Car Road Trip

Is Tesla Full Self Drive Worth It? (We Help You Decide)

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Last Updated on November 1, 2022 by Rose Morah

On August 21st, 2022, Elon Musk tweeted that the price of Full Self Driving (FSD) will rise to $15,000 on September 5th.

He then went ahead to mention that the current price of the FSD would be honored for all the orders made before 5th Sept.

This led to lots of mixed reactions from Tesla owners.

In this article, we will be discussing Tesla’s full self-drive (FSD).

The information provided in this article is primarily from Tesla owners who have previously purchased the FSD package, what EV experts in the industry think, and my own experiences.

Is Tesla Full Self-Driving(FSD) worth it?

The question of whether Tesla Full Self Drive software is worth it or not mainly depends on:

  • Whether you can afford it or not.
  • Your belief in the technology.
  • Speculations.
  • Your expectations.

To help you decide, we gathered feedback from Tesla owners in an online survey about Tesla Full Self-Driving(FSD).

Here was the feedback:

See alsoHow Accurate Is The Tesla Trip Planner?

Why Tesla’s full self-drive (FSD) is not worth it

According to a number of Tesla owners, Tesla FSD is not worth it because:

  1. It does not work perfectly

Some drivers reported that the Full Self-Drive (FSD) does not work perfectly.

Their main concern was the Summon and Autopark, which they claimed did not work perfectly.

Apparently, they have never been able to get Autopark to work ever since they purchased the FSD package.

This is unfortunate considering how much it costs and how overhyped its capabilities are.

Additionally, there were some Tesla owners who said that they had to take over control by disengaging the FSD because the car would frequently stay behind other vehicles that were moving at slower speeds. 

Others mentioned that it loses up to 15mph before changing lanes, even on open lanes.

  1. FSD is overpriced at the moment

Apparently, the features that are currently available on the FSD package are not worth the price.

Most owners completely agree with the fact that the technology is impressive. But some don’t agree with spending over $15,000 on the technology.

Additionally, those who bought FSD and own the earliest Tesla Models (like the 2018 Model 3) may not enjoy the full FSD features promised by Tesla in the near future because of the lifetime of their cars.

  1. It is not worth it if you don’t have the courage

Well, it is quite unfortunate that some drivers reported having purchased the FSD package but sadly they have never dared to use 90% of its features.

FSD is definitely not worth it if you think you will not have the courage to use it on the highway, considering that most people buy it to assist them to drive on the highway.

After buying the FSD, some people are somewhat nervous when using it on the highway to change lanes, keep the car in the lane, or make exits.

This is because they find it hard to believe that it can do all these things and hence prefer not to use it at all.

  1. It does not understand all roads in different locations/countries.

Those Tesla owners who are from areas where you’re expected to adhere to certain rules and regulations on the road find it hard to use FSD.

For instance, if you live in a place where the tollways are open only at certain times of the day, the car may still take you through those routes. 

However, I wouldn’t entirely blame it on Tesla because even Google Maps on most occasions is usually not aware of that.

Therefore, if you are in such locations, FSD might not be worth it because you will have to be extra cautious at all times.

  1. The Basic Autopilot is better when compared to the FSD

A majority of Tesla owners who had purchased FSD before 2022 reported that Autopilot was better when compared to FSD.

Apparently, when it comes to autonomous driving, FSD is not worth it when you compare it with the basic Autopilot.

Tesla Autopilot VS full self-drive (FSD)

When Autopilot is activated, it can speed up, slow down, stop the car when there is an object in front, then resume after. 

Autopilot is also great when you are stuck in freeway traffic. You only need to activate the auto steering and the car will stay in its lane.

On the other hand, FSD is great at taking you from point A to B, exit freeways, changing lanes, summoning the car, Autopark e.t.c.

See also: How To Use Tesla Autopilot & What To Know When Driving On Autopilot.

  1. It is not tied to your Tesla account.

Lastly, a majority of the Tesla owners felt that FSD was not worth it because it is not tied to your account. 

What does this mean?

If you purchased the FSD at $15,000 for your current Tesla, it means that if you get another Tesla in the future, you will have to spend another $15,000 for your other Tesla.

That is assuming the price will not have gone up.

Additionally, if you currently have two Teslas you will have to decide which one you get the FSD.

Reasons why Tesla’s full self-drive (FSD) is worth it

Below are reasons why Tesla owners think that FSD is worth it:

Note: These reasons are only from Tesla owners who have purchased and have had a chance to use the Full Self-Drive feature.

  1. It is great for long road trips

A majority of Tesla owners thought that the FSD is worth it if you drive a lot, commute daily, or frequently go on long road trips.

The following are a few examples of situations where most of them felt like the FSD made sense:

  • If you drive at least 2 hours going and coming back from work.
  • If the majority of your driving is on the highway. This is because you are about 90% ‘stress-free’ when FSD is engaged.

If you frequently go on long road trips in your Tesla, you will definitely feel the difference between when you have FSD and when you don’t.


Because you will be feeling less tired by the time you arrive at your destination. In other words, FSD makes long-distance driving easy.

It eliminates the tiring and tedious driving experience on extended road trips. 

  • You will have the freedom to enjoy great scenic views along your route knowing that FSD has your back. 

You might also like 7 Smart Tesla long-distance road trip tips.

  1. It’s added benefits while driving your Tesla

What most Tesla owners love about the FSD package is the automatic lane changing and making exits. 

This means that you do not have to manually change lanes or take exits. This relieves you of the stress, especially if you’re having a long and tiring trip.

It is thus possible to go for more than 2 hours without doing anything. You just let the vehicle drive you.

  1. You experience the current self-driving technology

One of the main reasons why Tesla car sales go up each year is because people want to experience Tesla’s advanced technology.

