It looks like I'll have to cancel - my garage is too small!

It looks like I'll have to cancel - my garage is too small!

I bought my house 13 months ago, and it has an attached two door two car garage. It's a 1932 house and the garage bays are pretty tight for my Sentra and my wife's Jetta, so you can only imagine how the Model S fills it up.

Well, I took a tape measure to the dimensions, width, depth, etc. but I still couldn't quite picture whether it could functionally fit in my garage.

So I got a friendly TM forum goer (Ranjit) to bring his Model S over to give it a proper test.

When pulled forward ALL THE WAY, it really restricts the entrance to the basement, we'd have to slip past it every day.

And even when pulled forward all the way, there's only about 3 inches of clearance in the back for the garage door.

This photo doesn't really do the width justice, but I'd have to manually fold in the left mirror every time I got home, and even then it's a harrowing experience getting through the opening - maybe 4 inches of clearance combined left to right.

That support pillar is going to be replaced and relocated (with the red steel jack post you see in the back of the photo) regardless, so that's not as big of a deal (as it was, Ranjit couldn't even get out of the car once he pulled it in) but clearing the entrance to the garage was incredibly tight.

Now, I'm a very good parker and I'm sure I could manage to cram the car into and out of my garage on a daily basis. But would I be happy having to do so? No, I realize I would not - and that one time in a thousand that I scraped the hips or the outside mirror would drive me up the wall.

It is such a beautiful car. I just wish it wasn't quite so gigantic.


I guess my Sentra lives another day...when is the GenIII coming out again?

TeslaOwnerBlog | January 15, 2013

Outdoors with a car cover?


Sudre_ | January 15, 2013

Time for a remodel of the garage.
I had a new detached two car garage built minus the center beams. It replaced a much smaller garage. The 20k investment was worth it. Might be worth calling some contractors and see if they can completely redo the entrance. With todays modern bridge beams the pillars might be able to go away. Plus they may have some ideas for the basement door.

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013

Nothing doing outdoors - my steep driveway is about as long as half a model S - I live on a hill and you can't even park in the driveway without blocking the sidewalk (I've got a parking ticket to prove it).

And moving, well, like I said we just bought the house a year ago - if I was made of money maybe - but if I was made of money I could reengineer the garage to make it a single double-wide door to at least remove the width problem from the equation.

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013

Heh, Sudre - I was already looking at a panel upgrade and house rewiring for this damn car, and can barely afford the 60kwh as it is. Remodeling the garage (and honestly given the dimensions of everything else there's really not much to be done other than a double door) would make this car even more expensive. No can do.

TeslaOwnerBlog | January 15, 2013

How about a Roadster!

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013

Ha! Only 60k for a Roadster with only 1200 miles! Great idea!

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013
DouglasR | January 15, 2013


My situation is not too different, although not quite as bad -- a one-car garage with a couple of inches front and back, and just enough room to open the driver's side door if the car is parked within two inches on the passenger's side. I don't have to fold the mirrors, however.

You might consider some minor modifications to the garage. I took out a shelf at the back of the garage, and it made all the difference. I back in, and use a parking bump bolted to the floor to tell me when I need to stop. In the picture, it looks like you could gain some space by taking out the wall leading up the stairs, replacing it with a railing. Replacing the support pillar will also help a lot. The one thing to keep in mind is that it is very easy to control the movement of the Model S. I enter my garage VERY slowly, but the car can easily be moved in 1/2 inch increments. Also, I hung a padded blanket against the walls where I am likely to touch.

Don't give up yet! I know you can do this.

DouglasR | January 15, 2013

Oh, and in case you haven't seen it:

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013

The costs of the remodel alone would push this enterprise beyond my already extremely strained budget for the car, and doing it without a remodel would be a daily hassle. I'm at peace with it, it just sucks.

GreenDot | January 15, 2013

@archibaldcrane - very sorry to hear that and I fear I might be in the same position.

I have plenty of room in depth (tandem garage), but width is a serious concern for me. I live in a townhouse complex with a narrow driveway with townhouses perpendicular to the driveway - very tight. I have a Camry hybrid now which is MUCH less wide than the S and even that is tricky to fit into.

Was very nice of Ranjit to try to park in your garage. I tried to convince TM to let me take my test drive to my house (only 10 minutes away), but they said no.

Guess I will just...hope or turn to street parking.

DanD | January 15, 2013

Our contractor is racing against time to finance our garage renovation. We're two weeks away from delivery and this is our garage as of 15 minutes ago.

