My Used Tesla Model S: Love at First Test Drive

John Thorpe, Durham, November 8, 2022

I have always had a fascination with Tesla, so I knew that Model S would be my first electric car. I said to myself that when they come over to the UK, I would have to purchase one. My Model S is my first electric car. I decided to switch to electric as a taxi driver due to the increasing fuel prices, and I fell in love with Tesla after my first test drive. My first test drive was at a used Tesla event up North. I wasn’t interested in buying second hand before but experiencing a used Model S completely changed my mind.

The savings I have noticed since going electric are incredible. I am currently with Octopus Energy, which only costs me 5p per kWh when I plug my Model S in to charge overnight. When I get home, the timer is already set for half past midnight for when the cheap tariff starts, and my charge limit is set to 90%. This costs me between £2.50 and £3.00 a night! When I charge overnight during the week, this will usually last me all day at work. That’s anywhere between 200 and 230 miles. And as I have a 2015 Model S 85D, I fortunately have free Supercharging which I top up the battery with for 30 to 45 minutes after work. Not many taxi drivers can say that they can run their car on £3 per day.

As my Model S was registered before 2017, I was eligible to purchase an Infotainment Upgrade, enabling access to some of my favourite features. The navigation system now allows me to list multiple addresses in advance. As a taxi driver, I can easily have over six bookings a day, so I prepare a list of pre-booked addresses for that particular day. The navigation system allows me to put these in before I am on the road, so I don’t have to figure out where I am going next.

Alongside the navigation system, I also love the games, Netflix and the performance of the car. As a taxi driver, you can spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for clients. The infotainment system is great for this. Currently, I am enjoying Stranger Things on Netflix.

We have gone on a lot of long trips in my car. I normally operate in the North East as a private hire taxi and in Durham with Green Ride Cars, however, this year I have already taken customers down to London four times. One time I brought a blow-up mattress with me and used Camp Mode to stay warm throughout the night and save expenses on a hotel. I also registered for the Congestion Charge exemption which allows me to save £15 per day in London.

When my son moved to Cornwall for university, we had to take the car down from Newcastle because we had so much luggage. Five of us went on the trip with the luggage. The navigation system was great because it took charging into account. We stopped at the Woodall Southbound Supercharger, followed by Bristol and then Lifton Superchargers.

The Tesla app is handy when you stop at the Superchargers for a coffee with a customer and they notice the notification pop-up that the car has finished charging. They are always impressed. Booking service via the Tesla app is easier than waiting on a telephone line to someone. You add a description, for example I am getting a new headlight fitted and because they already know my issue, the Mobile Service Technician can bring the parts they need in their car.

I couldn’t fault the customer service experience I have received over the years. At Leeds, I was the first taxi driver to visit the service centre and they let me know that they are always on hand to help me with any questions. I still go back to keep in touch – it is not like it costs me anything in fuel. My local service centre in Newcastle is also really supportive and I often see the local Mobile Service Technicians with customers at the Superchargers. It is nice to know that I can use the Tesla app to contact mobile service if I need to. As taxi drivers have high mileage, we expect a bit of wear and tear, however it is rare that I have any issues with my Tesla.

Overall, I am extremely thankful to have my Tesla. Over the last year, with the price of fuel going up and when all the petrol stations had big queues, I was so glad that I was still able to do my job.

Tags: Model S, Charging