Tesla Extends Length Of Free Supercharging If You Buy Without Test Drive


In addition, the referral program is again extended.

It now runs through at least March 11, 2019.

But the bigger news is on the Supercharging front. Or rather, the length of free Supercharging.

If you order a Tesla Model S, X or 3 through referral without first taking a test drive, then you can get up to 9 months of free Supercharging. If you opt for the test drive first, then it’s just 6 months.

This may seem a bit odd, but in the case of the Tesla Model 3, there aren’t many test drive cars available. So, in essence, Tesla is saying here’s a perk for buying without driving. Or you could try to line up a test drive, but what’s the point? It seems anyone who drives the car buys it, so you might as well get that 3-month of extra free Supercharging perk.

You can find full details on the newest referral round in the release from Tesla below.

Referral Program

Tesla customers can give friends exclusive benefits on Model S, Model X, Model 3 and solar panels with their personal referral code.

Model S, Model X and Model 3: Six Months of Free Supercharging

Owners can give five friends six months of free Supercharging with the purchase of a new Model S, Model X or Model 3. If they order without ever having taken a test drive with us, they will receive an additional three months of free Supercharging. They will also have three calendar days after taking delivery to return their vehicle.

As a thank you, starting December 24, 2018, participating owners will be eligible to receive referral awards.

1 Qualifying Referral:
Launch Your Photo into Deep Space Orbit
We’ll laser-etch any image onto glass and send it into deep space orbit for millions of years. We’ll also send you a limited edition hat to commemorate the launch. Refer more friends while you wait for an alien race to discover your payload.

2 Qualifying Referrals:
Owners can choose either of the options below for each of their second referral.

  • Signature Black Wall Connector
    This matte black Wall Connector is exclusive to the Referral Program and includes an etch of Elon’s signature.
  • Founders Series Tesla Model S for Kids
    Share the Tesla experience of this miniature drivable electric Model S – including working headlights, a sound system and a charge port, just like yours. You can configure the Model S for Kids to keep or donate it to a local children’s charity.

3 Qualifying Referrals:
Owners can choose either of the options below for their third referral.

  • Forged Performance Wheels for Model 3, 21” Arachnid Wheels for Model S or 22” Turbine Wheels for Model X
    Enhance the performance of your Tesla with these exclusive wheels.
    Forged performance wheels for Model 3 Wheels will be available for installation starting Summer 2019.
  • One Week with Model S or Model X
    Experience a new Model S or Model X for one week—at home or on the road. If you do not use this award, this exclusive test drive may be given to a friend.

4 Qualifying Referrals:
Priority Access to Vehicle Software Updates
Be the first to experience the latest Tesla software updates with priority access to selected releases.

5 Qualifying Referrals:
Tesla Unveiling Invitation
Experience an official unveiling event. Owners who reach five referral orders will be invited to a future unveiling event. Your VIP invitation will be valid for you and one guest.

Race an Electric Semi Truck

One winner each week will get to race a giant electric semi truck around our test track. There will be additional prizes and trophies for the best track times. Each friend who signs up for our newsletter through your referral link gets each of you an entry. Owners can track their entries and the leaderboard in the Tesla App.

Solar: 5-Year Extended Limited Warranty

Owners can give five friends a 5-year extended limited warranty on a new solar energy system installation, and will be eligible to receive referral awards.

1 to 5 Qualifying Referrals:
Receive $250 cash or credit per each installed referral.
Credits are valid for 12 months from the referral installation date and can be used toward new Tesla products or accessories.

Thank you for helping to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.


Frequently Asked Questions

Related vehicle order must be placed between May 19, 2017 and March 11, 2019. Owners who reach each level of referral orders after December 23, 2018 will be eligible for updated vehicle awards above. Related solar energy system order must be placed between September 28, 2017 and March 11, 2019. Referred vehicle orders must be delivered and solar energy system must be installed to qualify for awards. Used vehicles are not eligible. New, leased vehicles are eligible. All Model 3 Performance orders placed before August 1, 2018 will be given unlimited Supercharging, no referral required. Solar Roof is not eligible for the extended limited warranty. Limit of 5 referrals per owner. Referral code must be applied at the time of order and cannot be added after the order has been placed. Referral codes may be shared and applied in any country where Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Tesla solar energy systems are available, in accordance with local terms and conditions. Credits awarded for qualifying referrals are valid for 12 months from the referral vehicle delivery date or solar installation date and can be used toward services, vehicle accessories, or new Tesla products. Referral credits can not be applied against solar lease or power purchase agreement payments. The six months of free Supercharging will only apply to the original vehicle owner and for the duration of original vehicle ownership.

Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for awards. Awards are non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. The customer is responsible for all taxes and local requirements and fees. Customers are responsible for their own travel and accommodations unless otherwise specified. Program and awards are conditional on and subject to local laws and regulations. Unfortunately, Ohio and Virginia residents are not eligible for Model S, Model X and Model 3 program awards, but are eligible for Solar awards in all locations where Tesla currently installs solar.

The customer may not be an employee, legal representative or partner of Tesla or any Affiliate of Tesla. Nothing in the Referral Program shall be deemed to create any kind of relationship between the referrer and Tesla or any of Tesla’s Affiliates. The referrer has no authority to represent or bind Tesla. Terms and conditions are subject to change.

Good Faith
We introduce programs such as these in good faith and expect the same good faith in return. Please note that we may withhold awards where we believe customers are acting in bad faith or otherwise acting contrary to the intent of this program. To be clear, commercializing, advertising, publishing, mass distributing, selling or paying for use of referral codes is not appropriate, and we will not honor such codes. We cannot cover every nefarious scenario, nor will we attempt to, but we do promise to be fair and reasonable.

