My Experience Ordering a Tesla Model 3

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a bit of a tech nerd. I’ve always kept up-to date with any anticipated technology whether it’s been mobile phones, computers, vehicles, software, every day appliances, and even watches and thermostats. The world is changing every day and it is incredible how far technology has advanced even within the past 10-15 years. So it’s no surprise I have been a supporter of Elon Musk and followed closely on several Tesla forums and social media.

Recently, I finally pulled the trigger on ordering one. It’s been my goal for a while now, so you can imagine how excited I am to finally make that a  – reality – for a while, Tesla only had their 2 models available which were the Model S and the more SUV-like one, Model X. Both models being well over $100,000. The model 3 was unveiled in 2016 – and production began in July, 2017. Within months, Tesla had accumulated nearly US$14 Billion just from deposits alone. Half a million people already put their names down to have first dibs on the long anticipated lower price tag version of a Tesla, and  waited over a year to take delivery of their vehicle – some even waited 18 months. Elon first promised the Model 3 to be incredibly affordable, priced at only $35,000 USD – hoping that anyone and everyone could get on board with this incredible EV. Since then, there have been various updates and changes made to the ordering process, as well as to the overall pricing of the vehicle and it’s upgrades.

I have spent a lot of time on the Tesla site – fake ordering my dream car, picking and choosing every aspect of it and wishing I had the guts to just pull the trigger on it. They honestly make it way too easy to want one, and way too easy to obtain one. Can you blame them? These cars are incredibly fast, incredibly responsive and insanely fun while also being rated as one of the safest vehicles on the road.

I decided to document my process so far (not that it was a long or hard one) so anyone else who is thinking about buying a Tesla anytime soon, can have a feel for what the experience is like and maybe know what to expect going into it.

1. First of all, you do everything online at   they try to refrain from in-person interactions and operating like a typical dealership – No, Elon wanted things to be done differently and quite frankly? It’s genius.

2. Make a login. (Optional) on their front page they showcase their 3 current Tesla models – Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model 3. The Model S is their first sedan model, the X is their SUV rendition (though still looks like a large sedan) and also have the higher price tags. The Model 3 is the newest, the one in highest demand and of course the one with the lowest price tag. In American, these bad boys start at $35,000 USD and up from there depending on configuration.

3. After you select what model you’re looking at, it basically walks you through all of the options and gives you fairly basic, straight forward selections – it’s overall a very seamless, simple, well designed ordering system.

4. The first part is choosing what colour you’d like. Currently; there are 5. Solid Black (standard, costs nothing extra to have), Midnight Metallic Silver which costs $2,000 to have, Deep Blue Metallic which is also $2,000, Pearl White Multi-Coat which is $2,600 and lastly the Red Multi-Coat for a whopping $3,300 more. Personally, I knew I was wrapping mine so I stuck with the stock black at no extra cost.

5. After you’ve selected your preferred colour, it’s now time to choose which version you want. Now, this is the part you want to think about “splurging.” There’s the standard, mid, long range and performance version.

The “cheaper” version of the Tesla model 3 that was long promised by Elon Musk to be at a reasonable price point and offered at only $35,000 USD – is still a great car, but has far less mileage and is also rear wheel drive.

The starting prices in Canada, are:

Rear Wheel Drive, standard interior – standard range = $40,900

Rear Wheel Drive, Standard Range plus with partial premium interior = $43,600.

Rear Wheel Drive Mid Range with premium interior = $47,600

Rear Wheel Drive Long Range with premium interior = $51,700

Dual-Motor Long Range All-wheel drive with premium interior = $57,100
And of course:

Dual-Motor All-Wheel drive Performance with premium interior = $71,900
*All of these prices are actually lower than what you actually pay, as they factor in potential gas savings and incentives (no longer available)

I opted to have the Dual-Motor All Wheel Drive Long Range version, and opted out of performance. Some will say that performance is the way to go – but for what it offered me personally, it wasn’t worth the additional $11,000. Every aspect of the AWD and Performance versions are identical in terms of battery, motor, overall make of the car – the main differences are the 19-20″ performance tires, red calipers, apparently suspension is more equipped for the handling, it has Track mode update newly released and can reach a whopping 100 km/h in a mere 3.5 seconds. Which is INSANE.

