Service Plan / Ranger / Fees

Service Plan / Ranger / Fees

Hi, so I just finalized my MS recently. Went with the standard 85kwh. There has been a lot of chatter I noticed about service plans, ?"mandatory" $600 annual fee, and what exactly the warranty entails. Could someone be so kind as to distill it down for a lazy person like myself? In a few sentences, what was the verdict? $600 was a good thing? Bad? Did people cancel their reservations over it? Thanks.

Brian H | 25. tammikuu 2013

It's in line with premium car "real world" costs, and is very comprehensive (partly for TM's benefit, as the car is new and they don't really know what to expect over 4-8 yrs.)

The service plan is not mandatory, but annual (or 12,500 mile -- whichever comes first) servicing is. At this time, only TM has the tools and trained mechanics to do this; that may change over time. There are already "certified" body shops able to do approved work.

The prepaid plan costs $1900/4 = $475 yr.

patp | 25. tammikuu 2013

A friend of mine told me the Porsche dealership charged him $2000 for an annual inspection on his 911 C4. They also had to change the 12V battery and they charged $800 including labor. Just in one year.

So this gives some perspective to the $600 fee... ;)

kortj | 25. tammikuu 2013

It may cost a lot for MBZ or Porsche to service cars, but they deal with thousands of moving parts. TM has advertised that the car will not need as much maintenance as a gas engine car for example. To me, less maintenance means only one thing... LESS COST FOR MAINTENANCE.

TM claims that regenerative breaking makes breaks last 2 or 3 times longer. No oil to change, no transmission fluid to change, no spark plugs, no belts, no wires to replace... on and on. So, in reality, TM has set the maintenance costs the same as a Mercedes, even though in that first year, the only thing likely to be replaced is the windshield wiper blades and maybe some fluids (wiper fluid). Even the model S coolant fluids were projected to last several years (no acids build up). So even at the $450/year in advance plan, I find this price way too high. I can replace my wipe blades for less than $20. Otherwise, how much time will it take for TM to plug into the car and check on the status of the batteries and stuff when they do that nightly while the car is connected to my wifi at home? Come on Tesla. Time to adjust this objectionable plan.

Brian H | 25. tammikuu 2013

You're not the first to use ignorance of what the maintenance covers to work yourself up. Talk to a Roadster owner; the car nearly gets stripped and details (e.g., electronics) of which you are evidently totally unaware are thoroughly vetted and fixed.

Did you notice that the Porsche costs mentioned for 1 yr's service exceed the entire $1900 4-yr fee from TM by almost 50%?

And it's "brakes", not "breaks".

jat | 25. tammikuu 2013

I think it could be cheaper, but since it is a brand new car I think it is a good thing -- basically I am paying $2400 so that absolutely anything on the car except tires, anywhere I am, is covered. That sounds like a good deal for me.

Certainly they won't be able to keep the price this high for the GenIII, but given the price of the Model S I don't think it is much of an issue for the peace of mind.

drp | 25. tammikuu 2013


I agree. Well put! It's a good deal

ChasF | 26. tammikuu 2013

With my current yearly mileage, I will burn thru 50K in about 3 years so the plan will not cost me any less than pay-as-you-go. Also, I currently drive a Nissan Altima. Nothing much but oil changes over the last 3.5 years. The A/C was replaced under warranty about a year ago, so almost no cost during this time.
I realize what the other luxury car makers charge but this is not like other cars. It's hard to get away from the logic that less parts = less maintenance.
As far as the "several hours" Tesla spends combing thru the electronics, I would like to know how this benefits me. If they are just gathering data to refine their service pricing models or identify quality issues why should I have to pay for that? I'm already paying my early adopter fee by buying a very expensive car sight unseen.
I don't care what the other car makers are doing. If Tesla is asking us to take a leap of faith on the Model S, they should warranty the car regardless.
$2K every three years (for me) still seems like a lot for this tech. Just my 2 cents.

mike_f | 26. tammikuu 2013

Have the service plans been made available? I was told they were still in the works. I have not received any request from TM to choose one or the other

drp | 26. tammikuu 2013

I have not seen any details on the service plan but I drive about 34,000 miles a year. If the service plan is just a supplement to the eight year battery warranty and unlimited miles then I'm not too worried. This car is basically just a battery with wheels. i expect that the service plan will include the 3G and everything else so I am taking that into consideration as well. I really don't plan on paying anything in addition to that. I guess time will tell when they come to me and ask about the service plan. One other thing that I "heard" was that another $100 would get you the Ranger.

