Tesla Unveils Self-Serve Demo Drives: Disrupting the Car Sales Model Yet Again

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has started to offer self-serve demo drives
Tesla has started to offer self-serve demo drives
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has launched a self-serve demo drive initiative, offering prospective buyers an entirely new way to experience the brand. Potential Tesla owners can now get behind the wheel of a Model S, 3, X, or Y without talking to a sales representative. This approach offers a hassle-free experience and aligns with the company's emphasis on automation and customer convenience.

Omar, better known as WholeMarsBlog posted on X that Tesla is now offering self-serve demo drives. After finding a location that offers self-serve demo drives, you can schedule a date and time for the drive. Once booked, customers are prompted to set up a Tesla account, which provides keyless access to the demo vehicle. The process is further streamlined by allowing users to input their driver's license details directly into the Tesla app.


The self-serve demo drive location Omar found is in Emeryville, California, where Tesla was born, and has a huge following; it's unknown if this feature is widely available nationwide. You can check if a location is available near you on Tesla's 'Drive' section of their website.

Rethinking the Traditional Car Sales Model

Tesla's drive to shake up the stagnant automotive industry extends beyond its sustainable products to its unique approach to vehicle production. Elon Musk must've encountered one too many car salespeople as the company has succeeded with the direct-to-consumer model, which has been shown to offer a distinct advantage.

By directly owning the sales channel, Tesla ensures an integrated customer experience. Interactions are streamlined with customers dealing exclusively with Tesla-employed staff. There is no haggling, commission, or headaches, which are far too familiar for anyone who has stepped foot on a car lot.

Digital Prowess: Taking Sales Online

Tesla's embrace of technology has significantly revolutionized the car buying process. This latest step now ensures the buying process can be controlled entirely by customers, from a test drive to rolling away with your new ride. Customers are in control the whole time. They can customize and order their vehicle online and finalize purchases without setting foot in a showroom.

Tesla again takes the sleazy feeling out of buying a car by respecting its customers and not trying to sell through stereotypical TV commercials — instead, the company banks on the power of word-of-mouth. Tesla effectively transforms every owner into a brand ambassador by producing stellar vehicles. The company credits these owners for referring new customers, fostering a strong sense of community around the brand.

With the introduction of self-serve demo drives, Tesla continues its streak of industry-redefining innovations. Given the warning from the company that the tax incentive may be reduced soon, it would be a good time to book a self-serve test drive.

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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