I didn’t see much talk about owning a Tesla or electric vehicle (EV) online while renting so I thought I would share my own experience.

Choosing my Tesla

To start with I bought the model 3 performance. With the chrome delete option now a standard on the vehicle, this lowered the cost for me to get the vehicle blackout. Plus I needed a new car so I thought the time was right for me. Why did I get the model 3 performance though as opposed to any of the other offerings?

A quick biased comparison between the current offerings

Model S vs Model 3

It boils down to mostly model s vs model 3. Do you want a luxury sedan and can afford roughly 2x times (or more depending on the model) the cost of the model 3? If so then consider getting one of the model s. For my budget I couldn’t really afford a model s and am not sure I feel comfortable spending that much on a vehicle that depreciates in value over time.

Model X vs Model Y

This again is a similar comparison. Are you looking for a luxury vehicle? Then get the model X. Honestly my favorite thing about the model X is the view from the driver seat. It looks completely open as if you’re outside. It’s hard to describe until you ride in one. The alternative on the model y the sun roof is much nicer because the model X has the x wing doors so it needs a bar through the middle of the roof to support it. This is nicer for back seat passengers though as opposed to the driver experience. The other main thing also something to get used to us that you don’t have all your information right in front of you on the model 3 and model y. It’s on the center console. This is a minor nit that gets some getting used to.

Why model 3 performance?

Ultimately for me the decision came down to looks. I preferred the look of the model 3 over the model Y.  Lastly why did I pick the performance over the long range. The main reason there is mostly just for fun. The performance has several additional fun aspects to it that limit range a bit that instead give it a nicer look and feel. One of the examples is track mode so you can configure your car to easily drift around a course or for driving straight down a track. Is it worth it if you’re not going to do any of that stuff. Probably not as you actually end up losing milage at the cost of the fun and not necessary accessories.

Okay so why Tesla and not the mustang EV? The mustang was probably the biggest competition to Tesla at the current time of me purchasing. The decision for that came down to three factors.

  1. The looks and style of both vehicles. This one is purely personal preference though so feel free to disagree.
  2. The software. This one is perhaps underrated by many folks who think of their car as a static or depreciating asset over time. Viewed in this way it is only a comparison between car specifications that should determine a winner. However if the cars internals are upgraded every so often for free this actually creates driver excitement and an added benefit of ownership.
  3. Tesla EV charging station network. This might honestly be my biggest reason. Tesla has and will continue to actively invest in making charging stations for it’s cars which are only available to Tesla owners. So owning any other vehicle cuts off more than half of the availability of places to charge.

Owning while renting

So my biggest concern before purchasing was that my car would just lose battery and die while parked. So while “phantom drain” is a thing in my experience it is about 1-2 miles per night. This can also be adjusted lower but I have sentry mode on which consumes more battery.

Street parking vs garage parking

This comes down to cost. If you can find a place with a garage it’s definitely recommended (that goes for any vehicle). It ensures the car is cleaner and safer. Is it a necessity though? Not really. If the area you’re living in or planning to live in is safe then there’s no need for a garage. 

Where I live I currently am renting and it has a shared parking spot. There’s also street parking available and I’ve even seen Tesla parked along the street. They get a little bit dirtier from staying outside. 

Overall if you’re going to get a car while renting anyways, then getting a Tesla is a fine choice. Look up your charging stations nearby and maybe ask if you can charge while at work.