Brian H | 26. tammikuu 2013

You haven't taken my advice to talk to/correspond with a Roadster owner yet, have you? You could learn something, unless you're allergic.

david | 26. tammikuu 2013

$475/year for service and someone is complaining? This is a $75k car (mine was actually $102k). It's expensive to service all $75k cars. We paid $1600 for a 4-year service plan on my wife's Infiniti QX56. An oil change on my Audi S8 costs $300. And get this: I am required to do an $1100 "annual service" on my Ferrari just to keep it under warranty. When the warranty expires, it will cost $5k/year to renew!

I've had lots of nice cars, and i wholeheartedly believe the Tesla (including maintenance) is a hell of a lot of car for the money.

DouglasR | 26. tammikuu 2013

@drp, I wouldn't assume that the service plan will include the 3G.

I think the $100 for the Ranger is a "per visit" charge when you do not opt for the service plan w/Ranger ($2400 for four years, v. $1800 for the service plan w/o Ranger). So if you think you will need the Ranger more than 1.5 times per year, buy the plan w/Ranger.

drp | 26. tammikuu 2013


I thought I understood that it was $700 annually To include the Ranger but otherwise $600 annually. I will check my sources. Thanks for your insight.

DouglasR | 26. tammikuu 2013
ChasF | 26. tammikuu 2013

@Brian H (aka Bizarro Volker)

I haven't spoken to a Roadster owner because I don't personally know one, but I have read a couple of Roadster posts on this subject. Still didn't see anything to answer my question about why I should have to pay for data gathering. Perhaps you can elighten us.

noel.smyth | 26. tammikuu 2013

I think I will get the ranger option as the current setup is not very convenient. (m to F 9 to 6 are the hours of the Norristown service center)

Brian H | 26. tammikuu 2013

Data gathering, while essential, is the least of what the servicing does.

jackhub | 26. tammikuu 2013

I spoke with a rep at Tesla Worldwide Service yesterday. She said the plans were not yet complete, but should be 'firmed up' in about two weeks. All of us having taken delivery will then be notified by e-mail and we will have 30 days from that point to makie our decision. From then on, buyers will have 30 days after delivery.

As far as the cost of the plans go, some of the comments in this thread remind me of advice I was given when I started in the landscaping business: Don't put a 25 dollar plant in a 5 dollar hole. Preparation and care do matter.

AaronX | 26. tammikuu 2013

I expected at least $2k per year for my Porsche. Hell, I spent $1200 on my VW last year. $600 is dirt cheap considering the only thing it doesn't cover is tires. Be thankful.

ChasF | 27. tammikuu 2013

I don't want to start this debate again but it seems irrelevant what ICE cars cost for maintenance. These are completely different animals.

That said, different doesn't always mean cheaper. I would just like to hear some anecdotal evidence of what they do to justify the expense.


Mel. | 27. tammikuu 2013

ChasF, you are asking for the impossible. This is a new vehicle, problems in the future are unknown.. Ask again in a few years and you will get a better answer.

GreenMachine13 | 27. tammikuu 2013

Auto dealers make most of their money on service. If you have an honest conversation with a mechanic they'll tell you how much mark-up there is. The service folks at Ferrari, Porsche, etc charge insane amounts of money because those who buy them can afford it and are willing to pay it.

That being said, Tesla is a new company with a new product. Unless you test it for years before taking it to market it's very difficult to understand exactly what will go wrong outside of a lab or testing facility.

When I first heard the price I thought it was high but I don't know what I'm getting for that price yet. It's not spelled out like traditional maintenance plans. It would be nice if it included the 3G but I doubt that will happen. I think we are paying for the continued refinement of the car through software updates and anticipation of other "things gone wrong". I expected to pay very little for maintenance on the Model S outside of tires, wipers, etc. I quickly remembered that Tesla is a for profit company.

BrianH, let's try to have a respectful exchange.

Mel. | 27. tammikuu 2013

Gm13 , If you want to know what the real mark up is, talk to the owner

. BrianH has a wonderful way with words. He is probably the reason I and many others stay on this forum. He does not need to be as polite as you would like. He is always respectful.

Tech4ever | 27. tammikuu 2013

This is about SOFTWARE upgrades more than anything else. No other car is upgrading how the car performs with software upgrades done over the air. This is amazing! They are also adding features (and fixing bugs) and this costs big dollars. I work in Technology sales, support for hardware and software is typically 10-20% of the initial price per year. $600 a year?....this is a great value.

I know we all live in the world of Apple IOS and Android where we all expect major software advances to be free, but when you look at how small the revenue is to work from with for Tesla (vs Apple and Google) they have to find a way to supplement that ongoing cost somehow. Look at how apple made SIRI only available to new devices... software advances can not be free. Want SIRI? Give apple another $XXX

Every Model S owner should really want TM to continue the very expensive effort of software development. It will increase our value as owners.

just my 2cents.

