" if you do any traveling of long distance, the VERY reason to have a car that saves money and gas, then you need to buy ANOTHER car for those trips."

That is not the very reason to have a car that saves money and gas. That is a small portion of driving, and in fact, ICEs are at their best mileage at steady highway driving. So, yeah I choose to use my ICE for my once a month longer drive.

"The very reason" is day to day driving, which makes up 99% of my use of a car. The MS excels here. It's fun as heck, has large cargo capacity, can haul kids, looks good, starts every day with a full tank, and is luxurious.

BTW, "driving it hard" favors electric over ICE. ICE cars are FAR less efficient when driven hard, but EVs barely use any more energy to accelerate fast versus slowly. See the Drag Times article about how a Model S uses 6 cents to race a quarter mile. SIX CENTS!
The facts with the MS is that your efficiency is not related much to accelerator use, but rather brake use. If you brake often, and brake hard, you are giving up kinetic energy into heat, rather than using it to regenerate. So I drive my MS with hard "gas" pedal, and light brake. Range is barely affected.

As others have said: no car has it ALL. You can't fit a BBQ in your Panamera, you can't go fast in your F150, you can't fit 5 people in your 911, and you can't save energy in your M5. Model S comes closer than any of the others in offering it all.

As LMB said, buying the Model S is "philanthropy light". EVs are far from perfect, but they're in their infancy. They will get better, cheaper, and more efficient. We are not just helping the planet by buying one Model S, but rather helping by pushing the EV revolution forward.

The IEEE article has been fully discussed here and I think it's safe to say that it was roundly discounted and not because of any mental inflexibility. Read up more on the author's other treatises and recognize him as the outlier that he is without any real world practicality in his proposed solutions--walk more, bike more, have fewer babies, and tax energy. I'd wager even some of his Berkeley colleagues think he's "out there".

was that an ibird pitch I just saw?????

Just picked up my second MS and my wife will be configuring hers shortly (PDC required). The only regret I have was that I put my first MS on a trailer to CA and waited six weeks while the new one showed up. I regret that six weeks in my "play" car.

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