$3 per mile ranger fee, be informed before you buy

$3 per mile ranger fee, be informed before you buy

I don't know how many owners or potential owners are aware of the new Ranger fees so I thought I should make mention of it. The $100 flat fee is gone, they now charge $3 per mile roundtrip from the nearest service center. Incidentally, I can't find this anywhere on their website so if someone can post a link that would be great.

In our case, we live in Madison WI so it's nearly $450 per trip or spend 6 hours of my day driving there and back aside from whatever they need to fix. To be fair, they are charging me $315 for Ranger service because the Ranger lives in Milwaukee. I've had six components fail in ten months of ownership, mostly door handles but also a drive unit, charging cord and sway arm link. I love the car but I wouldn't be able to reasonably recommend that someone buy one if they live more than 50-75 miles from a service center. I like the idea of not having brick and mortar stores, dealerships, etc. but this new model for service is problematic for gaining new owners if you don't live in close range of a service center. Anyone else have a similar experience?

sule | 2015年10月19日

I paid upfront for ESA with rangers includes, for 8 years. I am set. May have overpaid may have underpaid, but I have a peace of mind. This is no longer available, though...

Bighorn | 2015年10月19日

I'm quite certain our local service center (425 miles away) would not charge for a warranty issue that made the car unsafe/undriveable. My understanding of the $3/mile charge was that they charged the one way distance, not round trip. Centers also have some latitude with good will which may vary somewhat with the customer's approach to the situation.

Rocky_H | 2015年10月19日

The $3 rate is not specifically spelled out, but here is what it says on Tesla's Service Plans page:

"Tesla Ranger service may be available in your area. Service begins at $100 per visit and increases based on your distance from the nearest Tesla service center."

In my area, they make occasional trips to my city once every several weeks, when they get a few issues accumulated. If you can wait to get on their schedule of that next visit, they do not charge for it. But if you just said you want them to come right now for your issue, they would probably charge the $3 rate to make that trip just for you. I think that is a pretty reasonable way to handle it.

Solarfan | 2015年10月19日

This is an interesting thing to learn for our newly reserved Model S.

If the Model S is in warranty and unable to drive to a Service Center, is the $3 per mile fee charged by Tesla? Being 250 miles from the nearest Service Center, the potential of $750 or $1,500 to obtain warranty service gives me pause.

Certainly, no local repair shop will be able to help with a Tesla.

As @electric pilot writes, perhaps a Tesla in a remote location is a poor idea.

Bighorn | 2015年10月19日

I've not heard of anyone in a remote location being charged an exorbitant fee for a repair. I'm at over 70k miles now, over 400 miles from my service center and there are quite a few people much further away who've all been well-cared for by service. But if you're uncomfortable with it, probably not a good idea.

Solarfan | 2015年10月19日


That is good to know. Tesla seems to be a super company.

We are enthusiastic supporters of sustainable energy and have installed enough extra solar-generated energy to power the Model S for all our driving. The Model S will almost completely wean us from fossil fuel.

We spent plenty on the solar system, and will not have excess for exorbitant "Ranger" warranty repair fees.

I appreciate your prompt feedback.

brec | 2015年10月19日

One small data point: a couple of days after delivery last month I reported a minor, non-disabling air suspension issue. After (remotely) looking at the logs the nearest Service Center, 125 miles from my home, said the car should be brought in. They picked it up via truck and returned it the same way. No charge.

Rchop0 | 2015年10月19日

It is in a ONE-WAY charge, even though they make the roundtrip, at least in FL.

jai9001 | 2015年10月26日

I just had my second annual service.

I was charged 618 dollars to transport my car (206 miles x 3).

The service staff was great as always, but I must say this was the first time in 2.5 years that I felt ripped off by Tesla.

Why should I be responsible for the fact that Tesla has decided not to build a service center in my city.

In addition, there aren't enough superchargers in my area for me to drive my care to the service center and return in a timely manner.

AmpedRealtor | 2015年10月26日

@ internetsale,

I would recommend you seriously reconsider buying a Model S if you are that far from a service center. I only say this because if problems arise, you will end up having a less than optimal service experience due to your distance and any potential transportation costs. I would not rely on Tesla good faith to give you free transportation unless you get it in writing. The reason I say that is because sometimes Tesla employees say things with the best of intentions even though what they may be saying is not entirely accurate. Communication is a big problem with this company, unfortunately, and has been from the beginning.

Get it in writing.