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013

Greendot - the dimensions on the website of the model S appear to be dead-on - maybe tape a straw on each of your mirrors representing the width of the Model S and see how driving your Camry feels?

fluxemag | January 15, 2013

Wow, I literally just thought of this being an issue for me today. I will have to bust out the tape measure tonight. I know for a fact I would have to switch sides of the garage with my wife (she's currently on the left side so I don't get door dings). Anything besides parking it in the garage is not practical.

fluxemag | January 15, 2013

196" long, 86.2" wide including mirrors.

LazMan | January 15, 2013

I might be in a similar situation. I will see if there is a Toronto owner who wants to swing by my place.

lph | January 15, 2013

I got room in my garage.. you can keep it here provided I can drive it ;-)
Just kidding.... well actually.....

Epley | January 15, 2013


Video blocked :(

kevinf311 | January 15, 2013

Yikes! My garage may be slightly too small as well.

I rent an older (not quite 1932, but not much newer) house that has a one car garage that seems to have been custom built for whatever was housed inside at the time of construction.

I knew that it would be tight after seeing the S in person, but I figure it would still be smaller on every side than my Town Car.

Turns out that while it is about 2 feet shorter in length, it's 10 whole inches wider (with the mirrors extended)!

The Town Car actually sticks out of the back of the garage (door lies against it like: \ ), but at 76 and three quarters inches wide, I am already very close on either side of the entrance.

I suppose since I have to get out of the car already to open the garage door, I can make the circuit around the passenger side to fold both mirrors in.

Who wouldn't want an extra chance to see every angle of this car anyway :P

DouglasR | January 15, 2013


Yeah, sorry about the video. It was a hilarious piece about a guy putting his car in a REALLY narrow garage. I don't know any way to find it again.

gregv64 | January 15, 2013

@kevinf311: Are you sure it's really 10" wider, or are you just going off Town Car specs. Measure your garage door. I think you'll find that the town car is really only 76" wide with its mirrors folded (compared to Model S width of 77" with mirrors folded), and it's very close because with mirrors extended it's not really that different from the Model S with mirrors extended. Most car manufacturers only advertise body width and don't even tell you how wide the car is with mirrors extended.

archibaldcrane | January 15, 2013

Yeah, you definitely need to employ a tape measurer to the width of your garage opening.

gregv64 | January 15, 2013

Yeah, I have a standard single car door of 8', or 96", which will be a bit tight, but doable. I figure I have a foot to spare lengthwise. The thing I'm most unsure about is room to get out, but I measured and then tried simulating it in the showroom, and I think it will be OK (I'm planning to do the trick of having padding on the garage wall so that I can open the door until it hits). I measured everything 3 times before I even reserved. The house is from 1909, so the garage was built for a Model T ;-)

With the tight spot I'm thinking of reversing into the garage, since if I'm in a hurry coming home I can choose to either park on the street and not charge or back carefully in, but then it's easier when I'm leaving (when I'm often in a hurry). Unlike most cars I have to decide that in advance to position the plug.

Thumper | January 15, 2013

Reconceptualize. Leave the door open and call it a car port.

lajollan | January 15, 2013


I call shenanigans on you! In the "how many cancellations" thread you posted that you had ALREADY canceled on December 26th and asked how long it would take to get your money back! You sir, are not truthful!

drp | January 15, 2013

looks like a perfect fit!

Brian H | January 15, 2013

Is that the one where the guy reaches out the car window to open the kitchen door so he can swing his car door open enough to get into the kitchen then roll the car forward enough to close its door and then his kitchen door? That tight-fit one?

kevinf311 | January 15, 2013

@gregv64: I was going off the Wikipedia entry for my Town Car. I'll definitely be checking things with a tape measure and was mostly joking about not fitting. Worst case I could always move!

I gave it a closer eyeball measurement when I got home this evening and felt better about things, but it'll still be close all around. If it wasn't raining I would have measured for sure.

DouglasR | January 15, 2013


Yes. I think it was in Dutch, but you didn't need to understand the words to follow it. I think he had three centimeters to spare.

archibaldcrane | January 16, 2013

lajollan - I cancelled reservation # 12,104 and made a new reservation # 16,921 to push back my delivery date, both for financial reasons and because of worry about my garage being large enough. I've talked about re-reserving a number of times on these forums.

But I appreciate your enthusiasm for wrongly calling me a liar. :)

jbunn | January 16, 2013

You might want to consider removing the center pillar between the garage doors, and have it replaced with a gluelam, or steel I beam, and replace the two garage doors with one large one. That's going to eliminate most of your fit issues.

Fred O | January 16, 2013

The video about the Belgium guy in a Panda ia blocked on most sites, I did find here:

parking a fiat panda

l_younis | January 16, 2013

Can you tell me the size of your garage that you measured out?

