Apr 012015
 

The market for new high-end vehicles is growing quickly. Last year in Canada more than 1 in 10 car buyers went luxury. I don’t like to feel left out so I’ve decided it was time I upgraded to a newer, faster car. #YOLO! 😀 Since this is a finance blog I’m going to share my experience buying a $100K+ car.

Being an environmentally conscious millennial I’ve decided to buy a TESLA! I know it’s not cheap, but Watt good is money if we don’t spend it, right? 😉 The Tesla Model S is rated as the safest car in America, and Consumer Reports has named it their best car for 2 years in a row. Ohm my goodness! With accolades like that how can I not buy one? 😎

So in early February I visited the Tesla showroom here in Vancouver (929 Robson St.) They had a white Model S on display. Here are some pictures I took.

15-04-tesla-model-s-showroom

The biggest decision when buying a Model S is choosing the right battery capacity. After consulting with a product specialist, Sandy, I’ve chosen the larger 85 kWh battery configuration, which has 380 hp and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (100 km/h) in just 5.6 seconds. Its top speed is 225 km/h (140 mph,) and it can travel about 400 km (250 miles) on a fully charged battery, which is a pretty good range for an all electric vehicle. 🙂

Purchasing a Tesla Model S

The total cost for my white 85 kWh Model S came to about $105,000 including tax. I was also charged $1,000 for delivery and $180 for prep. There’s a $5,000 government rebate in B.C. for electric vehicles. As someone who clearly lives a frugal lifestyle I always try to capitalize on these incentives because it’s basically free money from the government! 😀

The buying process was pretty straight forward. After my test drive, I sat down with a sales rep who helped me customize the options. Then I made a deposit of $2,500 with my credit card. Tesla said delivery usually takes place about 2 months after an order is put through because they have to source all the parts and custom build the customer’s car.

About 9 weeks later I received notice that my Model S has finally arrived in Vancouver! So earlier this week on Monday I excitedly went down to the Tesla service centre to pick up my brand new car!

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I paid off the remaining balance of $102,500 using a bank draft. Since I didn’t have a lot of cash on hand, I had to sell about $100,000 of my stocks to come up with this liquidity. 😕 But at least this way I’m buying a car with cash so I’m not going into debt. After all, what kind of responsible finance blogger would I be if I borrowed money to buy a car? Everyone knows if you can’t pay for something with cash then you probably can’t afford it in the first place. 🙄

So once I got there to pick up my Model S a delivery experience specialist walked me through all the car’s features. I had my insurance agent meet me at the Tesla service centre so I can get all my insurance papers done and license plate registered. I went with Canadian Direct for the optional insurance coverage since they are cheaper than ICBC. Overall my insurance premium came to $2,600/year, which is not bad considering the price of the vehicle! 😉

Cost effective operation

Since my after tax salary is only about $36,000 a year, buying a $100,000 car might seem just a tad excessive. But my friends on Facebook are congratulating me so it’s totally worth it! Besides, a car is technically a financial asset. So from an investment point of view adding a Tesla to my holdings is actually a smart way to diversify my portfolio of hard assets. A stock will become worthless if the underlying company goes bankrupt, but my car will always have its intrinsic value. 🙂

And the cost savings of using a Model S is incredible! Tesla has installed a few Supercharger stations around Metro Vancouver. It takes about 1 hour to fully charge my Model S. And these charging stations are FREE to use. I don’t drive that much so I’ll only be using the charging stations a couple times a month for all my transportation needs. And it won’t cost me a dime, haha. 😀

15-04-tesla-supercharger-station

Of course I can also charge the car at home. Each Tesla Model S comes with an adapter that can be used with any standard electrical outlet in North America, but it’ll take longer to charge than a Supercharger station. The Tesla roadside assistance program is also pretty convenient to have. For example if I get a flat tire they will send someone to my location with a spare. 🙂

The ride so far

I’ve only had the car for a couple of days but so far it’s been an absolute pleasure to drive! This car is a real game changer. The most surprising thing about operating a Tesla is just how insanely quiet it is to drive. There is no waiting for an engine to spin up so flooring the accelerator immediately generates maximum torque regardless of the car’s current speed. The 17 inch touch screen on the dashboard has a very intuitive interface and does everything from displaying the navigation system to controlling the windows, sun roof, lights, and music.

