2012 Tesla Model S Servicing: When, Where, How Much

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2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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We all known the 2012 Tesla Model S Signature Series Sedan commands a premium price tag of nearly $100,000.  

But what about service costs? How much does it cost to keep Tesla’s flagship sedan in top form?  And just where does that servicing take place?

In the latest Tesla Motors blog post, Joost de Vries, president of global service at Tesla, explains all. 

$600 a year or 12,500 miles

Although Tesla is keen to point out that the 2012 Model S is a low-maintenance vehicle, it sets a 12,500-mile, or 1-year service schedule, whichever is soonest. 

While there are no spark plugs, oil filters or exhaust systems to check however, de Vries quotes the annual service as costing $600, per year,  including all wear and tear parts, excluding tires. 

As part of the service, Tesla technicians will check the car from top to bottom, replacing every worn part except tires for free. 

Six 2012 Tesla Model S cars at

Six 2012 Tesla Model S cars at

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$1,900 for four years

Keen to entice its customers back year after year, Tesla also offers a pre-paid four-year service plan for $1,900. 

Payable 30 days after a customer’s Model S Sedan is delivered, it covers all servicing costs and annual inspections, excluding tires, for a period of four years or 50,000 miles, whichever is soonest.

Service centers

Unlike traditional automotive dealers, where service facilities are normally tied to an existing showroom, Tesla says it will open dedicated service centers within 50 miles of 80 percent of current Model S reservation holders. 

Focusing on service only, rather than sales and service, Tesla promises its service centers will be spotlessly clean and pleasant to visit. 

Rangers extra

In order to keep servicing costs and overheads low, Tesla used to offer a mobile Ranger Service free of charge to Tesla customers. 

Instead of visiting a Tesla dealership with their car, customers could opt for a visit from a mobile Ranger technician, who would work on their car wherever was most convenient. 

While Tesla intends to keep its Ranger Service, de Vries says the company will now levy a $100 flat fee for customers opting to have Ranger Service instead of driving to the nearest Tesla service center. 

Although Tesla says that 9 out of 10 of its 2012 Tesla Model S reservation holders will live within 100 miles of a service center by March 1, 2013, an additional four-year service plan, offering unlimited Ranger Service calls, is available for $2,400.

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

Enlarge Photo

Remote upgrades

Like some Ford cars, which can be upgraded to include the latest Ford software after purchase using a USB stick, Tesla says all of its Model S sedans can be remotely updated with the latest software and functionality without even visiting a service center. 

Using the built-in wireless modem found in each Model S, Tesla will notify customers using the car’s built-in 17-inch touchscreen display that an update is available. 

Customers can then opt to have that update applied immediately, or at a later time, when they know the car will not be needed. 


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Comments (10)
  1. I'd say that is steep. Renault Fluence ZE is 30,000 km 18,600 miles or one year. If they try and hit me for $600 I'll slap them. $450 is more realistic and that is here in Israel where EVERYTHING costs more than the US. And if anything on my warrantied new car is "worn" it should be covered by the warranty! Nothing should be wearing out in one year.

  2. $200 seems reasonable to me, with less moving parts there should be less maintenance cost. I am a Tesla reservation holder. I love everything about it but this cost is just too much. I thought saving in gas and service will some how make me feel better, but i guess not.

  3. I just cancelled my reservation, and my wife won't get one either.
    1. They didn't tell us up front about this.
    2. W/o it you loose your warranty.
    3. If it's mandatory include it upfront in the price of the car, this BS of paying a yearly fee and keeping you tied to the company is everything that is wrong with the US. If you want me tied to your company create a product I like
    2. There is almost nothing that needs servicing. The batteries can be monitored remotely. The motor needs no maintenance. There is no transmission. I can do everything else. My civic hybrid has 172,000 miles on it. I have changed the oil myself 17 times, 1 valve job, 1 brake job. I'm in for a little over a thousand bucks over 10 year
    I'd consider 200 reasonable too.

  4. lose

  5. Update - The company called me and informed me that it is not mandatory and it will not negate the warranty if I don't get it. I still need to see it in fine print as the sales rep had told me it was mandatory.

  6. Both you Brian and Owais are high if you think $600 is too much for yearly service for a $100K vehicle. Show me another vehicle at half that purchase price that is $600 to maintain(excluding tires of course). I doubt there is one with regular service intervals through the dealer service center. Most luxury vehicle service centers here will give you a basic lube job n tire rotation for that much.

    Likely most Telsa S owners will get the $1,900 4 year/50K service deal n be done with it. The tires will hopefully last at least 50k miles with safe driving. Fuel 1/3 usual cost.

    Really doesn't matter what you think as there will be plenty of folks waiting list to buy a Telsa S, and the maintenance plan, for at least the next couple years.

  7. Those service cost do seem rather steep, especially while the vehicle is still relatively new. One of the advantages of EVs should be low service cost which can help ease the pain of high purchasing price and with little serviceable parts that should be realistic. Not sure what sort of work Tesla's mechanics intend to do on the car that warrants a $600 price tag.

  8. $600 sounds like a lot to me. At $120-per-hour shop rate, that's five hours of labor. With no ICE to check, what is the Tesla tech going to do for five hours? With regenerative braking, pads should last 100,000 miles. Okay, maybe you replace the wiper blades.

    I've had my Chevy Volt for a year, and spent exactly zero on service. Even with a part-time ICE, there is no annual inspection or 12,500 mile service recommended. After 13,000 miles, the car tells me I have 73 percent oil life remaining; at this rate I won't need an oil change for three more years. The Volt computer, however, calls for new oil after two years, regardless of ICE mileage.

    Cost of two years' service: Volt $55, Tesla $1,200. Hmmm.

  9. Many of the higher range gas engine models offer "free service" for the first 3 years of ownership, e.g. BMW, so the $600 per year seems really steep to me, especially for what little is actually included. As noted the warranty covers major concerns, and the software upgrades are to be provided anyway, Free wipers (since brake pads are going to get very little wear) cannot be worth $600/year to me, and I AM a Tesla Model S depositor waiting for delivery mid-2013.

  10. Spot on: the reason they offer free service is because it has a very low cost but a high perceived value! The more expensive the car the LESS work it should need.

    The only part of my car not controlled by Better Place is the annual service by the Renault importer. Who hates Better Place. So I"m sure they will try to rip us off. If they come with a crazy quote I'm going to threaten to observe the entire service with a stopwatch.

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