Cattledog | January 16, 2013

Keep the existing garage door always up. Or demo. Then put new garage door on outside of garage. Perhaps remove casing on existing garage door opening to get a couple inches width.

The car is worth it.

mclary | January 16, 2013

Wait for Gen III in a couple of years.

kevinf311 | January 16, 2013

Measured my garage today, as it was only slightly raining instead of full on raining as before.

My fears of width were assuaged, but my faith in wikipedia measuring skills is lessened.

While I am all set on the width (that I thought was going to be a problem), I am now coming up short on length (that I thought was all set). From all the way against the far wall (how I park the existing Town Car), to the very edge of the mouth of the doorway is 196" which is the exact length of the S.

My next round of measuring will be with the Town Car backed out, and the garage door closed so I can see if the vertical braces on the door itself will intrude too far into the garage and eat away at those 196 inches.

Brian H | January 17, 2013

You may need to append a large box extension to the far wall to make room for her nose. Needs must when the Devil drives ...

archibaldcrane | January 17, 2013

@l_younis - my garage is 17' long (204 inches) and 88" wide. While the car technically "fits" (if you fold in a mirror) it's a nightmare to get in the garage. To kevinf311, if your garage is only 196" or less, it will not fit.

dstiavnicky | January 17, 2013

That is one of the saddest things I've ever heard. It's like meeting the perfect woman (ex-olympic gymnast supermodel whose family owns a brewery) and losing her phone number...

Timo | January 18, 2013

@archibaldcrane, if you can tolerate the wait you really might be better off with GenIII car. After all, if the next Roadster can be based on that platform it can't be worse than Model S platform, just smaller. You then just need to pick the appropriate model that fits your preferences from that platform.

I believe TM will make a real sport car (not just roadster) using that platform, Model S, even that it is really really fast, is a large family car, not a sport car. It being fast is just side-effect of it being real BEV and not some conversion. Even EV1 with it's ancient techs was fast off the line, not a rocket like Model S, but fast.

I hope TM gives us some details about GenIII plans soon.

Brian H | January 18, 2013

TM needs perhaps to set up a new division dedicated to remodelling and upgrading garages for the S!

archibaldcrane | January 18, 2013

Yeah I plan to just hope my Nissan holds up until GenIII or something interesting from another automaker. Although GenIII will still need to provide what I was getting from the Model S - 4 doors, 200+ miles range. A new roadster won't cut it.

NielsChr | January 18, 2013

Almost in same situation, my privious car was a rover wich was 485 cm (aprox 6 inches shorter that Model S) - and was already to long for my car port by a few inches.
Even though my curent carport is only 2 years old, I'm now in the midle of the process to extend my car port so it becomes aprox 25 inches longer and at same time change it to a closed garage.

If I where in your shoes, I would investigate if it is posible to extend your garage 25 inches or so out the driveway - this should be fairly simple (cheap) task, depending on the house it could be done well and still look fine - e.g. try imaging extend with glass sides - this will also make your garage look better with more daylight comming in.
if your are a handy man your self, it should be posible to do this for less than 4000$ - removing the tech pack and you have the $$

Im shure this will be a good solution in the long run, not only for your Model S but also for any other future car.

archibaldcrane | January 18, 2013

Can't really make it longer, my garage is directly beneath the front bedroom and it's a flat front to the house with a very short and steep driveway, it would look ridiculous (and be expensive) to pop out the front of the garage and would make the driveway even steeper. Just processed my cancellation today :(

Good luck to all of you large-garaged Tesla owners!

Brian H | January 18, 2013

Put a BIG awning out front?

archibaldcrane | January 18, 2013
l_younis | January 20, 2013


Mine is 17' long as well, but 111 inches wide. Do you think I will have an issue? The garage door is 92 inches wide, so I think I will stil have to fold the mirrors to get in. Im more worried about the length, your thoughts by seeing it?

archibaldcrane | January 21, 2013

If you have no barriers to prevent you from basically touching the back wall with the bumper (you'll want to put some padding or whatever, or screw wheel stops into your floor so you get within an inch of your back wall) you should be ok. In my case I've also got that door that gets 3/4ers blocked with the car that far forward, which is an additional pain. But for me, if it was just the length, I'd still maybe consider it. Combining that length with the width (and the very steep short driveway that makes lining up even more difficult) I just decided it wasn't going to be worth it.

That extra 4 inches of width you have will be very helpful. How is your approach? Flat and straight? If so (and if you're a competent parker) you should be fine, and will likely get good enough where you don't have to fold in your mirror at all (just get as close as possible to the left mirror and you'll be fine). If your approach to the garage door has a turn or something it'll be tricky.