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