Tesla Model 3 reservation holders in Los Angeles get test drive opportunity

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Some future Tesla Model 3 owners are finally able to get behind the wheel after a lengthy wait. (KABC)

Some future Tesla Model 3 owners are finally able to get behind the wheel after a lengthy wait.

"It's been two-plus years," said Lawrence Lu, of Pacific Palisades.

He said how long ago he first put down a $1,000 reservation deposit on the Model 3.

"I think it was a couple of years ago. Quite some time ago," said Gabe Waterman, of Los Angeles, recalling how long ago he first put down his deposit.

"I stood in line the first day they were available, March 31 two years ago. The delay doesn't bother me at all. It takes time. Good things are worth the wait," said Marc Crandall, of Los Angeles.

Lots of Model 3 customers already have their cars, but this is a chance for more people on the reservation list to actually drive one. Southern California is the first place the test drives are being offered, and the program will spread to other cities later this summer.

The well-publicized delays of the car haven't dampened the enthusiasm for many, especially after stepping out of it after their test drives.

"Magnificent. It's tomorrow's technology today," Crandall said.

But there may be some unhappy reservation holders too, tired of waiting, who asked for their $1,000 deposits back.

A report by CNN Money quotes an analyst who said nearly one in four people have asked for refunds.

Tesla disputes that figure and said new reservations keep coming in, out-pacing cancellations.

While the earlier Tesla Models, the Model S and Model X, were priced in the upper five figure range, and often topped the $100,000 mark with options, the promise of the Model 3 was that it would be priced in the $35,000 range.

But as Tesla ramps up Model 3 production, they're building the more pricey versions first often with price tags in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.

And there's another looming problem for buyers hoping to pay as little as possible for a Tesla. Once any car company has sold 200,000 cars, the federal tax credits for buyers start going away. Depending on when a Model 3 is delivered, the current $7,500 credit may be reduced.

"It's a concern, but I understand that it happens based on how many cars they sell. So I'll deal with it one way or the other," Crandall said.

If you have put down a reservation deposit on a Model 3, now you can finally drive the newest Tesla you've been waiting for. At least for a few minutes.
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