6. Wheel selection – If you choose any model other than the Performance, you have 2 options. Option #1 is the standard 18″ Aero Wheels which are included, or the 18″ Sport Wheels that are a $2,000 upgrade. Personally, I went with the standard Aero wheels as they look cool, they cost nothing extra and also they are meant to be aerodynamic which means car = faster. Not only that, the Aero caps are actually removable which reveal the actual rim underneath and either way, it’s aesthetically pleasing.

7. Interior selection – You essentially get to choose between all black vegan-leather interior, or black and white vegan-leather interior. The black comes standard, with the Tesla Model 3’s signature wood-panel continuous dash, where as the white interior switches that out for a white panel. Both choices are nice, however I couldn’t justify the extra $1,300 just for some white seats and accents (not to mention, I have nightmares of potential staining and how prone to looking dirty they would be. Me and white, don’t mix.) Both of these selections include the same Premium Interior options, they are merely just for aesthetics purpose.

8. The Final and arguably the most awesome selection – the auto pilot and full-self driving features. If anyone knows Tesla, they know that the long-anticipated self-driving capabilities are basically what help make Tesla one of the most advanced vehicles on the market. Not only does this car come standard with 8 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors, but it has the ability to literally drive itself. I’m talking steering, breaking, lane changing, accelerating and swerving to avoid potential threat and following speed of traffic. The ultrasonic sensors have the ability to see 2-3 cars ahead and read what is happening – so if a vehicle 3 cars-ahead decides to slam its breaks, your car knows before the vehicle ahead of you does. These features are currently not at their full potential yet, but they will be. So many updates have already been released lately and soon – Sentry mode will be available. If enabled, Sentry mode essentially uses it’s 8 cameras to have full view around your car and record anything that could potentially pose as a threat – there are 3 internal cameras as well, that could capture clear-quality images of any potential thief/asshole that decides to try and rob you or damage your car. Not only that, Tesla’s will be able to sense if someone is leaning on your car and will actually honk and issue a warning on the 15″ display panel. Same goes for if someone were to break open a window – not only that, but your car will blast music, display warning on screen while simultaneously having the horn alarm go off and send alerts to your phone to let you know there is an issue occurring. Later these year they will also be releasing an update that allows the car to be able to read traffic lights and detect stop signs, so that it can literally drive itself. Another great feature? Summoning! You’re standing outside, your car is in the garage – why crawl into your garage and squeeze inside your car and back out.. when you can summon your car to drive itself out of the garage?!? Have you ever been in a very large, crowded parking lot and struggled to find your vehicle? Or perhaps it’s raining out and you don’t want to get soaked – your cars summon feature will also allow your Tesla to literally come to you. It will navigate through the parking lot, avoid obstacles and come to you via your phones Bluetooth location. So yeah, to sum it up – these options are rather pricy (essentially $11,000 for both CAD) but HELLA worth it. …If you’re into that kinda thing, anyways.

9.  You’re done crafting your dream Tesla to suit your needs and your budget. It is through this process that you realize that the long-awaited consumer-friendly priced vehicle can instantly sky rocket to luxury car prices in literally 5 clicks.

Now, as I said before – everything is done basically online so from this point on, you essentially look over details of your car configuration, input your details and credit card number and prepare to place a $3,200 deposit down on this bad boy. From there, after you pull the trigger to reserve your Model 3 – you then get to decide if you’re going to buy the car outright, or do a Tesla-loan. The loans are actually incredibly reasonable and an easy process to apply for.

