Should You Get a Tesla Extended Warranty?

We’ve got all the information you need to help you decide if a Tesla extended warranty is right for you.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Only Tesla Model S and Model X models manufactured between 2012 and 2020 are eligible for a Tesla extended warranty, which costs between $2,500 and $6,350 depending on mileage and time.
We’ve all received the dreaded call asking if we have a moment to talk about our car’s extended warranty. But are they all just spam? What, exactly, is an extended warranty for a Tesla and is it worth your money?
Navigating the world of extended warranties can be complicated. That’s why
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car insurance
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Tesla insurance costs
!
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Overview: what is a Tesla extended warranty?

Teslas, like other new cars, typically come with standard warranties attached. Essentially, these warranties are in place as quality guarantees and a promise to pay for any repairs required due to defects in design or manufacturing. 
Every new Tesla comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty, as well as warranties covering the battery and drive unit. Battery and drive unit warranties guarantee 70% battery retention, but terms vary by model. Here’s a breakdown of Tesla warranties by model:
  • Model S
    and
    Model X
    : 8 years/150,000 miles
  • Model 3
    and
    Model Y
    (Standard Range or Plus): 8 years/100,000 miles
  • Model 3 and Model Y (Long Range or Performance): 8 years/120,000 miles
Extended warranties, as the name suggests, extend these warranties to continue covering repairs even after your standard warranty expires. Unlike many manufacturers that offer extended warranties across all vehicle models, Tesla only offers extended warranties on the Model S and Model Y. These plans range from 2 to 4 years or 25,000 to 50,000 miles.

Tesla Extended Service Agreements (ESA): coverage and cost

To understand Tesla Extended Service Agreements (ESAs), you need to understand more about Tesla itself. As an example: most car dealerships are franchises, which means each
BMW
or
Audi
dealership you visit is owned and operated as an independent business that sells BMW or Audi products. Tesla is not a franchise, meaning it has complete control over all its products all of the time—including ESAs.
Whereas BMW and Audi dealers can offer some wiggle room regarding warranty pricing and coverage, all Tesla extended warranties will cost the same price and offer the same coverage, regardless of whether you purchase them online, from a Tesla store in
California
, or from a showroom in
Florida

What’s covered

Tesla ESAs are similar to the standard Tesla New Vehicle Warranty in that they will repair or replace parts and materials as necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship that arise under normal use. They will not cover the lithium-ion battery or the drive unit.
Since Tesla repair centers aren’t available in some parts of the country, a Tesla ESA will also cover the first 500 miles of transportation to the nearest one. In addition, Tesla’s ESA includes:
  • Roadside assistance: including lockouts and tire services, both with towing limits of 50 miles

What isn’t covered

Tesla ESAs do not cover the lithium-ion battery or the vehicle’s drive unit. A Tesla’s drive unit is comparable to a standard vehicle’s powertrain—both it and the battery are covered by separate, longer warranties, which are not extendable. Some other items not covered under a Tesla ESA include:
  • Regular maintenance and wear and tear items (e.g. filters, brake pads, wipers)
  • Suspension alignment and shocks
  • Exterior and interior trim and upholstery
  • Tires and wheels
  • Corrosion 
  • Items covered under auto insurance, such as glass, sheet metal, and damage caused by accidents, weather, or vandalism
Tesla also notes some specific situations that will void ESA coverage on otherwise normally covered parts:
  • Third-party repairs
  • Delayed repair (owners are expected to take their Tesla for service as soon as possible after discovering a needed repair)
  • Damage caused by neglect, misuse, or accidents
  • Odometer tampering
  • Damage to a covered part caused by a non-covered part
Unlike standard combustion-engine vehicles, Teslas require very little maintenance of wear and tear items. Even brake pads rarely require attention as regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, meaning very little pressure is ever applied to the brakes. As such, Tesla no longer sells prepaid maintenance plans. In fact, aside from tire rotation, balancing, and replacement, maintenance is only required every few years on specific Tesla parts.

Duration

Tesla offers ESAs in two levels:
  • 2-Year ESA: 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • 4-Year ESA: 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first
Both ESAs take effect on the date that your original New Vehicle Limited Warranty expires.
Since all Model X and Model S vehicles come with the same New Vehicle Limited Warranty, purchasing a 2-Year ESA will extend your 8-year/150,000-mile standard warranty to 10 years/175,000 miles, while a 4-Year ESA will extend your coverage to 12 years/200,000 miles.

Cost

An added benefit of Tesla’s non-franchise model is that buyers know up-front exactly how much their ESA will cost. The purchase price for an ESA is only affected by the level of coverage you choose and when buying coverage. If you purchase your ESA within 180 days of your vehicle purchase, your plan will be cheaper than if you wait until after 180 days have passed.
Model S
Purchased within 180 days
Purchased after 180 days
Deductible
2-Year ESA
$2,500
$3,100
$200
4-Year ESA
$5,100
$5,700
$200
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ESAs may be purchased from the date of your new-vehicle purchase until 30 days or 1,000 miles past your New Vehicle Limited Warranty expiration. 
ESAs are available for purchase on used Model X and Model S vehicles, but only if those vehicles were purchased from a private third party or directly from Tesla. If you buy your used vehicle directly from Tesla, a used-vehicle warranty is included, and you can then add on an extended warranty.
If you buy from a private party, any unused portion of the New Vehicle Warranty is transferred to you, and you can purchase an additional ESA. If you buy your used Tesla from another used car dealership, you cannot purchase an ESA for it, even if that vehicle is still under its original warranty.

Is it worth getting a Tesla extended warranty?

If you’re not buying one of Tesla’s most expensive vehicles—the Model S or Model X—an ESA isn’t even an option, so that’s a question answered. Otherwise, only you can decide if an ESA is right for your situation. That said, for what’s covered (and what isn’t) and the price, you may be better off looking at third-party providers if you’re considering an ESA for your Tesla
Another alternative to a Tesla extended warranty is
mechanical breakdown insurance
(MBI). This coverage is offered through a number of insurance providers and helps cover the unplanned costs of repairs associated with wear-and-tear items after warranty expiration.
MORE: How to choose an extended car warranty

How to lower Tesla insurance costs

Teslas aren’t exactly the most affordable cars on the road, and the two models that are eligible for ESAs are the two most expensive. That means any repairs not covered by warranty are going to be expensive as well. 
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make sure you got the most affordable quotes for
Tesla Model S insurance costs
and
Tesla Model X insurance costs
? Well, guess what—when you shop for coverage with Jerry, that’s exactly what you get!
As a
licensed broker
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