Well, research has shown that a good number of Tesla owners bought their Tesla cars mainly because of Autopilot and the Full Self-Drive package.

According to some Tesla owners, FSD is still worth it even if it does not fully deliver what is promised. 

This is because they feel that they are ahead with the current autonomous driving technology and are experiencing firsthand self-driving technology as it emerges.

  1. You can summon your car.

The best feeling once you have the FSD package is being able to summon your Tesla. 99% of Tesla owners love this feature. 

The summon feature makes owners happy with their FSD purchase because:

  • You can summon the car into or out of a garage with even tight constraints. 
  • They can summon the car from their office parking lot to where they are without the need of walking to get it, especially during cold weather.

Some people have reported that the Summon FSD feature was not working. 

I do agree that this feature is not 100% perfect, but, the following are a few helpful tips to help summon your car so it works 90% of the time:

– If you want to summon it to drive onto sidewalks, you may need to turn on the satellite view in order to see where the road is.

– If you want it to come to where you are, I recommend setting a target and summoning it to “drive here”. This works better than summoning it to “Come to me”

“Come to me” works well when you are summoning it from the parking lot or you are in the same lane as the car.
  1. The price will always go up.

Some Tesla owners have bought the FSD package for fears that it will cost them more in the future.

FSD does not depreciate.

This justifies its worthiness, considering that some who bought earlier paid $5000 and others even lesser, at a discounted price of $2500, compared to the trippled price we are paying this year of $15,000.

Additionally, it is crystal clear that the price will never decrease. It will continue to increase as the FSD continues to improve.

So, it is worth buying now considering that it is still far from being a Full Self-Drive package.

Alternatively, you could wait and buy in the future when the price is higher but when it delivers all that it promises.

You can also buy now when it is $15,000, then wait till the price goes up maybe to $20,000 then resell the car.

This means you end up getting more cash from the FSD than you initially bought it for. 

The downside of this is that some Tesla owners who had planned to use this method reported having experienced some challenges. 

Apparently, they found out that most buyers do not really care whether the car has FSD or not.

However, some have succeeded in reselling their cars and getting more than they originally paid for the FSD package through word of mouth.

So, is Tesla FSD a good investment?

Yes, if you are smart and a risk-taker.

  1. If you plan to keep the vehicle for the long term.

Purchasing FSD would be completely worth it when bought early but only if you plan to keep the vehicle for the long term.

It will not make sense to buy the FSD package now at $15,000 and resell the car after a few years. Unless you want to get more cash from the FSD rather than enjoying the full experience of what the technology has to offer in the future. 

This is because, since the FSD package does not deliver everything it promises, it means that those who are buying now are buying for the future.

So, if your main reason for buying the FSD was to experience the self-driving technology, why buy it if you will not be keeping the car for the long term?

  1. If you are looking for the best commercially available full self-driving feature to serve your needs.

Well, if this is what you are looking for, Tesla’s Full Self-Drive package makes sense.

For instance, we found out that people who tend to have a bad sense of direction and heavily rely on GPS wherever they go found the FSD package 100% worth it.

  1. Tesla has a good record of delivering what it promises.

Though Tesla is very poor at meeting its set deadlines,  it has completed some of the features it promised in the past.

Therefore, if you don’t mind the cost and your best bet is for it to finally be complete in the future, FSD makes sense.

  1. If you do not mind funding Tesla’s effort to complete the Full Self-Drive technology.

Some Tesla owners who have purchased or subscribed to the FSD package do it to support Tesla’s effort because they believe in it.

To them, FSD is worth it even if it currently doesn’t work well. They expect it to reach its full level of autonomy in the future.

  1. If you want to show people what your car can do.

Perhaps, it may be worth it if you want to show people what your car can do.

However, this does not necessarily mean showing off. You can record videos and share them on online platforms to get people talking. 

If you are a millennial, then you know how much value you can get from the number of followers and views on online platforms.

There are videos on Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube shorts that have thousands of views just from videos of people summoning their cars and using other FSD features.

So, does this make the FSD worth it? Well, that depends on you!

How to know if Tesla’s FSD will be worth purchasing

I would recommend doing the following before buying or opting out:

  1. If you have a tight budget and many bills to pay, I’d recommend you rethink the idea of getting the FSD.
  1. If you are never excited about the Beta features, then it will probably not make sense. However, Autopilot may be helpful because it has useful features.
  1. If you are not comfortable with Autopilot, I’d recommend you first get comfortable with it before trying FSD on a monthly subscription.
  1. How much do you drive your Tesla? If not much, perhaps FSD is not really worth it at the moment.

Can you add full self-driving later?

Yes. You will have to choose whether to pay in full or on monthly subscriptions. However, adding later comes with some advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage of buying later, and not when you order your Tesla is:

  • It reduces the amount of tax you owe on your car. This is because if the FSD is $15,000 that means that you’re keeping the price down by that amount.

The main disadvantage of buying later, and not when you order your Tesla is:

  • The price increases instead of decreasing. This means you may fail to buy it now at $15,000 and buy it later at a higher price.
If you follow Elon Musk on Twitter, you will always be updated when they are set to increase the price of the FSD package.

Tesla full self-driving subscription vs purchase

Tesla FSD subscription is great if you don’t drive much.

But if you’re planning to take a long road trip next month, you can subscribe only for that particular month.

You don’t have to pay for the subscription in months that you are not driving much.

A full self-drive subscription can be a great way of testing if it will be worth purchasing it in full. It will guide you to making a better-informed decision.

On the other hand, if you drive a lot (especially on highways) or take frequent long road trips, purchasing the FSD makes sense.

Hello there! My name is Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.