Guest opinion: Running a Tesla Model S in a reader's own words
01 July 2015
I've always been a company car kind of guy. As soon as got my first promotion, the first thought I had was, "Wow, now I can choose my car!" I've had a few from Mercedes, Lexus and my last car was a Jaguar. Every 3 years, I have the option to pick a new company car.
My criteria in choosing cars is quite simple. Something that is different to other cars on the road, cost efficient from a company car tax point of view, and in equal measure has the best tech.
I work in the field of technology and analytics, so, I wanted to make sure I chose a car that would not only keep my accountant happy, but also something that would be at the forefront of technology!
I initially came across the Tesla brand in my local shopping centre at Westfield White City. What I loved when I first saw the car in the flesh were the amazing features and tech the car had. It was simply like going forward 10 years into the future.
Having spent many hours looking at YouTube videos about the car, I had already done all my homework regarding the functions available through the amazing 17" console, the regular updates to the software and, of course, no more filling up at the petrol station.
I was eligible for a large discount on the price of having a charging point installed in my garage and I was pleasantly surprised at the fast growing network of charging points across the country.
Having paid over 25% benefit in kind tax for my previous car, it's nice that the tax I have to pay is just 5% which means that even though the Tesla is about 40% more expensive in terms of upfront price, I will be making a great saving over the three years.
It works out at approx. £3,000 for my Model S, compared to £8,500 for my previous car, a Jaguar. Though the monthly salary sacrifice payments are a little higher, it's actually costing me less overall.
On top of that, the other savings I make like 0% road tax and 0% congestion charge and the fact that electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel. I was previously spending over £200 a month on fuel and now it's less than a tenner if I'm charging at home, or free when I use the public charging points.
Life with the Model S
Whenever I've stopped to charge the car, I've had so many people come by to ask me questions about the car, like 'excuse me sir, why have you got a cable going into the side of your car?', to 'I've only seen this car on YouTube!'. I think I now understand how people who have a pet feel like when they go the park, and how friendly everyone becomes!
Having had a car for just over 3 weeks now, I can easily say it was the best decision, I've always been a first mover as far as technology goes, from buying my first home computer (anyone remember the Commodore Vic 20?) to the first model of the iPhone.
I took the car to Leicester for the Easter bank holiday recently, and as expected on the way back on the Monday, the traffic was very much stop start. Not that I was in any way fussed!
I'd turn on the adaptive cruise control on the M1, and as cars slowed, the car just braked for me. No more sudden stabbing the brake at the last minute for me. It is like the car was now my guardian angel, looking after me making sure I am always in range of a charge, as well as making sure I don't stray from my lane and checking my blind spots for me.
By Min Bhogaita.