How you can get Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Package for Free (US-only)

    Tesla offers a Full Self Driving Package for US$15,000 or US$199 per month, those who sign up with either an outright purchase or monthly subscription, are able to get access to the latest FSD Beta builds in the US and Canada.

    That is a significant amount of money for many who often stretch financially to get into a Tesla in the first place. With the software still in development, many are not sure if the investment is worth it. While it is possible for those in the US to go month to month, another option is to leverage Tesla referrals to gain credits and try it for free.

    Tesla’s referral program has been through many iterations over the years but recently sprung back into life with an update that moved to a credits system, rather than direct rewards. These Tesla credits can then be exchanged for hardware products like charging or vehicle accessories, along with lifestyle products and apparel, but the most interesting opportunity is the ability to spend referral credit on software upgrades.

    Referrals are both beneficial for the referrer (Tesla owner) and referee (Future Tesla owner). The update to the latest referral program arrived on July 7, 2023 and for Australians looks like this..

    • They’ll receive A$750 off their purchase price and 90 days of Enhanced Autopilot.
    • You’ll receive 10,000 referral credits.

    While Enhanced Autopilot is a nice step up from the basic Autopilot, in the US, their referral program includes the software update to FSD.

    • They’ll receive $500 off their purchase price and 3 months of Full Self-Driving Capability.
    • You’ll receive 10,000 referral credits.

    Today in my Tesla mobile app, I received a message notification and when entering I was surprised at what I saw. I immediately noticed the reference to 3 Months Full Self-Driving Capability for 10,000 Credits, not something available in Australia, along with the Wall Connector (Gen 3) for 5,500 credits, when that’s definitely 7,500 credits, these were US rewards.

    So for those techAU readers in the US, you should be excited by the opportunity on offer here.

    On July 7th when this new referral program launched, there was a limit of the max number of referrals possible per year, remembering that these earn you 10,000 credits. This was set at 5 per year. Since then, the terms and conditions have been updated to 11 and now today the number is 12 referrals per calendar year.

    What this means is that if someone buys a Tesla using your referral link, you get 10,000 credits, which can be exchanged for 3 months of FSD (and in the US, this means you can get FSD Beta). If you keep referring people (as many as 12) you’ll have as many as 12,000 credits, as much as 36 months of FSD.

    When the calendar year ticks over, you can start referring again. This is now an amazing opportunity and those with multiple Teslas under the same account, could potentially refer enough people to get FSD for free across 3 vehicles per year. Wild!


    Personally, I’ve referred 131 people to Tesla’s so far and plan on continuing to do so into the future. I can’t wait for FSD Beta to arrive in Australia and expect this will motivate even more to share their Tesla experiences with family and friends.

    If you’re not familiar with the current capabilities of FSD, check out videos on YouTube from drivers who have the software already. The latest FSD Beta build is 11.4.4 that is in public cars.

    History of Tesla Referral Program

    Tesla’s referral program began back in was chiefly designed to spread word of mouth during Tesla’s formative years. There was something called Phase 9 of the referral program that ended back in February 2019, unfortunately, 7 months before I received my car and referral link.

    • Phase 9 included Awards and those who received at least 1 referral, had the opportunity to have their photo be sent into orbit on a SpaceX rocket (which occurred on June 30, 2022.
    • If you got 2 or more referrals, you were eligible for a Signature black wall connector.
    • Those who earned 3 or more referrals were invited to spin a prize wheel.
    • Those with 4 referrals actually received priority access to vehicle software updates.
    • Those with 5 referrals received invites to a Tesla event.

    Tesla’s referral program didn’t stop there.. here’s where things were really generous and perhaps too generous as the program was ultimately paused for a couple fo years.

    Tesla gave away Founders Series Powerwall 2, something that today costs around A$12,500.

    Referrals also reduced the price off a Tesla Roadster (still yet to enter production), but for each referral the price was reduced by 2% and with no cap, many high-profile YouTubers referred enough people that they became eligible for not just 1 free Roadsters, but multiple. In hindsight, this seems like it should have had a limit of 1 per customer and potentially a max limit on the % you could reduce the cost by.

    There are still some referral prizes known as Amazing Adventures that have not been delivered by Tesla. The company says they are working out details, timelines and logistics for these unique prizes.

    • Race the Tesla Semi: Race a giant electric semi truck around our test track. There will be additional prizes and trophies for the best track times.
    • Drive an Electric Boring Machine: Drive an electric tunnel boring machine with The Boring Company in Hawthorne, CA.
    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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