Not OK:

  • Advertising
  • Spam
  • Anything misleading or annoying
  • Social media bios
  • Paying or offering incentives for use of your code


  • YouTube channels
  • Informational & fan websites
  • Social media sharing

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18 Comments on "Tesla Extends Length Of Free Supercharging If You Buy Without Test Drive"

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Free charging SUCKS!!!! Some comments from plugshare at supercharger location about the evils of free charging in past few days.

“Surprised how many are here on Christmas morning!”

“5 cars waiting, everyone is not holding to the 40min soft cap. Plan to be here a long time, even at really off peak hours.”

“Make sure get in line for charger if a line forms AFTER you have already been waiting or they will yell at you and tell you to get to the end of the line.”

“The wait at this charger was over an hour with a line 6 cars deep. There is a soft 40 minute charge limit that no one seems to adhere too. I would avoid this super charger if possible!!”

This will only get will worse as more Teslas are sold.
Some Tesla S owners were unhappy that their wait time is longer now because of ubiquitous model 3. And they wanted preferential priority at the charging stations because they bought more expensive model S which cost 3 times more.

This problem will go away if there’s no free charging. Supercharger 15 miles south of here has practically no waiting due to parking fee.

It will go away and will come back in full force 😉
That is the problem with slow “fast” charging – there is no business case. Most customers charge at home and only come during holiday travel, or maybe weekend, but charger capacity (and cost) must be up to peak, not average. It just doesn’t scale unlike fueling station, when adding extra dispenser or capacity to station to handle peak loads costs relatively little money.

Tesla made charging network as its sales depend on it, and there is no incentive to spend money on more than minimum of chargers. VW’s Electrify America does it as settlement. Bunch of others done something on incentives or burning venture capital with no profit in sight either.

It’s a mistake to limit the accrued referrals to just five…

It’s not limited to that. There are “secret” prizes beyond the first five. Starting at 6 referrals and for each referral after, you get 2% off a Founder Series Roadster ($250K). This scales up to having two free fully loaded Roadsters at 105 referrals (although you’re on the hook for any taxes on them… Ryan McCaffrey has reached this point and will be selling one to cover taxes on the other.)

At 10 referrals, you get an invite to drive one of The Boring Company’s Boring Machines.

At 15 referrals, they were giving invites to watch the Falcon Heavy maiden flight… given that was over 10 months ago now… not sure if this prize isn’t available anymore, or if you’ll be invited to the next Falcon Heavy flight (looks like it’ll be the launch of ArabSat 6A from Kennedy Space Center in TBD March…), or if maybe they’ll invite you to some other SpaceX flight?

Another Euro point of view

Buying a car without a test drive !? Deal breakers for me are for example a numb/not precise steering wheel. That is detected in the first 500 meters of driving a car. Not optimal seating position/visibility, that is very personal, 9 persons can like it then 10th does not. This at least can be tested in a showroom. Too harsh or too soft suspensions. Body roll, how composed is the car in a sharp turn. Fast run on the highway, how well it brakes and holds its lane, is it silent enough for the price paid ? It seems obvious to me that people who are OK to buy a car without testing it first do not really love to drive, then why putting so much money in a car to start with ?

You are giving up only 3 mo of free charging. Don’t get upset.

You effectively have 3 days to test drive based on their return policy.

I would think as a car enthusiast you would demand any other car maker you buy from match Tesla’s superior long effective test drive.

The way I see it, this is not Tesla encouraging people to buy cars without a test drive, it’s them encouraging people to get a test drive elsewhere. For example, if you have a referral from a friend, then that friend could give you a test drive in their car. You know, actually do something to earn their referral rewards.

Of course, this might not always be possible, the friend may be driving a different model than the one you’re interested in buying, or you’re getting your referral from a stranger on the internet. In these cases, you CAN still get a test drive from Tesla.

the interesting point here is, that the Model3 already seems to need such promotion. Not “supply constrained” any more.

gagagag me serial anti-Tesla troll strikes again, go back under your bridge you loser shorter.

No deliveries to Europe or China yet.
No subsidized leases not even factory direct leases.
No paid advertisement.

All this equals supply constrained not demand constrained.

Sounds like they don’t have enough cars or employees to meet the demand for test drives so they are trying to reduce that bottleneck.

Instead the effectively have a 3 day selfguided test drive with their 3 day return policy

Meanwhile one of our local ICE dealerships is running ads in TV offering to PAY people just to come in and do a test drive of their ICE car because they can’t even get people to come to their dealerships without paying them.

Lotsa gimmickry with this offering. LG gonna drink their milkshake if they don’t up their game …

It will be interesting to see how it plays out in Europa when model 3 starts to roll out, i must say in the last 3 years i newer waited for supercharger anyware when driving arround on vacation, or for other long trips, it has been very smoth and free supercharging is one of the gold salespoints, and it also makes the cars from other country visable, so people truely see that You can trawel anyware.

Poor Tesla free Super Charging 🙁 imagine all those LEAF and Bolt and other brands with their very sketchy charging infrastructure and slow charging.
Do Model S/X still get annual free charging? I can understand the Model 3 should pay for charging, but one day you bought a Model S/X with free charging for life, then the next day you didn’t. Seems pretty poor for that very expensive vehicle to not have the free charging.
Do all the Tesla get charged camping fees if they don’t move quickly after charging? That should be the case for all cars whether free charging or not, so you wouldn’t think people would sit there too long after the charge has finished.

Geez. How much does it cost to charge at a supercharger station anyway? I can charge at home for about 12 cents a kilowatt hour. If you can afford 70k and up for a car, I would think the cost of charging would not be an issue.