Tesla Giveth and Tesla Taketh Away
As part of Tesla’s ongoing grass roots campaign to bring new buyers to the brand, the company has effectively made its current customers into advocates and salespeople via the Tesla Referral Program. With the referral program, existing Tesla customers are issued a unique Tesla Referral Code. The customer can send this code or a link with this code to a friend or family member. If the new buyer provides this code with the purchase of a Tesla car or Tesla solar power system, both the buyer and the referrer get a bonus.
The refereral bonus has varied over time, but since 2023 the referrer typically gets Tesla “Reward Credits” which can be used to buy Tesla merch, upgrades or supercharger miles. The buyer who uses a Tesla referral code may get a cash discount, free supercharging or a free trial of Tesla’s FSD (Full Self-Driving) beta software. Right now, the current referral bonus for buyers isn’t great: it’s just 3 free months of FSD. But it’s better than nothing.
Until yesterday, all four of the Tesla cars in wide production (Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y) were eligible for these referral bonuses. But with the launch of the new “Highland” refresh of the Model 3, the Model 3 has now been excluded from the referral program. This means neither the referrer nor the buyer gets any sort of bonus or credits with purchase. Model S, Model X and Model Y are all still eligible for referral bonuses as are Tesla solar power systems. CyberTruck is not (yet) eligible for referral bonuses.
This is not entirely unexpected. Every time a new model has been launched in the past, the car has not been eligible for referral bonuses. This was the case with both the Model 3 and the Model Y. Those cars were eventually added to the program. Tesla even eliminated cars from the referral program entirely from September, 2021 to May, 2023. But this is the first time a style variation in an existing model has caused the car to be ineligible for referral bonuses.
In my opinion, it is likely that the Model 3 will be restored to the referral program in the future when Tesla feels the need to boost sales or reduce excess inventory. Similarly, we don’t expect the Cybertruck to become eligible for referral bonuses until the truck’s production ramps up considerably. At this point, every Cybertruck being built has already been sold and demand greatly exceeds supply, so adding those referral bonuses into the mix would probably be an “unecessary” expense. But it would be nice if Tesla allowed their most enthusiastic and vocal advocates to earn something when either expanding their own personal fleet of Teslas or encouraging friends and family to do so. And they (we) can still do so by referring a Model Y, Model S, Model X or solar power system. Just not a Cybertruck or Model 3.
How To Participate in the Tesla Referral Program:
- Buy a Tesla car or solar power system
- Check the “Loot Box” in the Tesla Mobile App to find your referral code and link.
- Share your link or code with friends and family and encourage them to buy a Tesla. You can even earn 100 Reward Credits just by convincing someone to test drive a Tesla.
Need a Referral Code or link for your new Tesla order? Ask a friend or family member for theirs. If you don’t have a friend or family member with a Tesla, feel free to use mine (Tesla Referral Code: Christopher55570).
Links with referral code embedded:
- Schedule a Demo Drive
- Model Y (custom order)
- Model Y (in-store inventory)
- Model S (custom order)
- Model S (in-store inventory)
- Model X (custom order)
- Model X (in-store inventory)
Currently ineligible referral links (as of January 11, 2024):
Got some thoughts on the Tesla referral program? Let us know in the comments.
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