PhillyGal | 2015年10月26日

It also can't hurt to ask your local service center employees if they happen to be aware of any expansion plans in your area.

Tesla is moving quickly for their industry so I wouldn't be surprised if in 2 years from now there was one much closer to you. Same goes with chargers. A friend told me not to get this car until there were more chargers.

Two weekends ago one literally popped up in the state I was visiting that same week.

jpgutridge | 2015年10月26日

This is posted on the Tesla website for a service center under construction north of Baltimore.

Baltimore Store Service Center Coming Soon
Owings Mills, MD 21117 Roadside Assistance (877) 798-3752

Ranger/valet is provided for free for customers within 50 miles of this location.

Haggy | 2015年10月26日

This is on the Tesla website and has been there for years. I talks about what Tesla is building and creating, and it includes valet service.

Your time is valuable and should not be spent driving to or waiting at our service centers. Tesla is putting in place a valet service, so that your car is seamlessly picked up and replaced with a loaner and then returned as soon as we are done.There is no additional charge for this.

Tesla is publicly claiming one thing and then privately telling owners that there's a charge for the valet service if they live more than 10 miles from the SC, according to what others have posted.

When I got the car, it was already in place. They still say there is no charge for it.

PTP | 2015年10月26日

I do not have a service center nearby, but a ranger lives around me and has been out a couple time, no charge, for a screw coming out and then some squeaking. getting ready to call them again- adding the autopilot and am surprised a tech needs to come out to "install" it as I thought it was just software

Pungoteague_Dave | 2015年10月26日

There is no such thing as free valet service any more, no matter what the website says. You might have an argument, but I have now been forced to pay twice for valet. Haggy's link is to an April 2013 Elon Musk blog post. That is no longer enforceable. It simply is not true.

Haggy | 2015年10月26日

If Tesla says something is the case on their website and no longer says anything to the contrary, how is it not true? They advertised it. They continue to advertise it. People buy the car after seeing it advertised. They state that their intention is to increase this. I don't see how the date of the blog post makes it any different from an undated page.

Lightfoot3b | 2016年1月14日

I've been told my next ranger pickup (I paid for the scheduled checkup when I bought for 100k miles) will now be $1,000 as that is the cap on the charge as I am 525miles from the nearest service center and do not have any superchargers to get there (I can casually make my way to one supercharger (in the wrong direction) that is 220 miles away in the summer, impossible in the winter). I was on the map for SCs to cover the interstate I need (I94) in 2015 but none of them ever happened.

TomServo | 2016年1月14日

Is it Tesla's business plan to build more service centers so folks don't have these huge distances to veal with? Guess they could start by building Service Centers in every city with a population of say 250 K and go from their.

Rocky_H | 2016年1月14日

I just had a service ranger at my house yesterday in Boise(about 340 miles from the Salt Lake City service center), and I saw in the invoice that they now have this policy spelled out. Here is the text from it, since many people would probably be interested in seeing it.

Our policies regarding our Ranger Visits have changed. They are as follows:
-If you live within 20 miles round trip from service center the service is free of charge.
-If you live beyond 20 miles there is a $100 base charge plus $3 per mile (each way) up to
$1000 maximum.
-The Ranger fee only regards the travel and does not include any services performed
during the visit, such as annual services.
-If there is a recall or we call you with a proactive repair needing to be performed on your
vehicle, the Ranger visit will be free of charge.
-If there is a recall or a proactive repair and you are wanting to add additional items to be
repaired on the same visit, we will also cover the fee.
-If there is an emergency situtaion there will no charge for the Ranger visit.
As this news is a departure from the previous arrangement the SLC Service Center will be
good willing on Ranger visit per vehicle.

Since it does mention the SLC service center specifically, I'm still not quite sure of all of this is applicable across the board at every service center, but it does seem to match most of what others are seeing.

I do like that they list three conditions for which they will cover the cost of the visit: recall, emergency, or if they have a proactive repair they call you for. That seems pretty reasonable.

Made in CA | 2016年1月14日

@Rocky_H - thanks for posting this info. Very helpful.

Rocky_H | 2016年1月14日

@Lightfoot3b, Yeesh, 525 miles? I salute you, sir. From your mention of I-94, I take it you're in North Dakota or Montana-ish? Have you checked with that closest service center to see if they do occasional trips to your area every few months or so? I suppose there might not be enough owners in your area for them to do that.

Sam_S | 2016年1月14日

This will never fly with Model III buyers.

