So you’ve decided to pull the trigger. You’ve done the research. You’ve made your decision. The big day has arrived. Your new Tesla Model 3 is set to be delivered any day now. Like a first-time expectant parent, your life is about to change! For starters, you’ll be a partner in the (fairly) new and exciting world of all-electric vehicle (EV) transportation. Yes, yes, I know that electric vehicles have been around for more than a century. In fact, the first land speed record was set by an EV, as we noted here. Still, personal EV transport is a budding industry. While most cars on the road today are still gas-guzzlers, that is changing. Hybrids and EVs are becoming more and more ubiquitous. As infrastructure catches up, I predict that this trend will only continue. For those of you out there brave enough to stand at the forefront of this movement, today we present to you a comprehensive Tesla Model 3 delivery checklist.

Several of the items on this list may seem obvious. In no way, shape, or form dear readers, am I trying to insult your intelligence. I simply want to make things easy for you. When things get exciting (as they do before the birth of a child or the delivery of a new car), people tend to get forgetful. Before my children were born, I was cool as a cucumber…but I realize not everyone possesses this ability. Alright, I confess: I was a nervous wreck!

My goal is to take some of that stress away so that you can enjoy your new car without worry.

The List

What to bring with you:

  1. Download the Tesla App on your smartphone and bring your smartphone with you
  2. A physical paper copy of your signed purchase agreement
  3. A physical paper copy of your down payment and all financing details
  4. A physical paper copy of this Tesla Model 3 delivery checklist
  5. If the car is being registered to more than one person, both people should be there for delivery to sign all final documents
  6. Driver’s licenses for anyone who will be on the registration
  7. A physical paper copy of your insurance card that shows all drivers who will be on the registration
  8. A flashlight (we’ll explain later)

A quick note: please check all paperwork and make sure any biographical information (i.e. names, addresses, etc.) is correct on all paperwork. You definitely don’t want to delay the delivery of your new ride because of a silly spelling mistake.

What to check when you meet your new Tesla Model 3:

  1. Compare the actual VIN with the VIN on your paperwork
  2. Ensure that your new car is the correct color and has the correct wheels
  3. Inspect the entire vehicle for damage (if you’re picking up your car in the evening, or if it is gloomy out, use your flashlight that you’re now glad you brought)
  4. Look for any error messages on the main display screen
  5. Inspect the wheels and rims for damage, as these items are easily damaged in transport
  6. Check all glass surfaces for cracks or misalignment
  7. Open and close all doors, the trunk, and the frunk to make sure they are functioning properly
  8. Test the driver and passenger doors emergency release function
  9. Open and close all four windows
  10. Make sure that there is a towing eye under the mat in the frunk
  11. Inspect seat upholstery, carpets, and headliners for damage and/or stains
  12. Check all seat belts to ensure they are working properly
  13. Make sure that your rear seats fold down properly
  14. Press the horn in the center of the steering wheel down to test
  15. Test the windshield wipers
  16. Check to ensure the rear view camera works
  17. Turn on the sound system and make sure all speakers are working
  18. Test the steering wheel controls to make sure they are functioning properly
  19. Test all lights in the car including the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals
  20. Check the rear-view mirrors to ensure the controls are functional and they fold properly
  21. Plug your new car in to ensure that it is receiving a charge
  22. Check the following items in your mobile charging kit to ensure that they are working properly:
    1. NEMA 120v adapter
    2. NEMA 240v adapter
    3. Generation 2 mobile connector and cable
    4. J1772 adapter
  23. Pair your phone(s) to your car using the Bluetooth system and make sure you can play audio
  24. Test both key cards to ensure they are functioning properly
  25. On your touch screen, tap the Tesla “T” to bring up the “About Your Tesla” window. Access the sketch pad by tapping on the unicorn icon. Leave the sketch pad open for a minute or two and see if any marks appear without you touching the screen. This can be an indication of “phantom touching,” a rare but annoying glitch in some touch screens.
  26. After turning your car on, listen for any strange sounds. If you’ve never driven or traveled in an electric car before I realize that this may be tough to do. Why not have a friend or relative who owns a Tesla accompany you for pickup? They will be able to tell you if something seems off.
  27. After all is said and done, ask your Tesla Delivery Specialist to double check and make sure that your car is listed as “delivered” in the Tesla network. Having a different status other than “delivered” will result in you not being able to use the app properly…which would be really bad.

Download PDF

I know what you’re thinking: “But Neil, isn’t it going to be super-awkward doing all of these checks with the delivery guy or gal standing there?”

Totally. But please remember that you have purchased a new, unique, and somewhat expensive vehicle from this person’s company. You have every right to make sure that your vehicle is exactly what you ordered and is in good condition. Maybe buy them a coke when you’re done to say thank you…a little kindness goes a long way.

What do our readers think about this Tesla Model 3 delivery checklist? Anything I left out that should have made the list? Anyone have any stories to share about their car’s delivery? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

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