What are the special steps to change the ownership of a used Tesla car in the buying process? How do I transfer the mobile phone app access and how does the vehicle become visible in the new owner’s customer account? This article describes the necessary steps.
Basically, there are three options for buying a Tesla used car. Either you buy a used and checked vehicle (a so-called CPO) directly online at Tesla, or you buy a used vehicle, which is taken over directly privately by the previous owner or by a dealer without Tesla’s involvement.
Purchase procedure when buying a used car directly from Tesla
Tesla lists all available used cars on their website. Under certain circumstances, a vehicle can also be purchased from Tesla abroad against payment of the respective local VAT. However, the car must then be picked up by the buyer abroad. For more information, see the article on searching for CPO’s abroad. All CPO’s are checked and overhauled by Tesla and come with a warranty. However, this usually makes them somewhat more expensive than vehicles from private sellers.
Anyone who buys a used vehicle online from Tesla must pay a deposit of 100 EUR/USD (non-refundable). Afterwards, you will receive a status report about this vehicle by email. I was told that this report is very detailed. Tesla apparently keeps absolutely everything in it in terms of details and scratches, so that buyers don’t have paint damage repaired later costing the used car warranty, which was already present during purchase. If you haven’t done a test drive, you can return the car within 7 days or 1,600 km (whichever comes first).
All other things are the same as for a new car. The buyer takes out his vehicle insurance and Tesla takes care of the registration. The vehicle appears in the buyer’s Tesla account after the purchase. Access via mobile phone app is activated by Tesla within 48h.
Purchase procedure when buying a Tesla from a private person or a dealer
When buying a Tesla from a private person or a dealer, there are special features. If the vehicle is sold by the vehicle owner himself, there are things to consider such as handing over the Tesla App, resetting the data in the vehicle, deregistration with the insurance company and the registration office, vehicle tax (even if zero), company car VAT refund, etc.
The following sequence should be observed:
- Conclusion of a new motor vehicle insurance policy.
- Purchase and takeover of the vehicle and all papers by the new owner.
- Deleting all personal data such as driver profiles, Spotify playlists, navigation destinations or Homelink garage door accesses by resetting the vehicle to factory settings.
- The former owner removes the vehicle in his Tesla Account. (Link in the account under “Manage” -> “Remove this vehicle from your account”)
- Re-register with the car registration office.
- The new owner creates an account on Tesla.com if he doesn’t have an account there yet.
- The new owner adds the vehicle to his account on Tesla.com (Click on “Account” -> “Add a vehicle to your account”). The following documents are required for this purpose and can be uploaded directly in digital form:
- Chassis number (VIN)
- Copy of proof of ownership or approval
- Copy of driving license
After a few days, the vehicle should appear in the new owner’s account. The app access should also be activated by Tesla during this time (ATTENTION: In the vehicle the app access must be allowed in the settings under “Security”). The app will not be deactivated on the mobile phone of the previous owner, only the vehicle will be removed from the app and account.
Further Information about the change of Tesla ownership
For more information, please visit the Tesla website under “Frequently Asked Questions from New Owners“.