Tesla will need service centers in every city, like every other car mfg or go the way of dealerships.

Rocky_H | 2016年1月14日

@Sam_S, Good grief. Do people never get tired of mashing together one situation from today with a different situation from years in the future and saying it's a problem because they don't work together?

* The current number of service centers won't work when the Model 3 is out (2018 and onward).

* If everyone converts to electric cars (decades away), the electric grid can't handle it.

* When the Tesla batteries wear out (10+ years), you might as well buy a new car because the batteries are so expensive (today's prices).

electric pilot | 2016年1月14日

I don't think there are enough service centers right now, never mind the future needs with Model 3, etc.

TaoJones | 2016年1月14日

That service center communication needs editing. "Are wanting"? "Situtaion"? "Goodwilling"?

Bush league. Hire a damn ombudsman/communications gatekeeper already. Am very tempted to write the job description and send it to the Board, ffs.

And if I bought under one set of parameters and then was not grandfathered when they arbitrarily changed, I'd not be happy.

My decision to purchase a Model S was based in part upon proximity to SCs and to SvCs. Had there been proximity to neither, I would have bought more TSLA and zero Model S.

The Model 3 will have a different business model. How is this not obvious? And for those handwringing about being overrun with a million Model 3s, take a Xanax. You'll be lucky to see 250,000 of them on US roads in the first 3-4 years of production. The current SC network could absorb that *today* with rare exception. And the base model probably won't have SC access in the first place.

Handwringing for the sake of handwringing is not interesting.

ragtopday | 2016年1月14日


jai9001 | OCTOBER 26, 2015
I just had my second annual service.

I was charged 618 dollars to transport my car (206 miles x 3).

The service staff was great as always, but I must say this was the first time in 2.5 years that I felt ripped off by Tesla.

Why should I be responsible for the fact that Tesla has decided not to build a service center in my city.

In addition, there aren't enough superchargers in my area for me to drive my care to the service center and return in a timely manner.

I have been planning on getting a MS after I returned from my two month cross country trip. I got home last Dec and am ready to sell my 33 foot 5th wheel camper as well as the truck I use to tow it with.

One of the problems I have with Tesla is a lack of service centers/dealerships. I had to drive about 240 miles round trip to Atlanta to go for a test drive. I was really impressed with the car and fell in love with the S. However I am bothered by charges for Road Ranger service. Each service center probably will cost between five to ten million dollars (maybe more if they build service centers where land, labor and materials and property taxes are expensive. As a new company it would be prohibitively expensive to build hundreds of service centers. Sending out Road Rangers is a brilliant short term measure until Tesla has the money and time to build service centers.

Tesla is saving millions of dollars per building by not building service centers which is great because I want to company to remain profitable, but if I become an owner I do not want to be charged a fee for service because Tesla made a decision not to erect a building in my area in order to save money.

I am glad Tesla figured out a way to save money, but don't make me pay extra for service because the company made a decision to save money

Lightfoot3b | 2016年1月28日

Rocky, thanks for that info. I also think current owners should be grandfathered in due to the nature and value of the charges being dropped on us without warning. The MN service center did my last trip for the prior amount of $100, but now each one is supposed to cost $1,000. The only repercussion I can see is asking for my service contract value back (only for the % unused of course, I'm not trying to be irrational here).

I'm in Dickinson ND. If I was in MT I'd have supercharger access on i94. They stopped at Billings and didn't put in the one scheduled for Miles City MT, then my town of Dickinson ND, Bismarck ND, Jamestown ND, Fargo ND, and then into MN towards Minneapolis. All of those were pushed back (except Jamestown, that was added to the map after the switch to everything being pushed back a year).

I was going to send an email to the VP that sends his letter when you buy the car, but I looked him up and he left Tesla, so I asked the service center for a new contact. They gave me a generic email (no name) and they haven't replied for days. I think I'll call and ask what's up and why this sudden reversal for us middle of nowhere people happened without even a shred of communication until I try to schedule a service center visit that I've pre-paid for! I'm sure my frustration is tangible in these messages.

sp_tesla | 2016年1月28日

"ragtopday | JANUARY 14, 2016
Tesla is saving millions of dollars per building by not building service centers which is great because I want to company to remain profitable"

NOT building enough SC might cost TM to be losing millions of dollars by getting less customers.
Do you inform all inquiries about the lack of SC is a major inconvenience & costly issue, which might cause change of heart to buy TM cars.