15-04-model-s-interior

Each Tesla comes with a digital drivetrain, and a sophisticated autopilot system which uses cameras, radar, and even sonar to detect road signs, pedestrians, and highway barriers. The futuristic door handles are normally retracted and appear flush against the car’s body, but when a key is in close proximity, they automagically extend out! 😯 How neat is that!?

15-04-tesla-model-s-doorhandles

I can also use the Tesla App that I have installed on my phone to set climate control remotely, and even start up the car, which can be useful when I’m in a hurry and can’t find the actual car key, lol. The smart phone app also tracks the location of my Model S so if I lend the car to a friend I’ll be able to see where it is at all times! And since there is no engine under the hood, the front trunk (frunk) can provide some additional storage space. 🙂

15-04-tesla-models-frunk

There’s actually an optional heated steering wheel and wiper blade defroster package that I could have added to my Model S for an additional $850. But I decided to pass on that luxury. I don’t want to spoil myself by overspending on things I don’t absolutely need, and then regret my purchase later. Thankfully I’m a very mindful consumer so delaying gratification comes second nature to me!

Overall I’m enamoured of my new Model S. Everything about it is positively fabulous! 😀 Buying a Tesla in Canada makes a lot of sense. About 2/3rds of our electricity is generated by hydro, which is much cleaner than burning gasoline. Tesla is building cars of the future and erecting infrastructure for the next generation of green vehicles. A Tesla Model S may not be the right car for everyone, but its slick design, cutting edge technology, high performance, minimal carbon footprint, and low (or even free) operating cost make it one of the best cars on the market today, which is April 1st. 😉

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Random Useless Fact:
“Lisp”, “Stutter”, and “Dyslexic” are all words that people with those impediments would struggle with.

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Clarisse
Guest

Wow, congratulations for buying that beautiful Tesla Model S! You’re absolutely right that if you can’t pay for something with cash then you probably can’t afford it in the first place! 🙂

Div4son
Guest

Good one on April 1st.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

April fools

Wealth Builder
Guest
Wealth Builder

Congratulations! Just curious where the engine is located?

The Money Spot
Guest

I’m still deciding if you’re teasing us! Either way, that’s a beautiful car.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

WaWa!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

almost got me there! It’s unlike you to buy a depreciating asset!

Vivianne
Guest

Happy April fools! Jerks! You had me going until the end!

allroundbetterme
Guest

LOL! I was on a ferry once and a Tesla got a dead battery and couldn’t start when we were unloading… haha!

Brian
Guest
Brian

I didn’t even read this… I pretty much assumed this is an April Fools…

Financial Underdog
Guest

Dude! You truly got me 🙂 Right about the part when you said “$2600/year in insurance seems reasonable” 🙂

Tawcan
Guest

Haha good one. Nice April fools.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

lol… for a second I was like is this an april fool’s joke… then when you said a car’s a financial asset, i knew then it was an april fools. a car is a DEPRECIATING asset. but a tesla model S is a nice depreciating asset to have 😉

Jason
Guest
Jason

This is a joke, right?

Brian So
Guest

Congrats! You gotta show me it next time we play poker 🙂

The Asian Pear
Guest

I can’t tell if this is a joke or not because I actually know someone who bought the Tesla and loved it! Apparently, it’s a very good car despite the hefty price tag.

Two Degrees
Guest
Two Degrees

I’m just as stumped as The Asian Pear, but congrats if you really did get one!

Finance Journey
Guest

Congrats, if it is not for “April fool” 😀

If I were you, I would buy a $25000 gas car and put $75000 into dividend stocks with 4% yield, then use the $3000 a year dividend to pay the gas expensive. Capital gain and dividen growth are bonus 😀 .

By the way, I just completed your personality test – I am ISFP 😀 .

Cheers,

DivHut
Guest

I’m ashamed to admit that you had me going well into the article till something about this line had me thinking I’d been had. “But my friends on Facebook are congratulating me so it’s totally worth it!” Funny joke. Thanks!

BeSmartRich
Guest

Hahaha very cute.

SavingSolver
Guest
SavingSolver

i still don’t know if it’s a joke or not. I know someone who got it and doesn’t regret the decision given his experience. But then again, he’s not a saver like you/us.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Read his post after this one. He explains how this was only an April Fool’s joke.

TheExtraIncome
Guest

How do you call this a “frugal lifestyle” ?

TheExtraIncome
Guest

Let’s hope was sth about the 1st of April

DebtGirl
Guest

Nice!!!! We love those! Congrats liquid, you earned it!

DebtGirl
Guest

Where I live they are everywhere so this is not far fetched! Hope it’s not a joke!