Connecticut residents can test drive, order, then take delivery of a new Tesla, here's how 8,944 owners already did!
As of January 2022, there were 8,944 Teslas registered in Connecticut (CT DMV data - Page 5). While states that allow direct sales enjoy almost 3x higher EV adoption, it's perfectly legal to own and operate a Tesla in any US state. Dealerships wish you'd believe that you're not protected by lemon laws if you choose to buy directly from a manufacturer. Not true. Dealerships claim to somehow be protecting customers by lobbying to prevent direct sales by Rivian, Lucid, and Tesla. But it's pretty clear how at least one dealer really feels, acting to protect the sales of gas cars, not their customers, through their recent action. Not particularly interested in encouraging such behavior? Read onward.
Yesterday, Jon Huber (sarcastically) jabbed:
Oh well since I can’t go to a physical CT location guess I’ll give up on buying a Tesla?
Too bad u can’t buy online or drive 30 minutes to a different state right?
If you've test driven alternatives, including EVs featured on EV Club of CT’s channel and decided that a Tesla is your EV of choice (as it currently is for 79% of American EV shoppers), then by all means go for it. This article explains exactly how the process is currently done with no haggling involved, and no more paperwork than would be needed for an in-state delivery. Hopefully even more convenient in-state deliveries will be available someday, something that CT citizens very much want. Also interesting to note that states with direct EV sales have more automative sector jobs, explained here.
For future service needs, your closest service center is likely to be Tesla Milford Service, but most routine (but rarely needed) service can be done by Tesla Mobile Service who actually come to you instead, at work or at home!
- This can be done in Milford Connecticut Service Center, where they currently have a limited selection of Model 3 and Model Y EVs for folks interested in leasing. Best to schedule a test drive online to choose a location is closest to you, with non-CT showroom locations offering test drives whether you wish to lease or buy. Or if you prefer, you could just drive down to Milford and see if any test drives happen to be available when you arrive. Contact Tesla Milford here with any questions about test drives, with their Google Map location here.
- Tesla.com, choose options, the non-negotiable price is for the same for everybody in every US state, with no dealers, so no dealer markups. Alternatively, you can get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging by using order link below instead. You can see my family's actual Tesla invoice here, which came in right at the average new-car price in the US. Once ordered with your $100 deposit, you will get an email as your estimated delivery date gets closer, including the VIN of the car that was made to your order or found in already-made (but new) inventory. Provide your tesla.com account with requested details including address, payment details, and proof of insurance online, making your delivery day experience even simpler. While waiting, you can get accustomed to the car's features and settings watching this friendly overview video.
- Since your home's address is Connecticut, your delivery location of Tesla Westchester - Mt. Kisco will be automatically chosen, no matter which area of the state you're from. You'll need somebody to help get you to their Mt. Kisco location. When you arrive and check-in, you'll soon see your new Tesla appear in your iOS or Android Tesla app, or you can use one of the two provided key cards as an alternative way to get in, put it in drive, and with a big grin, drive your new Tesla back to Connnecticut.
- Q: Is Connecticut Sales Tax collected?
A: Yes. Tesla collects the tax at delivery, gets the $ to Connecticut on your behalf, at the Connecticut rate of 6.35% for EVs under %50K and 7.75% for vehicles over $50K, details here, with a copy of our family's Model 3 Standard Range Plus purchase agreement here.
- Q: Are temporary plates provided?
A: Yes, Tesla of Mt. Kisco takes care of this automatically, it's a 60 day intransit paper plate that's valid in all 50 states, and they'll automatically ship your new Connecticut plates to your home address within 60 days of taking delivery. No waiting at DMV, no need to visit online either. No annual emissions inspections either!
- Q: If my Tesla MSRP is under $42,000 thus is eligible for CT's CHEAPR rebate, how do I get my $2000 check in the mail?
A: Tesla Mt. Kisco will take care of the paperwork for you, just mention your EV's eligibility to your delivery specialist to be sure. The check gets mailed directly to your home address.
- Q: Why not take delivery at Tesla showrooms in Massachussetts or Rhode Island, who, like the rest of New England, allow direct sales?
A: Last I checked in late 2018, it was technically still possible to pick up in MA, but you'd be paying sales tax to both MA and CT. Remember, since 2018, the folks at the automatically-assigned Mt. Kisco Tesla delivery location already know how to do all the paperwork on your behalf.
- Q: Where do I get my Tesla serviced?
A: Depending on where you live in Connecticut, you'll likely be using Tesla Milford, but see also the growing map of Tesla Service locations.
It’s important to add that over the years, Tesla has had different ways to legally allow Connecticut buyers to get their Teslas. This article doesn’t detail that complex history, it merely captures the way that the process works for the past 3+ years, when a majority of Teslas were registered in Connecticut.
I just found this video about the Hoffman Dealerships and the Town of East Hartford, Connecticut. Annoying thumbnail, robotic delivery, and sensationalistic tendencies aside, still worth a watch. I've cued the video to the right spot 28 seconds in.
Updated article with July 2021 data for Teslas registered in CT.
Updated article with Jan 2022 data for Teslas registered in CT.
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Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!