Tesla has won hearts with its innovative electric cars and advanced electronics, but even its most affordable and reliable models can be expensive to repair. It’s important to have a plan in place to pay for Tesla repairs after the factory warranty expires at 4 years/50,000 miles. For most people, the answer lies in a Tesla extended warranty.
You can buy a Tesla extended warranty directly from the manufacturer or from a third-party company. Not all third-party companies provide coverage for all electric or luxury vehicles or models, but CarShield is one of the best extended car warranty providers that does cover Tesla.
Tesla Extended Warranty Review
Tesla Extended Service Agreements (ESAs) are available for Model S and Model X vehicles and are sold through Tesla Service Centers. The coverage begins after the original factory warranty expires and provides protection for repairs and replacement to fix defects in most Tesla-branded parts, excluding the battery and drive unit, which has the original eight-year warranty.
|Tesla 2-Year Extended Service Agreement||Coverage Terms|
|Model X||2 years/25,000 miles or 4 years/50,000 miles|
|Model S||2 years/25,000 miles or 4 years/50,000 miles|
In a departure from most manufacturer warranties, the Tesla extended warranty has only one extended service plan and doesn’t offer multiple coverage options. You can choose from two-year and four-year contracts. The two-year Tesla extended warranty offers coverage for 2 years/25,000 miles, whichever comes first. The four-year warranty offers coverage for 4 years/50,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Tesla Extended Warranty Cost
You must decide whether to purchase a Tesla ESA no later than 30 days or 1,000 miles past the original Tesla warranty expiration date. A Tesla extended warranty is much cheaper if you buy it within 180 days of purchase.
For Model S vehicles, the two-year Tesla extended warranty costs $2,100 if purchased within 180 days of the vehicle’s delivery date. If you buy the two-year agreement after 180 days, you will have to pay an additional $500. The four-year Tesla extended warranty costs $4,250 if you buy before the 180 days are up. After 180 days, the cost goes up to $4,750.
For Model X vehicles, the two-year Tesla extended warranty costs $2,400 if you buy it within 180 days and $2,900 after 180 days. The four-year ESA cost for Tesla X is $4,800 if purchased within 180 days and $5,300 after 180 days.
While many dealerships offer the option to roll the extended warranty cost into the total price of the vehicle, Tesla doesn’t offer this feature. You have to purchase your Tesla extended warranty separately. This is actually a good thing, because this way, you avoid paying interest on your warranty. There are also no dealer markup costs because Tesla sells the warranties directly to owners.
Tesla Extended Warranty Exclusions
Tesla Extended Service Agreements do not cover:
- Consumable and maintenance parts like filters, liquids and batteries
- Suspension alignment
- Appearance care
- Shock absorbers
- Upholstery wear and tear
Please refer to your contract for a complete list of Tesla Extended Service Agreement terms and conditions.
Transfer and Cancellation
You can cancel your Tesla ESA contract if you’re not happy with the service or plan to sell your vehicle. If you cancel your Tesla extended warranty within 60 days of the vehicle purchase and have not made a claim, you will receive a full refund of the amount you paid. If you cancel after 60 days, you will receive a prorated refund less any claim amounts.
If you sell your vehicle, you can transfer the contract to the new owner for the remainder of the agreement term if the ownership transfer is done through Tesla. The complete transfer process, terms and conditions will be outlined in your contract.
Tesla vs. Third-Party Extended Warranties
Tesla’s extended warranty option is decent if you want a simple, no-frills coverage. However, a third-party extended car warranty could be a better option. Here’s why we think so.
Tesla offers ESAs only for Model S and Model X vehicles. If you have a Model 3 vehicle, a third-party extended warranty is your only option.
Choice of Repair Shops
A huge disadvantage of a Tesla ESA is that you can take your vehicles for repairs only to Tesla service centers. As of now, there are around 113 Tesla service centers in the U.S. If you are on the road and experience a breakdown, this can pose a problem. In comparison, third-party extended warranties from CarShield are accepted at any repair shop certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) all over the country.
With one plan and two contract terms, Tesla extended warranties do not offer a lot of coverage choices. Comparatively, CarShield’s six coverage levels give Tesla owners more options to customize warranty coverage to fit their needs.
Tesla also doesn’t appear to offer many deductible options. Many third-party warranty companies provide multiple deductible options – including $0 – to let you decide what you want to pay.
A Tesla extended warranty is short of additional perks like flat tire change, rental car reimbursement or concierge services, which many reputable third-party extended warranty companies include. While a sample Tesla ESA contract says that Tesla warranties cover the cost of a tow to a Tesla service center for the first 50 miles if you have a flat tire, it is unclear whether you would have to purchase roadside assistance separately to use this benefit.
