Fees / Taxes / other hidden cost

Fees / Taxes / other hidden cost

I am ready to pull the trigger and purchase a Model S, but asking other owners the fees and additional cost associated to the purchase of the car. Is sales tax for the car calculated based on where you live or based on the CA tax laws? Also, what is the delivery charges? And what is the avg or typical cost for the charger to be installed? Is there any "other " hidden cost that should be mentioned? Thanks in advance for any info.

Electron | 10 March 2013

Sales tax is based on where you live unless you pickup at the factory, then it is Fremont, CA
sales tax. There is a $900 delivery fee regardless of where or how you get the car, plus
I think $100 dealer "prep". I think those are the big chunks.

The charger outlet cost will vary depending on length of conduit and difficulty.
Figure on $300-$1000 for a NEMA 14-50 depending on degree of difficulty.

cschock | 10 March 2013

Delivery is the same everywhere and is $990. Inspection and preparation is $180. You will have to pay your local sales tax unless you take delivery in CA. You will have your state vehicle license fee, registration and title fee and any tire recycling fee ($7 in CA). You will need a charger installed by an electrician, this could be as simple as a standard wall outlet (not a good idea) up to many thousands for a new panel, wiring, etc. depending on your circumstances.

You'll eventually need to purchase a maintenance contract ($600 per year) and possibly a wireless contract for the car's connectivity.

You may want to plunk down money for better interior floor mats, the car includes only front mats that are not seen as very good. This could run anywhere from $250 to $1000 depending on what you decide to buy.

Um... I can't think of anything else. Hope that helps!

Electron | 10 March 2013

Ugh, sorry I was a little low in my recollection on the delivery/prep. Also the maintenance slipped
my mind since we can't buy it yet :)

jat | 10 March 2013

You will see all the fees in your final MVPA. If you aren't in CA, you will have to take care of your own sales tax, tag, and title (there may be some states where that isn't true, but it should show up on the MVPA if Tesla is doing it).

mbauer8 | 10 March 2013

What is the montly or annual cost for the cars "wireless" connectivity?? Is that LTE or 4G?? | 10 March 2013

@ mbauer8 This is not known yet.

TimJ | 10 March 2013

There are no hidden fees. It is all detailed on the MPVA. Best and most efficient car purchase of my life. Delivery could use some work, but I figure more experience will solve that.

cschock | 10 March 2013


Right now it is free. What the cost will be eventually, no one knows. I am pretty sure it is 3G at the moment.

trydesky | 10 March 2013

For me, it cost $2500 for title transfer to NC.

cschock mentioned the $600 for the yearly service check-up, but there is also the optional extended warranty which is around 2400, I believe.

I also spent $50 for a tire air pump, and a can of fix-a-flat. Some have spent approx $500 for their own spare rim/tire.

I'm thinking about buying a spare power cable so I don't have to keep unplugging mine at home.

tylerhen | 11 March 2013

Double check to see if your state has any other EV incentives. For instance, in WA, I paid no sales tax at all, so after I got the price for my configuration, I simply added ~$1000 for the delivery stuff and that was my final price.

mbauer8 | 11 March 2013

@tylerhen, WOW.. that would be ideal if that was my case and not having to pay any sales tax. I am located in AZ, and it appears I am facing 9.3% in sales tax for a purchase of a new vehicle. Any other Model S owners in AZ have any info to pass along regarding the taxes they encountered with there purchase?

baddtz | 11 March 2013

I agree that floormats are something they you may not expect to have to pay for after taking delivery.

Captain_Zap | 11 March 2013

@ mbauer8

Check for State incentives here: | 11 March 2013

@mbauer8 Elon stated last week in Oslo that the optional connectivity will be a non-profit item for Tesla. They will get the best price they can and pass it on without markup. The price has not been announced yet.

Signature owners get the first year free, and all others get 3 months free.

S4WRXTTCS | 25 August 2013

WA State doesn't have Sales tax on an electric vehicle (at least not for now), but we do have an Electric Vehicle annual tax of $100 to make up for the loss in Gas Tax.

Given my current driving amount/mileage that would still be half of the gas tax I'm currently paying.

Don Schmidt | 26 August 2013

I have a Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement which lists various items of the MS of which there is an item, "Destination and regulatory documentation fee $1,170. No sales tax on EV in the State of Washington. Sales tax in Washington is normally 8.35% ~$8,350! This incentive expires at the end of 2014.

Thanks S4WRXTTCS for stating the annual $100 EV road use tax (fee).

Vancouver WA

jat | 26 August 2013

@TeslaTap - or longer than 3 months, depending on how long it takes them to get it in place -- I have had my car for 7.5 months now :).

ModelNick | 26 August 2013

Reading this thread gave me a thought... I live in Pennsylvania and am going to purchase a pre-made demo car model S. If I purchase my Model S and pick it up in New Jersey, does that mean I pay no sales tax? New Jersey has 0% sales tax for electric vehicles.

Or do I still pay sales tax where I live? | 26 August 2013

@ModelNick - If I remember right, In California, when you go to register, they charge you a "use" fee if you buy it outside California, that happens to be the same as the sales tax, so you can't dodge the sales tax in CA. I suspect most states that have a sales tax do something similar so you can't easily get around the tax.

PatT | 26 August 2013

Most, if not all states, charge a use tax when you register a vehicle that was previously registered in another state. The use tax is generally equal to the sales tax. However, the vehicle is now a "used car" and the basis may be less than the basis for a "new car" AND you will be allowed to reduce the use tax by any sales tax that was previously paid to the other state. Of course if you took delivery in a state with no sales tax you would have nothing to reduce the tax with.

The best way to avoid the sales tax for an EV, IMHO, is to change your state of residency to one with no EV sales tax such as Washington State or New Jersey. Then, assuming you have fulfilled the legal requirements for changing your residency, you can always visit your current place of residency and drive your Model S with your new "out of state" plates and never pay the sales tax.

Actually this scheme would probably work best for retired individuals. In fact, being a resident of Washington State would have the added benefit of there not being a state income tax there. For most people with conventional jobs, though, it would be impractical make that change.