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Picking Up your Brand New Tesla? Inspect it First!

We all know there are a lot of questions and concerns about picking up your new Tesla. As new car paint experts, we can share some pointers with you to make your new Tesla delivery process an enjoyable one.

White Tesla Model S sitting in parking lot at dealership.
A white Tesla Model S at the dealership.

We recently had the opportunity to inspect a Tesla during the new car delivery process. 

It was a big honor that our client wanted us to be a part of their third Tesla purchase. The fact that they have trusted Immaculate Paint Protection with all their cars is a privilege. 

Our client was super excited about his new Tesla and wanted a neutral party with him to look over his car. (Sorry Steve, I was as excited as you to be at the dealership. It’s a pretty big honor to be invited into a significant milestone event!)

Man and woman standing next to Tesla Model Y with paint protection film.
Steve and Josie posing with their newly protected Tesla Model Y.

Here is what I found during our trip to the Tesla dealership for a new car delivery. Hopefully we can share some of our professional insight to help you take delivery of your new Tesla vehicle.

Overall Delivery Process 

The delivery process was speedy and efficient. 

So quick in fact, that I was a little bummed out at how fast the whole experience was. As client service experts, we take a lot of time with our clients to meet all of their needs and get to know them. But the upside to the client vehicle delivery process is that there is no back end sales process where you get slammed with a bunch of add-ons and upsells. 

But, don’t confuse fast service with lack of concern - the gentleman working with my client was friendly and eager to help. 

The delivery process has 3 steps: 

  1. Complete paper work online before arrival

  2. Go to the dealership and look at your car

  3. Sign a couple of documents - drive home

What to Look For / What could be wrong with your New Tesla

There are a few things to look for that may be defects on your Tesla.

The three categories are:

  1. Body Panel Alignment

  2. Paint Defects 

  3. Body Damage 

Scratch in the paint of a red car.
A scratch on your Tesla shouldn't be hard to notice, but a second set of eyes will help.

How do you look for Defects on your Tesla?

The best time to inspect your new Tesla is in daylight when it’s dry. At night and/or in the rain or snow is not the time to inspect the vehicle, as the light is low and wet conditions will make it difficult to see the vehicle’s paint properly.

To start, pick a body panel. Then look across left to right, then up and down. We’ve already talked about defects in the section above, but if you want to simplify this process, just look at the panel yourself and determine if it looks good to you. After all, it’s your car and your opinion is the one that matters. 

You can continue this process around the car, panel by panel, and when you’re done, repeat the process - but this time in the other direction. So if you first circled the car in a clockwise direction, circle back counter clockwise or vice versa. 

Tesla headlights with white paint on them.
There's a white line along the seam of these rear headlights.

What to do if something is wrong with your Tesla

Always make a note of what’s wrong and take a picture. Next, have a conversation with the delivery specialist. This may be the first time you’ve had a face to face or human interaction during your whole Tesla experience. But with that in mind, start off by being pleasant with the delivery specialist. I know you may be disappointed, upset, or angry that your Tesla is not perfect, but treat the delivery specialist like a person. 

Woman standing next to open Tesla showing man the Tesla.
Kindness with employees goes a long way.

If need be, compare your vehicle to other vehicles on the lot. You are going to find out if your vehicle is “within” tolerance, if all the other vehicles are really like that, etc. 

Then, weigh your options to fix the problem. It’s your decision if you want to take the vehicle as it is or not. It all comes down to whether you're going to be happy with the fix. 

But keep in mind, there is no such thing as a perfect vehicle from any manufacturer. However, that doesn't excuse poor build quality. For the most part, the Teslas we see coming through the shop - and we see a lot of them - are fine. 

And remember, document any issues and promised fixes before you leave the dealership. 


It’s most likely that everything is going to be fine with your new Tesla, and taking delivery of your Tesla will be a breeze. 

Even so, take a good look over your Tesla at the dealership before you take delivery. If something is amiss, have a pleasant conversation with the delivery specialist. Finally, go out and enjoy your new Tesla, you worked hard to earn it.

Tesla with matte paint protection film sits in shop in front of American Flag.
A stunning Tesla Model Y that came into our shop for Matte PPF.

For paint protection film and ceramic coating packages, pricing, and more visit us at

About the author: Bill Fetter’s passion for cars started at an early age, as he loved anything with wheels. Through his childhood, Bill observed his dad’s work as a mechanical engineer turned marketing manager and proud lifelong employee of General Motors. During high school, Bill honed his passion for cars by hand-washing and detailing his neighbors’ vehicles. Knowing he wanted to be in the automotive industry, Bill earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. He’s worked as an engineer in the automotive manufacturing, medical device, steel industry, and pharmaceutical manufacturing fields.

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