What if a Model S owner's deposit is later than a non-owner's deposit, who gets priority?

What if a Model S owner's deposit is later than a non-owner's deposit, who gets priority?

What if a Model S owner puts down a deposit on April 1st?

Does this Model S owner's deposit go ahead of a non-owner that put down a deposit on March 31st?

What if Model S owner's deposit is a week or two later, or months later than a non-owner's deposit, who gets priority?

carlk | 20 marts 2016

I see no other way than first come first served. Is there any reason why you couldn't put a $1000 deposit the first day if you think you might be interested?

flight505 | 20 marts 2016

First come, first served?

Then there is no priority?

I could try to put a deposit down first day, but what if a non-Model S owner puts down a deposit ahead of a Model S owner first day, then no is that non-owner ahead?

DTsea | 20 marts 2016

I would guess that currebt owners will get their cars first, as the email from Tesla says.

Ankit Mishra | 20 marts 2016

If an owner wants to buy a loaded car, he/she will get priority over non owners. If he wants to buy a non loaded car, non owners with loaded configuration gets priority. Simple point to note is, Tesla will only make loaded versions in the beginning. IMHO.

carlk | 20 marts 2016


What email?

Tâm | 20 marts 2016

@Ankit Mishra

Excellent point!

diegoPasadena | 20 marts 2016

@carlk: An e-mail from Tesla to current owners included this:

"As a current owner who has supported Tesla and our mission, your reservation will take priority and be placed ahead of non-owners."

It is a nod to those, who have supported the emerging company. I am in total agreement with that policy - not because I benefit from it, but because it is in keeping with the personal relationship Tesla has with its customers. And - as with personal interactions - when there's an opportunity to "give back" a little to someone who has stood by you in times of need, you take that opportunity. I for one would even be in favor of putting Roadster owners ahead of us Model S owners, because they really were the ones taking a blind leap of faith, one we all benefit from now.

JeffreyR | 20 marts 2016

I am hopeful this well-deserved priority bump for owners will only affect tie breaks, and not create three (or four) periods of production builds.

It seems giving employees the first priority is an excellent idea that not only benefits them, but also Tesla in general and its customers. The employees will have even greater incentive to produce the Model ≡ on time w/ high quality. They have also sacrificed the most and contributed greatly to Tesla's success so far. So the fact that they will reserve first and receive theirs first seems like a great idea. This also gives Tesla a pool of early drivers that will have every incentive to help work out any initial glitches w/o negatively impacting the launch.

In addition, I believe owners should benefit and their loyalty should help break ties for cases where someone's reservation comes in on the same day near the same time. There are less than 100K owners (lots of multiples) already out there. It seems giving them some sort of anniversary-based credit for their reservation would be a generous reward, where early adopters and multiple owners are rewarded most.

But, I do hope that it does not mean my reservation will be delayed so long as to mean that the effort I take to reserve early on 3/31 is meaningless.

carlk | 20 marts 2016


Thanks. Do you know when that email was sent? I don't think I have received the email or maybe I missed it. I don't think it's unfair though. There will never be Model 3 if not for people buying Model S, or Model S if people did not buy the Roadster.

jordanrichard | 21 marts 2016

Flight505, you bring up a good point which I too have been thinking about. What exactly is the window of opportunity for us present owners to make our reservation and be put ahead of the line? Does this policy end come April 2nd? Perhaps it will last until they start to allow people to configure their cars. Really though getting to the front of the line doesn't mean you will get your car before a non owner. It just means you get to configure your car first.

That's not to say that what Tesla is doing is just window dressing. They are clearly showing their appreciation in a real meaningful way to current owners. I mean if a non owner configures their car with the same options as a present owner, the present owner will get their car first.

PhillyGal | 21 marts 2016

@jordanrichard - I imagine the priority has to end some time. As doest what constitutes an owner. Someone probably can't buy a Model S on 12/28/2016 and reserve a Model 3 12/29/2016 and still be prioritized over the tons of non owners who reserved Model 3 before her. | 21 marts 2016

In the past you could move to the "early" signature list by putting down a large $40K deposit and getting the most expensive configuration until the limit was reached (about 1000 to 1200 vehicles). Now to get to the top of the Model 3 reservation list you need to get a job at Tesla (actually it may be too late!). After that it's prior Tesla vehicle owners, and then all others. It's likely there will be some addition divisions based on configurations. Let's say there are two configurations - $50K and $35K. In the past the $35K model would enter production 6 months or so later than the $50K model. Tesla has not stated if they are going to do this, but I suspect it's likely. SO if you're an employee or prior owner that wants a $35K car, It's possible that a non-employee/non-owner with a early reservation who orders the $50K car may get it before those who wait for the $35K car. On top of this, some cars will need to go to stores and the press and these may be before other reservation holders. See, wasn't that simple :)

Complex, but reasonable.

danCE | 21 marts 2016

Like most of our discussions, this is all pure speculation, but I can see two possible orders, based on what we already know:

0. Founder cars
1. Employee loaded cars
2. Employee base cars
3. Current owner loaded cars
4. Current owner base cars
5. New owner loaded cars
6. New owner base cars


0. Founder cars
1. Employee loaded cars
2. Current owner loaded cars
3. New owner loaded cars
4. Employee base cars
5. Current owner base cars
6. New owner base cars

Of course, the preference for loaded cars has to end at some point, probably fairly early in the process, so that they can get some base cars out there. Also the preference for current owners, for the same reasons. They also don't want to keep the new owners waiting too long because of the benefits of spreading the word far and wide.

