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Buying used Tesla can be a little overwhelming trying to remember everything to look for before driving off in your new (used) ride. This checklist is for you to bring with you so you don’t miss a thing! We’ll break it down into 3 parts: what you need to look for right away, the exterior next, and finally the interior. 

The inspection is very similar to our NEW Tesla checklist, but there’s a few key things that are different.


  • Make sure VIN matches the paperwork
  • Correct colors & configurations 
  • Check for FSD, AP, or Enhanced AP  
  • Check for warranty (Basic Warranty vs Drivetrain/battery warranty)                    
  • Universal Mobile Connector (UMC) cable with the included standard adapters and the carry bag IF they include it (If not, Tesla sells them.)
  • Underside battery pack no damages 



  • Surfaces and underside are free of scuffs, marks, abrasions, or smudges
    • Look for deep scratches
    • Minor scratches from transport will be visible but can be buffed out
  • All windshield and glass is free of cracks 
  • All 4 valve stem covers on tires
  • Check tread levels using the penny test 


  • Might be some misalignments you don’t mind, but make sure it’s functional 
  • Doors, hood, and trunk open and close properly
  • Glass roof panels are aligned and show no sign of potential leaks


  • Both key cards work on the B-pillar
  • Fob works (For S and X)
  • All doors open (For S and X)


  • All front & rear lights work (emergency, turn signals, brakes, hi-beams/fog lights)
  • Check for condensation in the lights 
  • Each of the Mobile Connector adapters charges, latch and unlatch without problems
  • Make sure windshield wipers work and look for alignment issues on the hood



  • Surfaces and underside are free of scuffs, marks, abrasions
  • Seat tears or smudges
  • The back seats are aligned (common issue for the Model Y)


  • Check touchscreen display for discoloration or dead pixels (happens more often in the S & X)
  • Make sure AC/Heat works at full power without strange noises
  • Heated seats and steering wheel works 
  • The rear backup camera and side cameras are clear & working
  • All speakers emit sound, with no audio “clipping”
  • All windows go up/down without noise or issues
  • All interior button functionality works 
  • All interior lights are present & working (footwells, puddle lights, dome, etc.)
  • Both front seats don’t squeak when moving (check all directions of motion) OR folding (for rear)
  • All USB outlets & 12 volt DC receptacles have power  

Download Used Tesla Checklist PDF Here

Check out our Ultimate Used Tesla Guide if you’re wondering what all your options are for buying used! We walk through buying from dealerships, private sellers, and

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best financing options and strategies when purchasing a used Tesla? Are there specific lenders or programs that cater to electric vehicles?

For financing a used Tesla, it’s effective to compare traditional auto loans from banks and credit unions with those offered by lenders specializing in electric vehicles. These specialized lenders might provide better terms or rates, understanding the unique aspects of EVs. It’s key to shop around and evaluate different options to find the most suitable financial arrangement for your needs.

How do software updates work for used Teslas? Are there any costs involved or limitations in accessing the latest updates and features?

Used Teslas typically receive ongoing software updates, which are usually available at no extra cost. However, for certain premium features that were not originally purchased with the car, there may be a fee to access them. It’s advisable to check with the seller about the included features and any potential costs for additional functionalities.

What is the expected resale value of a used Tesla over time? Are there particular models or years that tend to retain their value better?

The resale value of a used Tesla tends to remain relatively strong over time, but it can vary based on the model and year. Some models, particularly those with in-demand features or limited production runs, may retain their value better than others. Factors such as vehicle condition, mileage, and technological updates also play a significant role in determining resale value. It’s important to research the specific model and year to get a more accurate idea of its expected resale value.