A Tesla was always my dream car. After a week with one, here’s what I think now.

Brandon D. Wilson
9 min readAug 8

A couple of weeks ago, I needed a rental car due to a snafu with my car. My friend who bore the responsibility agreed to pay for a rental car since my insurance did not cover it. I reserved a basic sedan, but when I arrived at Hertz, they told me the only vehicle available was a Honda Odyssey.

Picture of a black Honda Odyssey, a seven-seat van.
First rental: Honda Odyssey

I found it rather silly to be driving around alone in what a work colleague called a “dad mobile.” It was a modern vehicle with all the creature comforts. I particularly liked the rear camera, which had three modes, including a fisheye lens that made it much easier to back out of the garage. I had reserved the rental for a week without knowing the timetable for my car’s repairs. I had a couple of days left with the dad mobile when the body shop confirmed that my car would not be finished until the following week. I reserved another rental for a week at the same location, figuring I could drop this one off and swap it for something more practical.

Hertz called me a few hours before my scheduled dropoff/pickup, but the message was garbled. Rather than call them back, I drove there in the dad mobile. When I arrived, the employee again stated they did not have a vehicle for the class I reserved. He gave me two choices: keep the dad mobile for another week, or they have a Tesla Model 3 available.

Let me briefly explain why this choice was significant for me. I have fantasized about owning a Tesla ever since the original Model S was released in 2012. My interest was piqued when the more affordable Tesla Model 3 came out in 2017. I won’t pretend my motivation was to “save the environment” with an electric vehicle. I just thought a Tesla was a car from the future — the ultimate gadget.

I bought my 2010 Mazda 3 in 2015 and saved enough to pay cash. I wanted to break the cycle of always having a car payment. In a way, I still have a car payment because after I bought the Mazda, I still set aside money every month in a savings account for the next car. Guess what my savings account is named?

I had never driven a Tesla or even been inside one. I admired it from afar lest I get too close and get caught in the whirlpool of another car payment. I’ve been happy with my Mazda. I don’t drive a lot anyway. When I…

Brandon D. Wilson