I'm sure Tesla will come up with some formula where everyone is slightly happy or slightly unhappy at how little or how long they have to wait. Of course, ramping up to volume production will solve most unhappiness and a year or so later, no-one will care anymore. | 21 marts 2016

@danCE - Much clearer than my explanation!

Rather obvious, but non-owners who want to move up the list only have to buy a Model S or X before the 3 becomes available!

danCE | 21 marts 2016

I just read another post on the forum and we now have to add region into the mix. West Coast gets priority, then "Central", then East Coast, then Europe, APAC, and RHD cars.

carlk | 21 marts 2016

For current owners just put the deposit down the first moment reservation is available to you. You likely will get your car delivered to you before the general public. You have to place an order when you number is called, and may have to order the right car, of course.

An unintended, or even intended, consequence is Tesla employees and current owners will be assured of the federal tax credit if they buy the car. It's a very smart move imo.

dnydam | 21 marts 2016

Tesla has always said that highly configured (i.e. high profit margin) cars will take priority (and has said this will continue for the Model 3). They will also batch similar builds to gain manufacturing efficiency. So, priority order for the US is likely:

1) Highly configured models
2) Region (west to east)
3) Employee/owner

So - if you order a maxed out Model 3, live on the east coast, and don't own a Tesla now, you will very likely get yours before an owner who lives in CA, but orders the base model with no options.

The owner/non-owner distinction is likely the lowest level tiebreaker. For example, if you and your neighbor order the exact same configuration, but you already own a Tesla, you'll get yours first. However, if his is a maxed configuration and yours is a baseline model, he'll likely get his first.

danCE | 21 marts 2016

There's all sorts of gray areas b/w a bare-bones model and one that's fully optioned. If the option list is similar to the Model S (and yes, I seen comments that it may have fewer choices), b/w paint, interior, roof, seats, sound system, double motors, cold climate package, autopilot features, etc., etc., Tesla will have an interesting time deciding which models to build first and which will be pushed back.

Another factor to consider is the need to build demo and loaner cars for the showrooms and service centers. As the pre-reservation list winds down, they will need multiple cars at each location. Based on a back-of-the-napkin calculation, that could eventually be another 5000 cars worldwide!

Tstolz | 22 marts 2016

I think dnydam nailed it. I'd add one possible addition to his model though ...

1) Highly configured models
2) Delivery Region (west to east) ... an east coaster can take delivery at the factory to bump up their place in line
3) Employee/owner

david_gelfand | 30 juli 2016

How about adding additional "priority-raising" factors (in addition to CA delivery and MS/MX owner):
1. # shares owned of Tesla Motor Corp
2. # and/size of Solar Cioty PV panel installation(s).

EaglesPDX | 30 juli 2016

Current owners, Tesla employees come first so, according to the rules, so no matter their order number, they would get theirs before any non-Tesla owner. So could be a surge of Tesla owners ordering T3's as it gets ready to ship.

dsvick | 1 august 2016

@EaglesPDX - "Current owners, Tesla employees come first so, according to the rules, so no matter their order number, they would get theirs before any non-Tesla owner."

I'd be very surprised if a prior owner could reserve their car over a year after someone else did and still get theirs first.

I don't think that the "rules" have been defined in that much detail yet. In fact, according to the MyTesla page people will configure based on their reservation date, so prior owners may only get priority on delivery not configuration. Meaning that if they do configuration in batches, say several thousand from a region at one time, then it could work like this:
Take the first ten thousand people, based on reservation date, from whatever region they are currently on and ask them to configure.
Move employees and current owners to the front.
Make adjustments to the order based on options, paint color , and specific location within the region.
Then move on to the next region.
When they get back around to the same region they take the next ten thousand and repeat.

Haggy | 1 august 2016

I don't expect there will be a glut of current owners who didn't think it worthwhile to put down a deposit right away and are taking a wait and see attitude. It might be the case for some, but current owners already have high expectations.

SamO | 1 august 2016

The first person in line for Model 3 in Santa Monica Tesla store slept on the sidewalk for 2 nights before sales began and may not even get his car the first year.

More owners buy Model S/X, then put the deposit down for the 3 to replace their last gas burner will jump the line in front of this guy.

Oh wait . . . what about all the new SolarCity employees that will become Tesla employees . . . most will likely line up for Model 3 as well.

That's another 13,000 line jumpers in front of owners and non-owners.

Badbot | 2 august 2016

no retroactive ordering to a date before your employment start date