10. So Tesla has their own loan system, but go through 2 different lenders – Either RBC or Scotiabank. Tesla also doesn’t base interest rate off credit score / income, instead, they base interest rates based on longevity of your loan. 96 months (8 years) starts at 4.25% interest, 84 months (7 years) is at 4%, 72 months (6 years) is at 3.75% and so on – which is a really phenomenal system. Also, I can safely say that even if your credit isn’t stellar or you don’t have a high-paying job, their approval rates are insanely high compared to any other dealership. You simply input your details, SIN number, Driver’s License number and photo of your license card, a photo of your current insurance policy, input details of your workplace and that’s basically it. You will hear back within 24-48 hours (in my case it was 4 hours) if you are approved or not, and details of your loan. It will break down total cost of vehicle plus OMVIC + Licensing fees, HST and show you what your estimated monthly payments would be. Prepare to put around $5,000 down on your car, aside from the $3,200 you already placed as a deposit. (Your down payment will be around $8,000 total including deposit placed.) You can either pay them by wire transfer, or you can bring a certified cheque on the day of delivery, before taking possession of your vehicle. Everything is basically laid out straight forward for you in terms of loan info, payments, rates, car info, so on and so forth – but if you do have any questions you are always welcome to contact them by phone or by E-mail.

I can confidently say that their customer service via phone is absolutely phenomenal. The menu’s are simple, short and straight forward and the wait time has never been more than 1-2 minutes for me to be in direct contact with someone. Any time I have called, I have had all of my questions answered, concerns addressed and have felt very taken care of. 10/10, amazing company. 

11. As soon as you get your Loan offer, you have 30 days to confirm it, do if you need that time to crunch numbers, budget or even just process the info / decide on a different route, you have that window to think on it. If you are unhappy with the numbers or wish to make changes, your best bet is to contact the finance department by e-mail ( and they will get back to you within 24 hours (again, I heard back only a few hours later) and they will work with you back and forth to deliver a loan arrangement that you are happy with.

12. Once you confirm the loan, you are now sent over the basically “the waiting room”. It shows your Tesla vehicle, your Registration Number, and also all of the information you provided including your loan details. At this point, you are now waiting to receive your vehicles VIN number, and as soon as that happens, you are given a specific delivery date and you will have a delivery specialist contact you to set up delivery for your vehicle and also help you along the way. Usually, you will receive the VIN number a week or so before the delivery date. Currently that is where I am at – playing the waiting game, checking my Tesla account occasionally to see if there have been any updates.

13. In the meantime, Tesla has actually posted several videos on your new car that are available on both your Tesla app (download the app from either apple or android app store and just login with the login you used for the website.) as well as posting various helpful videos on your account, to give you a virtual tutorial/walk around of your new car before you take the keys. (err… keycard, in this case.)

I will update this further as soon as I receive my VIN and take delivery of my Tesla Model 3, until then – I’ll include some random information below.

  • Tesla’s don’t use keys, instead – every Tesla model comes standard with 2 key cars and a key card wallet. These cards are used to not only unlock/lock your car, but also ‘turn it on’. How do you do this? You simple tap your car underneath the sensor on your driver-side door panel, and that will unlock your vehicle. (this only works on driver side.) to start your car, you simple just place your card on the back part of your centre console cupholders, and put your car into drive – it’s that easy.
  • Funny enough, the key cards are actually meant as a back up method to access / operate your vehicle. The main key / controller? Your smart phone. On the Tesla app, you will have access to a plethora of options, including: locking and unlocking your car remotely – even if you aren’t near it. You can set the temperature of your car whenever you want, which is especially handy during winter and summer months. Not only that, but when you initiate heat in the winter it will also turn all 4 of your seat-warmers on, too. (to turn them off, simply tap on your car seat on the image of your car in the settings and hold it – that will turn off the seat warmers.) Imagine waking up early, It’s cold out – you don’t want to have to wait for your car to reach optimal temperature… well, why would you? 30-45 minutes before you even leave your house, you can have your car waiting for you like a warm snuggle, waiting to embrace you with it’s warm technologically-advanced arms. Not really, but honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an update for that.
    Your phone can also summon your car, check the battery level / charge status, among various other settings. It’s pretty awesome and I have no idea why every other car manufacturer isn’t jumping on that.
  • On the topic of setting temperatures from your phone – there’s also a Dog mode that is being released. What is dog mode? it’s when you can set the interior temperature of your car to a nice, comfortable and cool temperature so that your pooches are continuously kept cool while you’re away from your car – as well as display a notice on your 15″ touch screen that alerts passerby’s that your dogs are taken care of and it displayed the temperature of interior cabin.
  • Easter egg, but Elon Musk added a really cool ( some deem as pointless) feature that turns your Tesla into an Atari. TeslAtari. These games can only be played when your car is parked, but you can play various hit classic games from 1979, from your steering wheel or your touch screen.
  • The Tesla Model 3 ranked 5/5 on all of it’s safety rating tests, which is absolutely no surprise. The battery is located in the centre of the vehicle, which not only gives it an incredible point of balance which is amazing for overall handling especially when taking corners – but that also means that there is less risk when getting into an accident. The front and rear ends are considered “crumple zones” they are designed to absorb the impact of the crash, and the reinforced steel and aluminum frame helps to protect you in the cabin. Not only that, but the all-glass roof is surprisingly incredibly strong – the car can handle 4 times the weight compared to other EV’s. They say the Tesla Model 3 can withstand the equivalent weight of 2 full size adult African elephants which is insane. There are no gasses, excess oils / fluids / moving parts in the car, which means the battery is the main concern when it comes to damage – oh, and you. The Tesla is guaranteed to offer you more protection which makes it one of the safest vehicles on the road.

