Flip Flopping on ESA

I have, until now, resisted the temptation to "save" $1500 on the ESA. My thoughts were that if the car showed itself to be service prone by the end of my 4th year I would sell it. I did not think it through to the next step: selling it will be easier if the car has an ESA. Plus, the ESA might be even more than the $4000 it will cost on Thursday so the value of my car will have increased because of the $2500 investment I made today.

I'm thinking of it just as I did the tech package and the leather seats. Why would anyone buy a used S without these options?

@Brian H. Thanks for your input on all the relevant threads. It certainly helped. Some here do not appreciate your contributions, I really don't understand them at all.

Well, IIRC, the Roadster extended warranty is $3K for 1 year, $4K for 2 and $5K for 3 years. The fact that all iterations of the MS cost the same despite the large variability in price makes me think it's a pretty good deal for a P+.

Well, I just decided to take the $2500 I was going to spend on the ESA and buy more stock instead. It should be worth $5K in 4 years.... This way if I sell the car in 4 years, I'm ahead. If I keep the car 8 years but it is reliable, I'm ahead. If the car is a lemon, I break even.... If I buy the ESA, I'm out $2500 no matter what.

In Texas and several other states, the unused portion is fully refundable (it will be entirely unused until the end of the standard 4 year warranty), so I can't see a downside to getting it now.


Despite his belief that he knows everything, BrianH is not a Model S owner and has no access to these threads.

As to the ESA, I am on the same page.

@ jtodtman, think about it this way. If the Model S proves to be "service prone", chances are buyers will be savvy to that and you'll have a hard time selling it without an ESA. So it's actually a good idea in that case, and even if that doesn't happen, having an ESA adds value to your resale and makes it less of a risk to a buyer.


I wrestled with the exact same decision. For the record, I am not a long-term extended warranty guy either, as generally they don't pay off financially. However, in my case I am planning on keeping this car 8 to 9 years, until my kids are out of college. Plenty of motivation there to not flip it. Therein, I really don't want to own this car and be responsible for repairs out of pocket for major things that could go wrong during the latter half of that ownership. I figure if just one or two substantial components fail during that time, then the warranty will pay for itself and then some. If the car is more prone to breakage, then it will truly pay off. Additionally you have the added value that it brings if you do sell the car to a private party during that four to eight year period.

As you know from other threads we have both posted on, I've looked pretty long and hard at the specific language in the agreement, and I think it is one of the best in the industry given the mileage, duration and coverage it provides at what I feel is an extremely fair price of $2,500. Given the technology in the car itself, I just can't imagine owning this car long-term without it. I understand the lack of ICE moving parts but I'm more concerned about displays, door handles, air suspension components, and other high tech parts which could fail and be quite expensive to repair.

And let's face it, there's only one game in town for repairs, and that is Tesla and whatever rate they quote you for parts and labor for a repair. It's not like you can shop it or just run down to your trusty independent ICE mechanic you have known for a long time and have him take good care of you for a repair that would otherwise cost you a lot more at a dealer. That's just not gonna happen. This was one if the major influences that drove my decision to purchase the ESA yesterday.

I figure for a $100,000 +- worth of car, $2,500 is a nominal price to pay for piece of mind long-term. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to trivialize that amount of money as I personally hate wasting or spending money on useless things that don't return value, but in this case I struggle to envision a scenario in the long run where that $2,500 does not become a smart investment.

Just my two cents. Factor that into your decision criteria and let us all know what you decide. I know you know this, but f you decide to buy, be sure and do it today.

Good luck.

+1 JohnnyMac, great post and makes sense!

Just a little detour… I remember my dad went on a tirade once, swearing up a storm. He is an East Indian man of small stature, so hearing profanities come out of his mouth was quite hilarious to witness. In any event, he was upset because all of his motor oil leaked out of his BMW 7 series and onto his beautiful white driveway. Guess where he got his BMW 7 series serviced? Yup… Jiffy Lube!

The last place I'll be taking my Tesla for any kind of service, even tire rotations, would be to a non-Tesla facility. There are sensors in the wheels, so what assurance do I have that a non-Tesla service shop would even know how to properly rotate tires on a Tesla which has a TPMS that the non-Tesla technicians have probably never seen before. I just don't want anyone fiddling with things. Also, imagine this scenario playing out… your "mechanic" says wow, a Tesla! Then all the other mechanics gather around and start looking or disassembling things out of curiosity… no thanks!

I view it as part of the cost of the car. I plan (hope) to drive this car for 8 years or more. To be protected for 8 years at $2500 isn't too bad. For all the things that could go wrong (e.g. screen, sunroof, air suspension, motor, etc.) over an 8 year time period, I pulled the trigger and am not looking back.

