New Car Collection Checklist

Estimated reading time: 4 min

Article adapted from: http://fealey.co.uk/tesla/things-to-check-when-you-pick-up-your-tesla/577

Before you get your Tesla you should:

  1. Watch the walkthrough videos on the support section of Tesla.com – These are great at getting you started with the basics and will speed up your handover process
  2. Review the information supplied on the Tesla Support pages, these go over details on Finance, Trade-In, Registration, Insurance, Warranty and loads more. It’s also worth checking these pages before asking questions on the Facebook page.
  3. Book in for a Tesla Owner Orientation Event (previously known as 360 events), you will meet other owners and learn lots of handy tips about the car, driving the car and living with the car.
  4. Get a home charger installed (Tesla Info) – Tesla have a list of recommended installers but search the Facebook group if you’re unsure
  5. Read the manual or more likely download a digital copy ready on your phone/computer for when you need it / have 5 minutes to read it. Having this searchable and in a location that you can quickly access saves the embarrassment of asking an obvious question on the forums/facebook page.
  6. Reading this ‘What they don’t tell you when you buy an electric car
  7. Grab a decent tyre pump – It will save you tyre wear
  8. Consider swapping your home electricity to 100% renewable
  9. Join the discussion on Facebook.
  10. Consider buying a few items from the ‘Must have’ accessories for your Tesla page

Important things to check upon collection

Pointing these out before you leave is important but if you only notice something days later then don’t worry as Tesla will rectify these issues either immediately or on your next visit to the service centre.

UPDATE: Since my MK1 version of this list was printed by many new UK owners it was noticed by staff and management at Tesla UK / Europe, I’ve been informed that a full walkthrough & investigation has taken place at the Tilburg Final Assembly line & delivery centres nationwide, all senior service staff were handed a copy of this list (& similar in-house versions) to ensure procedures were put in place to remove these issues from ever arriving in the UK/Europe (or so they don’t leave the Fremont factory, to begin with). I’ve therefore updated this list as a whole to better reflect changes to the vehicles, assembly and PDI and removed certain issues that are very infrequent.

Follow the reflections to see any swirls, marks or poorly painted surfaces

    1. If there is a problem do what most of us owners have done and book the car in within 30 days to have any issues resolved. Examine the exterior and paint. 
      Like any new car delivery check for scratches, scrapes, dings, glue & polish residue, dents, paint overspray, swirl marks, orange peel (see photo below), look at reflections in the paint to see poor or thin painting etc.
    2. Examine interior. Leather seats & the roof headliner should be clean and free from defects. Any marks should be noted.

A perfect example of a misaligned door panel on a Model S

    1. Check panel alignment, start with the chrome parts (see photo right), then look at the frunk,  trunk and doors to ensure the gaps are equal both sides.
    2. Sunroof – check proper operation and check for raised plastic/rubber that should be sealing it
    3. Check you have the correct adaptors / UMC + optional Chademo + other accessories (boot liner, floor mats, window shades etc)

An example of wax left on the edges between doors/boot/frunk etc

    1. Windows, check they’re fully operational and don’t squeak
    2. Check delivery mileage, should be around 10-30 miles. The industry standard is between 10-50.
    3. [Very uncommon] Visually check your wheels for excessive weights. Weights on wheels are fairly common in the industry, they’re generally the same colour as the wheel and positioned just behind the spokes. They’re to ensure the tyre is balanced on the wheel, however, they should generally only be about 1 spoke wide, if they go across more than 3 then the wheel/tyre has some sort of issue + they won’t look that appealing.

An example of ‘Orange Peel’ on the paint of a car, check your Tesla doesn’t have any signs like this.

  1. [Very uncommon] Turn on the air-con / heat to full power and just listen for any strange noises.
  2. [Very uncommon] Play some music in the car just check everything sounds fine, in the premium audio vehicles you may want to do a further sound check on each speaker.
  3. Check you’ve snapped a photo of it looking all clean in the showroom

Although uncommon remember if you have a car you’re not happy taking away that day you have every right to decline the handover until the problems are fixed, when this has happened in the past Tesla have been very accommodating offering a loan car whilst the issues get fixed.

Once you get your Tesla home, a few things to consider:

  1. Go and drive it!
  2. Go and try a supercharger (a good excuse for a first drive)
  3. Download Plugshare app to find chargers
  4. Getting the paint protected with something like Gtechniq, Liquid Elements, Opticoat, PPProtect or similar Ceramic paint protection, this will give you a protective coating which will help prevent scratches, stone chips etc. Note: Tesla can’t recommend any of these services so use the group search to confirm which is best.
  5. A vinyl clear wrap (PPF) on the front of the car, this prevents stone chips (can be expensive)
  6. Install a dash camera.
  7. Consider GAP insurance
  8. Alloy wheel insurance or protection (e.g. RimProTec or Alloygators)
  9. Learn how to properly wash your car
  10. Swap your home electricity to 100% renewable (search the Tesla group for a referral code to knock £25-£50 off your bill)
  11. Be aware there is no spare tyre!
  12. When your V5C arrives check it’s the correct Model listed, Tesla have a habit of listing P90D models as 90D etc, which could become an issue when you sell your car on in the future + more worryingly could be an issue with your insurance company. Double check you’re insuring the correct car! If there is a mistake you will need to get Tesla to write a letter explaining the mistake and send this along with your V5 to the DVLA to amend it. Confirm this is still correct with DVLA before sending.
  13. Respond to the surveys that Tesla send. These are checked by the senior team weekly.
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