Should I Buy a Tesla X?
So over the weekend I went by the Tesla dealership on a whim. On a whim!
If you know me, you’d know that this is very unlike me.
– First of all, I’m fairly frugal. I used to be SUPER frugal, but I’ve moderated over the years.
– Secondly, I’m not a big car guy. I was never interested in them, and really the only thing I consider is safety. And that’s about it.
– Thirdly, cars are liabilities. They’re not assets. I’m big on accumulating assets that put money in my pocket, not liabilities that take money out.
So the configuration I wanted on a Tesla X came out to be approximately $110K out the door. That’s a lot of money. But you know when the brain tries to justify things? Yeah that’s what it started doing. And the salesperson wasn’t helping. He was calling it an “investment” which it obviously isn’t.
Here’s why I should buy a Tesla X
I’ve lived 31 years on this earth as a penny-pinching frugal. When am I ever going to use my hard-earned money?
The Tesla X ranks as the #1 safest SUV in the world, by a huge margin. Nothing else comes close to it. And safety is a big deal when you have a family. The majority of vehicle-related deaths comes from the car rolling over. Teslas have heavy thousand+ lb batteries at the bottom of the vehicle which makes the cars’ center of gravity very stable. And because they don’t need all of the engine components in the front of the car, there’s a lot more crumple surface to offset impacts in the event of a collision. And lastly the autonomous driving and 8 cameras on the vehicle takes it to a whole different level of safety. According to Tesla, when the cars are driven in fully autonomous mode they are roughly twice as safe as a human driver driving the car, a 100% increase!!
Later Tesla will come out with a Tesla Network where people can let their cars drive around autonomously to make money for them while they’re not in use. Pretty nifty and as long as you don’t mind strangers being in your car, this seems like a similar situation to a house owner and renter where the owner will be able to rent out his vehicle whereas people who can’t afford the down payment or don’t have good enough credit scores will need to rent (or ride share, in this scenario).
I’m a huge Elon Musk fan. And what better way to support Elon and his futuristic endeavors than put some of my skin in the game?
These cars, with the fully autonomous capabilities, can do perpendicular and parallel parking, they can be “summoned” to your location, and many more cool things. That’s crazy. The car is on the cutting edge of technology. I’m huge on future tech, AI, and automation. I think Tesla, when compared to the modern gas-guzzling vehicle, is akin to the same level of disruptive technological breakthrough as the Ford Model T during the days of horse and carriage.
Tesla as a company, isn’t really a car company. They’re a tech company. They don’t just do hardware, but they do the software. That’s why they routinely come up with new firmware revisions to their cars to make them better.
Lastly, and most importantly, I have the cash flow, along with the cash outlay (liquid funds) to buy it in full, if I wanted to. So even if it’s expensive, I can technically “afford” it. And it won’t derail me financially. It’d be about 1/10th of my net worth.
Here’s why I shouldn’t buy a Tesla X
The base model X starts at $82,500. Add taxes and fees on top of that, it gets you to $90K+. And once you add fully autonomous driving capabilities (which is kinda the whole point – and all the cars come with the 8 cameras, but they’re just not enabled until you pay for the firmware upgrade – it’s just a download to unlock the capabilities!), you’re looking at $100K+.
With a growing family, my wife is far more open to us getting an SUV or a van, so that’s why a Tesla X would be a real contender vs. say getting a Tesla S which is a sedan. The Tesla X, is cooler and physically more practical in every way than a van, but also has the comforts of a van that a growing family is looking for (i.e. the space, ease of entry/exit, etc).
I currently drive a 2015 Honda Accord. So fairly new vehicle. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to buy a new car after having a brand new car for only 2 years. My wife has a new 2016 Honda Accord. I got a screaming deal for both of them, by going through the same dealership. FYI I used to be in car sales, so I know how to get a deal.
Lastly, did I mention that the configuration of Tesla X I was looking for has a price tag of $110,000? See below for the itemized quote I got from the Tesla dealership. This is a liability. Not an asset. I have a feeling I’ll have buyer’s remorse. But I don’t know. Will I? Or will it be different this time?
Ok, like I said, I can afford it. I have enough money in the bank to buy this with cash. But let’s not kid ourselves. This is not a financially astute decision. And I know this. But the heart wants what it wants right? I have a feeling though, that give it 6 months’ time, I’ll be kicking myself. Because this is so not me!
What do you think? Should I pull the trigger and satisfy my quarter-life crisis? Have you had a time where you made an impulsive big-money decision and come to regret it later down the road? Talk me off the ledge!