What It Takes To Buy A Tesla Model S In Texas


tesla-store-texasElon Musk is on a very-public crusade to challenge the established car dealership lobby, and while he has had some success at the state level, he has also lost in one of America’s largest car markets; Texas. A recent report highlights just how many hoops you have to jump through if you want to buy a Tesla Model S in the Lone Star State.

Because of very strong dealership franchise laws and a buttload of lobbying money, Tesla store representatives are prevented from giving you any kind of pertinent of useful information related to pricing. That means potential buyers are in the dark regarding costs, tax credits, financing, and leasing options. Tesla sales people can’t even offer test drives, and many customers leave the two Texas-area stores frustrated due to lack of info.

The most Tesla store reps can do in Texas is refer you to the website. If you actually want to buy a Tesla Model S, you have to do so through a California dealership. Tesla will then ship you your car on an unmarked transport with no new-car orientation or anything. They drop off the car and you’re on your own.

It’s the same case with Tesla-owned service centers, which cannot advertise that they offer Tesla service, or even display the Tesla Motors logo. They can’t even tell customers if there is a problem with their car; all that info has to be re-routed through Tesla’s California headquarters. Texas Tesla Model S are ineligible for Tesla’s buyback program, and because the sales are handled as out-of-state transactions, some customers are paying a higher interest rate, if they can get financed at all.

Even so, Tesla has managed to sell over 1,000 Model S sedans in Texas, though those numbers would no doubt be much higher if it were easier to buy the electric car. This has Musk considering a campaign on Washington to dismantle dealership franchise laws nationwide. It won’t be an easy fight, but it could have far-reaching consequences for more than just Tesla.

Source: Green Car Reports

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Mark Benjamin David

    what about this? anyone know who put this petition up and what they have done with it (who it was presented to)? http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/02/autos/tesla-petition/index.htmlhttps://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-tesla-motors-sell-directly-consumers-all-50-states/bFN7NHQR

  • t_

    May be my question sounds funny to those, familiar with the situaton, but can’t Tesla sell their cars through a dealership? It is evident, that the demand is high, so byers could afford to pay the extra dealership costs and have all those benefits. How much higher could the price go? 5 – 10K max? Tesla’s prices are high anyway, so the desigion to buy a Tesla is not so price dependent in this segment. If I am so eager to spend 100K USD for a car, that cannot be repaired, when broken, I will deffinitely be willing to pay 5 K more and have no problems.

    • topkill

      “so byers (sic) could afford to pay the extra dealership costs and have all those benefits.”
      But WHY should buyers be forced to pay extra through a dealer? What country and economic system do we live in that allows the government to tell you how to run your business and force consumers to buy things a certain way?
      This is supposed to be Texas here! The state that “don’t allow none of them government types to tell them how to live!”. Are Texans really going to let lobby money from NADA tell them how to live? Are they going to let these lawmakers take bribes and force them to pay extra for cars? Watch it boys, or some company that doesn’t like guns will start lobbying those same dirty politicians to take away your guns…for your own safety. LOL

  • Tx_hrn

    It was super easy to buy a Model S in Texas. It was similar to buying an iPhone online, and Telsa was so much easier to work with than dealerships I’ve dealt with in the past!!

  • shecky vegas

    Yet another reason to step inside that shithole state Texas. Those idiots deserve Rick Perry.

  • wz

    Two weeks ago, I took delivery of my new Model S in Austin TX. It isn’t as bleak a situation as the article describes. It was a painless transaction and I didn’t have to negotiate price with the dealer — the part I hate most. Is it a perfect car? No. But it is a game changing vehicle.

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  • EV Dood

    t_ It’s not just the price. The “dealer experience” can cast a dark shadow across your brand. Let’s face it, how often do you hear of someone has a “good” dealer experience? The manufacturer has no control over how customers are treated.

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  • Frank

    How do laws like this not run afoul of the first amendment?