Financial Fitness


What you need to pre-order a Tesla Model 3

Posted at 8:41 AM, Apr 05, 2016

Tesla’s Model 3 is set to hit roads in late 2017 — and anyone saving up for or on the fence about buying the company’s “most affordable” electric car yet may be happy to learn that it’s surprisingly easy to pre-order.

Per the company’s website, prospective buyers can reserve a vehicle for $1,000. This down payment is refundable, should you decide you don’t want or can’t afford to buy the vehicle once you receive a formal purchase agreement.

“If you proceed with the order, we will apply your Reservation Payment towards the order payment,” the reservation agreement reads. “Until you enter into a Purchase Agreement, your Reservation may be cancelled at any time, in which case you will receive a full refund of your Reservation Payment.”

The purchase agreement will be sent when your Model 3’s production date nears and will indicate the purchase price of the vehicle, plus estimates of applicable taxes, duties, transport and delivery charges and other fees, Tesla said.

The car’s starting price is $35,000, minus any tax incentives you may receive for driving an energy-efficient vehicle. (It advertises a 215 miles range per charge.)

Reserving the vehicle gives you delivery priority “within your region”, the agreement says. Still, there’s no telling when your Tesla 3 will arrive, given there’s no set release date and already a lot of pre-orders. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company has already received 276,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.

The Model 3’s reservation agreement does feature two potential caveats to be aware of: You can’t transfer your reservation over to another person without Tesla’s permission. And you do have to turn over some personal information (name, email, billing address and phone number) alongside your credit card number to pre-order the car.

Car Buying Basics

High demand can make it hard to negotiate a good price on a vehicle, but if you are considering buying a Tesla Model 3 or any other car in coming months, you may want to check your credit. Good credit scores generally help people qualify for better terms and conditions on a car loan. You can see where your credit currently stands by pulling your free annual credit reports at and viewing your credit scores for free each month on

If your credit is in rough shape, now is the perfect time to start working on it before you buy your Model 3. You can improve your score by paying down high credit card balances, disputing any errors on your credit report (here’s a quick guide for that) and focusing on smart spending behaviors, like making all existing loan payments on time, until your dream car hits the market.

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