  • The back-up camera is phenomenal – displayed on a large 15″ screen, easy to read and navigate, has various sensors and also tells you to the exact inch – how far you are from any objects or obstacles. That comes in particularly handy when parking in smaller spaces / tight garages + lots.

  • There are no dials, buttons, switches or gauges on the instrument panel. Nope, nothing. Literally everything is put in one convenient spot – the 15″ centre display touch screen panel. From that panel, you have access to literally every aspect of your vehicle. Including your own internet LTE connection with web browsers, music, live-maps GPS, cabin temperature / HVAC controls, steering wheel settings, mirror settings, speedometer, distance tracker, battery charge, map and list of all Tesla super chargers available as well as information on all Tesla service centres / approved mechanics, Atari games, drive control settings (steering, handling, breaking, accelerating, etc.) and you can set up your own driver profile and literally fine tune the perfect configuration that fits your needs.

  • Since there is no engine, you have 2 trunks. The rear trunk which offers more space, or the smaller front trunk. The “Frunk”. The Frunk is more annoying to close than the rear, so most people put items in there that they don’t need constant access to. (road side kit, washer fluid, etc.)

  • Your car also comes with a 12v plug and 4 USB adaptors (provided you opted for premium interior) 2 of the USB’s are located in the front console, conveniently underneath a well-planned phone mount. The front section of your console lifts up to reveal a slanted section that can perfectly hold 2 phones, displayed so that you can see it if need be while driving (useful if using Waze) and underneath that mount-panel, theres 2 USB ports that you can plug your phones charge cables into and pull them through the gaps on the phone holder so it’s essentially a charge station. The other 2 USB ports are located on the back of the centre console, for those in the back seat to use. There is also a fold-down cupholder armrest in the back seat too, which is convenient for guests.

  • Your door handles are actually flush with the car doors (again, Tesla is all about that speed and aerodynamic details) – to open them, simply push in on the larger section, and that will pop the handles out so you can grab and open your door. To open your door from the interior, there are buttons on the interior door handle that you simply just push in, which opens your door. There is also an emergency handle to pull open the door as well incase the car runs out of power – however, it is recommended to not use this as the main method of opening the door, as it could cause potential damage with continuous use.

    I’m going to leave this here for now, but I will be updating everyone with more blogs down the road that will fully cover my entire experience, my full review of the Model 3 and I will also include any tips I have for it and any new updates / information / easter eggs I pick up over the next few months.

    Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions or input, feel free to leave a comment or connect with me. If you are debating buying a Tesla – I recommend you look into them and DO IT. I hope this has helped give you an overall idea of the ordering / finance process for the Tesla Model 3.

    Until then,


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