I went back and forth as well. At the end I decided to go ahead and get based on whether I would be madder at myself if I didn't but then had problems after year 4 vs mad at myself for 'wasting' $2500 if I bought and didn't need. And I didn't buy the service plan, figuring the a la carte use of service, while more expensive per time, better fit my need for flexibility on if/when I get service done.

We normally do not buy the extended warranties but did for our 2007 E550 and it paid for itself with an unexpected replacement of a cracked gas tank that would have cost us $3k had we not had the extended warranty.

While this particular issue is not going to happen with the MS, you just never know what expensive part might break/malfunction beyond the standard 4 year period. Realistically, $2,500 is basically $52 per month (over a 4 year period) for this additional piece of mind.

So we dediced to go ahead and get it due to the long term unknowns and that some of the major componenets that may have issues would be very expensive to replace.

Tesla raised the ESA price from $2500 to $4000. If the car proves problematic, Tesla could raise it again. So waiting may not pan out.

Thanks to all for your input.
@SamoSam. The fact that you feel the same as I do about the ESA convinced me I was on the right track. Also, thanks for pointing out that I hadn't taken Brian's status into account when I made the thread private. I understand he might think he knows everything but I'm wondering if you have any proof that he doesn't. :-)

@JohnnyMac very nice analysis. I bought in a little while ago and I feel very good about my decision.
@TeslaOr +1
@AmpedRealtor re your thoughts on resell. That was exactly what I realized this morning.

Good point. It's the unknown unknowns at this point (very early in the life of the MS line) that tip the balance.

No way do I think I know everything, but I've been on site and read everything (EVERYTHING) for about 6 years, from even pre-Roadster delivery days. Anything I post is simply my best judgement given all available input. I even kept up with everything on for a while, but that site's volume has defeated me now, and I just track a few issues and threads there these days. It's getting to be like trying to sip from a firehose, though! As the volume of buyers explodes, it will maybe get to be like trying to sip from a flame-thrower. <:0

Tesla is a triumph, IMO, and so is SpaceX.

SpaceX is going to be the story in the news for the next 10 years.

SpaceX has completed its 6th major milestone toward crew certification, with 100% success to date!

ISS & then Mars

Then beyond.

First extended warranty ever, just placed on Paypal.


That has a nice eloquence given where the money for Tesla comes from.

Musk for President of the World? Galaxy?

Grand Marshal Plenipotentiary of Mars at a minimum.

Glad to hear you decided to do it and that you feel good about it jtodtman! I think all of us who have decided on the ESA will feel good about it for years to come.

Damn, I bought the car in Washington State, but just moved to California. The can't sell me the ESA, even though I'm ready to purchase it.

Just bought the ESA based on the thoughtful analysis in the posts on this thread. Thanks for being such a great community!

@Brian H
I think Donald would call them known unknowns, no?

Production of my MS begins next week wit delivery in 3 weeks. I needed to commit to a service plan. I have always been a long term owner, but Tesla technology will probably change significantly in the next 3-5 years. I plan to get the minimum finance plan that allows the 3yr buy back guarantee. I decided that the 4+4 ranger service would be something I could use, or would provide a sweetener for the sale in the future. I spoke to Tesla toda and learned the ESA price change from $2500 to $4000 is effective July 3, so I placed my $7300 service/ESA order today. Service is one of the few unknowns and this covers it. Maybe a waste of money, but certainly provides peace of mind for current and potentially future owners. Worth it.


I dunno. Do you? ;)

Got the extended service today....had to finalize the purchase, then buy the package before the end of the 3rd.
Will get the 4+4 service after delivery in August. Just seemed like :
1. Cheap insurance and peace of mind
2. Great resale positioning when I want my next Tesla
3. Value for the whole package because I live in the Rochester NY area and the nearest service center is Toronto.


Why yes, yes I do.

"There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know.”

—United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

I'm confused. I thought the ESA costs an additional $1900 without ranger service and $2900 with it. Where did this $2500 number come from?

On a whim, I called my local service center and asked what it would cost to replace a door handle...roughly $1,600. Today they can't get parts of the assembly and therefore must replace the entire thing. That will likely change down the line but that pretty much sealed the deal for me on the ESA. I think JohnnyMac summed it up well. I pulled the trigger and have no regrets.

The $2500 is the extended warranty for years 4-8 or miles 50-100,000. Going up to $4000 on July 3. Got me and many others panicked into buying it before July 3 although many of us still have questions if it was even worth the $2500.