DHrivnak | 2016年1月31日

I too am very disappointed and was surprised to find the transport fee has been increased 10 fold when my car broke last week. When I purchased my car 5 years ago I was assured servicing for $100 plus any parts and labor. Sometimes I had to wait as Rangers often batched repairs in the area. But now with me being 200 miles from the nearest service center I find no more ranger visits and transport is at the $1000 cap.

Bighorn | 2016年1月31日

200 miles works out to $600 if they are going to charge you. I'm surprised the ranger policies were codified 5 years ago--what parts would they be charging for under your original understanding? They still don't charge for essential warranty work. What broke on your car?

EVdoublepro | 2016年1月31日

"I was assured servicing for $100 plus any parts and labor."

Car companies have said "assuring" things since the beginning of their existence.

rxlawdude | 2016年1月31日

@EVdoublepro - Which is why I'm so pedantic about the explicit terms of the ESA requiring ALL service be done as recommended (12.5K miles/1 year intervals, and even prior to the ESA taking effect), lest the ESA be void for coverage.

One-off "goodwill" of Tesla ignoring this requirement may change at any time.

EVdoublepro | 2016年1月31日


I agree with you pedanticness (is that a word?) on the wording of the ESA.

The agreement is the agreement and you may have luck with pleading "oh, but I know someone else who skipped their service interval and it didn't impact the service under the ESA".

As Tesla faces competition, financial pressures, market pressures, scaling issues, etc, of course there will some level of clamp down on the finances and your luck may change.

Mr. Musk said that they aren't running service as a profit center but that doesn't mean the plan is to run it as a "loss" center either. They have costs to cover especially for the high levels of service that they aspire too. That ain't cheap.

Bighorn | 2016年1月31日

Pedantry, not to be confused with pederasty.

Pungoteague_Dave | 2016年1月31日

The Tesla plan apparently includes a LOT more store and service centers. I had a problem diagnosed at Tysons this week (bad AP control model/turn signal switch, part had to be ordered), and the service manager said Tesla is actively working on sites in both Richmond and Virginia Beach for service and distribution. Both make sense, as after Tysons, that's where the money is in this state. Those were the two that would affect me, so I didn't press further, but would expect Blacksburg or somewhere further west to join the list. Hearsay only, but a necessity before the 3 can sell in volume.

Much like Wendys and Burger King use McDonalds to do their market research, Tesla can pretty much justify putting a location wherever there's a BMW of Mercedes dealer. There are fewer BMW dealers, so that's probably the place to start.

DHrivnak | 2016年1月31日

The high voltage controller went out and the car would not drive or charge. There seems to be great misunderstanding if the $3/mile is one way or round trip. I was told it is each way so the cap of $1000 was less than 400 miles x $3/mile.

rxlawdude | 2016年1月31日

@DHrivnak - I don't recall exactly where I read it, but I thought the $3/mile is the distance from the SC to the vehicle. (Not "round trip")

Anyone remember where the policy is posted?

Bighorn | 2016年1月31日

Every reference I've ever seen is the $3/mile is for the one way distance. Since you have a disabling condition, presumably under warranty, the policy I've seen is to cover that gratis.

DHrivnak | 2016年1月31日

Unfortunately I am out of warranty. The car is about to turn 7. For the most part the car is holding up well but as with any car or device repairs happen. With no repair manual we are highly dependent on Tesla for any repairs. The only part of this I am frustrated about is the 10x increase in transport fees. Tesla was stellar in their service and support and I have told many people about how Tesla was different. With this change Tesla is acting as most big companies. Maybe they will change back to their roots. That is my hope at least.

Bighorn | 2016年1月31日

You have a Roadster?

Silver2K | 2016年1月31日


wrong forum dude :)

Silver2K | 2016年1月31日

I'm sure Tesla is working on erecting many SvC because of the model 3 possible sales. They're not dumb enough to believe owners of $35k cars would pay that amount to service their vehicles.

plus this charge is for service, not warrantee issues I'm sure. If your door handles don't come out for you to get in after they try over the air, they will send out a ranger asap. I doubt very much they would have the balls to charge for a malfunction that keep you out of your car.

that being said, I carry a hammer just in case! :)

mjwaite88 | 2016年2月8日


As a Richmonder, that's great news. I do head travel to the western part of the state quite a bit, so a Blacksburg one would be perfect! The only problem is I'm still waiting on the model 3 ;-)