I’ve purchased many cars from dealers in the past. In most cases, I’ve had loan or lease paperwork to fill out. This is the slowest part, which always stuns me. One would think that this should be the easiest part of the process. Once I’ve agreed, assembling paperwork is mechanical and could be automated to be quick.
Sidebar: I honestly think they make you wait so you’re tired and then finance person can try to sell you other services, which are often low value, high profit for them. Doesn’t mean some aren’t worthwhile in a situation, but overall, it’s way too long to buy a car. I’ve bought houses easier, albeit with more signatures.
When I purchased the Tesla, I put $100 down. Then I had to go back and make some decisions on the loan/lease/cash process. I didn’t bother to go through cash. I’m not that wealthy.
I don’t like leases, in general. I’ve leased a couple cars, and never really liked the process. I prefer to take a loan and pay it off. This also makes it easy for me to dispose of the car in a sale.
When I went through the loan process, I filled out an application, asked for a term (I had a few choices) and then got an offer. The rate from Tesla earlier this summer was 2.49%, which I think it pretty good. I see rates from about 2.0% and up, so Tesla seems competitive.
In any case, there was a slider that let me change the down payment and term, letting me see the different payments. The default is $4500. I think I ended up moving the slider around to see how things changed, and tried to put it back, but ended up leaving it at $553.52. The granularity of the slider and my dexterity weren’t good enough to get back to $4500. Also, I lacked patience.
I reached out to sales yesterday to schedule my appointment. I got an email confirm, and then today got a note to review my paperwork. About 10 minutes later, I got a second email that said I needed to complete payment.
When I logged into my account, I saw my appointment in the tool:
I also saw the terms of my loan and the payment due.
Now I needed to add my bank account and pay this amount. Today I’ll also send the VIN to my car insurance agent, get it added, and upload the card to the account. I need to do that for delivery.
Overall, this has been a very smooth financing, the best ever. I think one of the things that other car companies might want to do is start getting better here, smoothing and speeding the process. Maybe moving some of the optional stuff to an easy checklist.
I doubt they will as lots of people are somewhat captive in going to a dealer to get a car, they need financing and often don’t have great credit and assets. They also don’t think about the optional add-ons and what they mean or the value. Since those things bring some decent profits, I doubt they change, but certainly I dislike the entire process and get used to saying “no”, “no”, “no” to their offers.
Next: The Pickup Checklist
If you are thinking of ordering one, I’ve got a referral code. You get 1,000 free Supercharger miles and so do I. Use: http://ts.la/john92950