The process of buying a Tesla is so much easier compared to other cars. Everything is done online and the price is fixed. There is no headache of having to haggle with a car salesperson.  

In this blog, I’ll go over the step-by-step process of how to buy a Tesla. If you want to see a video version of this, check out my Youtube video.

buying a tesla model x

1) Test Drive

If you’ve never driven a Tesla before, I recommend test driving the car. With the regenerative braking, it is a different drive, but it is easy to get used to. You can easily schedule a test drive

2) Order a Tesla

When you decide you want a Tesla, place an order via the Tesla Website. You will have to place a deposit, but this locks in your price, which is valuable as the price of Tesla cars keep increasing. For example, I ordered a Tesla in June 2021, and took delivery 1.5 years later. By then, the price had already increased by $20,000, but luckily I was locked into the price in June 2021. 

3) Wait for Delivery

After you place an order, your Tesla account will show a broad estimated delivery date, however note that it can be sooner or later. When you see the delivery date range become tighter, then your delivery date is coming soon. 

Based on prior experience, Tesla tends to deliver more cars close to the end of each quarter (ex March, June, September, December). 

When you see a VIN number on your account, then a car is assigned to you, and is coming soon.

Shortly after you receive a VIN number, you will then be able to schedule your delivery date. For me, it took about a week after getting the VIN, that I was able to schedule the date.

Narrowing Delivery Date

4) Delivery

Delivery Option

  • In my experience, Tesla wants you to take Home delivery (they will drive your car to your home), so they will default to this. It is more convenient, however, if you decide to take Home delivery, it is difficult to reject the car if there’s issues, as you’ll have to pay beforehand. 
  • You can easily request to change it to a Tesla delivery center. I prefer taking delivery at a Tesla center, so that I can inspect the Tesla before making payment and accepting the car. It is rare, but there are reported instances on the Tesla Motor Forums, where there are major defects that some chose to reject the car.
  • See my Delivery day checklists on what to look for when inspecting the car.

Wait to Pay

  • On your Tesla account, they may ask you to make payment ahead of time. However, I prefer to make payment, after I inspect the car to ensure there’s no major issues that would make me want to reject the car. I’ve been able to inspect the car, and then pay afterwards, both times I purchased a Tesla.

5) Paying for the Tesla

The options to pay for your Tesla has evolved over time. Once, there was even a time that Elon Musk said that you could pay for your Tesla with Bitcoin, but that time is long gone. 

Currently the options are: (*subject to change) 

    • Cashiers check. This is a bit more inconvenient as you’d have to get the check from your bank. Also, typically there’s a small fee from your bank.  
    • PLAID, where you connect your bank account information via Plaid on your phone and the funds get transferred that way. 

If you’re buying a Tesla, use my referral link for FREE Tesla credits, that can be exchanged for supercharging miles etc. 

6) Financing a Tesla

Tesla Finance

  •  I used Tesla Finance and it was convenient. I submitted an application online, and received loan offers from both Tesla, as well as from other banks (ex Chase, Wells Fargo). 
  • Everything is done through the Tesla phone app including the paying the down payment, paying monthly payments, and signing documents. Also, the communication with Tesla Finance was easy and quick as well. 

Other lenders (Bank, Credit Union) 

  • You can also use other Banks and Credit Unions for auto loans, and you may get better rates, so do your research. Typically, when you accept the offer, you have ~30 days to use the money, but sometimes your expected delivery date is delayed and if it’s delayed beyond that timeframe, you may have to submit another loan application.
  • DCU is popular amongst Tesla owners, as they have competitive rates. Use my referral link for $20. 


Once you purchase your Tesla, be sure to check out my Delivery Day Checklist for the Model 3,  Model Y, and  Model X. Enjoy the car! 

The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information. 

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