Tesla extended warranties are not available for purchase 30 days or 1,000 miles past the expiration of the original factory warranty. In comparison, you can buy a protection plan from CarShield at almost any point in the vehicle’s life.
Why Get an Extended Warranty for Your Tesla?
While Tesla vehicles rate high in owner satisfaction, they have had their share of quality and reliability issues in the past. Also, while Tesla’s Battery and Drive Unit warranty is pretty impressive, the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty is standard for most manufacturers in this segment. Any repairs after the factory warranty expires at 4 years/50,000 miles are your responsibility.
Also, advanced tech and sophisticated electronics usually translate to high labor and parts costs if you need a repair, which can be a cause for concern.
If you consider your Tesla vehicle an investment and intend to keep it for a long time, start looking at protection plans that extend coverage for a specified period of time or miles. A Tesla extended warranty could be your best bet if you want peace of mind and would like to avoid digging into your savings to pay for unforeseen, expensive car repairs.
What Does Tesla’s Factory Warranty Cover?
All new Tesla vehicles come with a New Vehicle Limited Warranty, which is accepted by all Tesla service centers. Tesla warranty coverage begins on the day the vehicle is first put into service and continues for the specified period of time or miles. Here is a quick overview of the different types of coverage and term lengths included with the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
|Tesla Warranty||Term Length||Coverage|
|Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty||4 years/50,000 miles||Covers repairs or replacement to fix defects in materials or workmanship |
of any parts manufactured or supplied by Tesla
|Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) Limited Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||Covers repairs or replacement to fix defects in materials or workmanship of the car’s seat belts or airbag system|
|Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty||8 years/150,000 miles (Model S and Model X Vehicles)|
8 years/100,000 miles (Model 3 and Model Y Standard or Standard Range Plus)
8 years/120,000 miles (Model 3 and Model Y Long Range or Performance)
|Covers repairs or replacement of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery and drive unit at Tesla’s discretion|
|Body Rust Limited Warranty||12 years/unlimited miles||Covers rust perforation in the body panels due to defects in materials or workmanship|
Tesla Parts, Body and Paint Repair Limited Warranty
The Tesla Parts, Body and Paint Repair Limited Warranty applies to any genuine Tesla parts bought or installed by a Tesla Service or a Tesla Body Shop and provides coverage for defects in materials or workmanship.
The warranty begins on the date of purchase and usually lasts for 12 months. Some parts, though, have different warranty terms. For example, sheet metal has limited lifetime coverage, while the drive unit has coverage for 4 years/50,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Like all factory warranties, the Tesla New Vehicle Limited Warranty has certain limitations and exclusions. It does not cover:
- Damages due to improper maintenance or repairs, collision, theft or vandalism
- Normal wear and tear, routine maintenance services, or expendable parts like brake pads and wiper blades
- Tires or damage due to driving over hazardous road surfaces like potholes or unfinished roads
- Corrosion due to non-Tesla parts or corrosion from the outside in
Tesla Used and Extended Used Vehicle Limited Warranty
Tesla’s Used and Extended Used Vehicle Limited Warranty applies if you buy a used vehicle directly from the manufacturer. For used Tesla models S and X that are less than four years old and have less than 50,000 miles on them, Tesla provides a Used Vehicle Limited Warranty for 4 years/50,000 miles, starting from the delivery date.
Used Model S and Model X vehicles older than four years or with more than 50,000 miles but under six years and 100,000 miles will have a Used Vehicle Limited Warranty of up to two years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The original factory warranty is not altered for used vehicles. You will also get the remainder of the original Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty.
Used Model 3 vehicles are only covered by the remainder of the original New Vehicle Limited Warranty and the Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty.
A Few Things to Know About the Tesla Factory Warranty
- The New Vehicle Limited Warranty can be transferred to a new owner.
- If you receive a service alert and do not take your vehicle to a Tesla service center, causing further damage, it can affect your warranty. You could also void your warranty if you don’t install the vehicle’s over-the-air software updates after you receive a notification.
- Tesla doesn’t offer roadside assistance with its New Vehicle Limited Warranty. You will have to purchase it separately if you want this service for your Tesla vehicle.
- Taking your vehicle to a non-Tesla repair shop could affect your warranty if problems occur.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car warranty provider to formulate rankings of the best warranty companies. Our in-depth rating system takes into account coverage, pricing, transparency, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each provider is given a weighted score in five categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto warranty companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.