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Elon Musk is telling customers to use an unusual loophole if they want to take a Tesla car for a three-day 'test drive' (TSLA)

Troy Wolverton
elon musk

Maurizio Pesce / Wikimedia Commons


  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk touted on Twitter a way customers can essentially get a three-day test drive of one of the company's electric cars.
  • Customers who purchase a car can return it within that period for a refund.
  • Musk was responding to a tweet by CoverGirl model James Charles, who doesn't meet Tesla's age requirement to test  drive one of its cars.

Consumers worried about buying a Tesla vehicle before they've ever test driven one can exploit a loophole that will let them try out a car for three days.

Better yet: The workaround is sanctioned by none other than CEO Elon Musk himself.

Customers who buy a Tesla car without having test driven it first can essentially get one for a three-day test drive. Such customers can return their vehicle within three days for a refund, he said on Twitter. By contrast, consumers who buy one after having a test drive have only one day to return it.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1054496095819116544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Order Tesla without test drive & you get 3 days to return for refund, else 1 day https://t.co/FRHLAB7qsj

Musk's tweet was in response to one by James Charles, a YouTube personality, makeup artist, and CoverGirl model. Charles, who is 19, said he's interested in buying Tesla's Model X, but didn't want to do so without test driving it first. Unfortunately for him, Tesla requires those who test drive its cars to be 21 or older.

The "Model X is at the top of my wishlist but [I'm] really disappointed that I can't test drive because I’m not 21," Charles said.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1054488079208112133?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Hey @elonmusk! I’m first time car shopping and love everything you & Tesla stand for! Model X is at the top of my wishlist but really disappointed that I can’t test drive because I’m not 21... Definitely don’t feel comfortable spending $100K on a car without driving it first! 🙃

Although Musk's tweet was in response to Charles particular problem, Tesla's policy could be helpful to other potential customers. Because the company's vehicles — particularly the new Model 3 — are often in short supply and the company has a limited number of dealerships around the country, consumers sometimes have to purchase a vehicle before they get to test one out.

Musk's "buy-first, test-later" strategy may be effective, but with the cheapest Tesla starting at around $45,000, you'll have to put down a pretty big deposit just to take a test drive. 

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