-Black P85 due in March

roccosima | 27. tammikuu 2013

There is also another factor that's being overlooked, overhead for the service centers. If these cars are as maintenance free as one might expect the maintenance centers are not going to be profit centers, just the opposite. So maintenance has to generate some cash flow or the costs would have to be passed on in the price of the car.

tsx_5 | 27. tammikuu 2013

Here's some of my 2 cents...

GreenMachine13, your assertion that you can't tell/understand the reliability of your product without years of testing is only true for a VERY new product. That line of thinking would prevent any satellite from ever being launched, since you wouldn't be confident that the billions you spent on it would produce a reliable product. The Model S only has one part, the battery, that could be argued that it's so new that ir warrants special consideration -- and that would be a weak arguement. Everything else has been done before. Brakes, Wiper Blades, Motors, etc have lots of reliability data behind them. No modern company would release a product without understanding the reliability of its product, and I expect Tesla is no different. Service Plans are money cows for the auto industry, because they know the numbers.

So, I expect the Service Plan - like other auto makers, is a profit center for Tesla... The only difference is that Telsa shops are the only option for the owner (right now). And they haven't provided the info for owners and/or independant repair shops to do thier own maintenance. If "right to repair" law get passed, that would change all that.

BTW: Porche charges more, because it's customers are willing to pay more -- even though they spent thousands more for a more reliable product. No, it doens't make since to me either.

drp | 27. tammikuu 2013


Thanks for the link! I plan on paying in advance so the Ranger will be unlimited. That sounds like a really good deal for me as well since the service center is a difficult one hour drive from my home each way, and really out of the direction of my monthly commute.

Brian H | 27. tammikuu 2013

Don't see what 3G has to do with maintenance/service. It's a data plan.

Everything from the skateboard to PEM to the windshield was designed from a blank sheet with the Model S. On the interior, the touchscreen to the seats to the pano roof. Your comment is superficial and less than genuous.

Brian H | 27. tammikuu 2013

typo: "less than ingenuous."

ChasF | 27. tammikuu 2013


I don't quite know what you think I'm asking for that is all that impossible, but wondering what services I can expect to be performed for $600/year is quite reasonable. Perhaps I sent a different message than I thought.

drp | 27. tammikuu 2013

Hi Brian

3G is how Tesla can monitor your car. Monitoring of the MS, some levels of Service, and updates are performed via the 3G and are included in the description of the plans. That's why I think 3G has something to do with service, but that was just my interpretation of what I read.

riceuguy | 27. tammikuu 2013

@drp: The "baseline" 3G is indeed included (either in the maintenance plan or just in the price of the car). That only covers the diagnostics/remote monitoring, but NOT 3G internet for web browsing, streaming music, etc. That will be a completely separate data plan and cost, which Tesla has been quite clear about (well, they've been clear that it will be separate and that it will not be free; they've been anything but clear on what the plans will actually cost and include!).

kkiri7 | 27. tammikuu 2013

Regarding the original question:
" In a few sentences, what was the verdict? $600 was a good thing? Bad? Did people cancel their reservations over it? "

What? - people cancel their reservations over a $600 service fee??? - ludicrous!!
I am no successful trial lawyer with a 7 figure income, but even a poor engineer like me certainly thinks that a $600/year service fee on a 100k car is a steal - and $475/yr if prepaid is a much better return than the stock market has given me.

"nuff said"

tsx_5 | 28. tammikuu 2013

Brian H,

Assuming your use of the term "Ingenuous" refers to "noble, honorable" -- please note, that is an obsolete use of the term (if that's not what you meant - otherwise, I just don't get it).

The Tesla engineers didn't design everything in the Model S... Or did all these manufactors redesign thier products just for this car;

AGC automotive,
ABC group,
(list continues and can be seen here: )

I'll give you that the 250+ patents has some potential of being from "the ground up", but I doubt it. It's more likely they found innovative ways to use existing technologies (motor) and techniques (battery packs). And even then, reliability can be evaluated.

Given I am less than noble, check out this Wiki page (used because it's an easy place to get to).

portia | 28. tammikuu 2013

+1 tech4ever, +1 kirri7
I also think the fee is more than reasonable, and for a car which gains new features over the air

DouglasR | 28. tammikuu 2013


Don't mind Brian. He was feeling a little less than gruntled.

Brian H | 28. tammikuu 2013

Thanks for not dis-sing me. ;P ;) :D