How to start a Tesla without a key card

How to start a Tesla without a key card

You just ordered a new Tesla. Now it's time. You are at the Tesla pick-up and with your new Tesla Model Y or 3, you also receive 2 key cards. They are used to unlock and drive your vehicle.

But there are other ways. How can you start a Tesla without a key card? We'll explain. In this article, we'll explore the different methods you can use to start your Tesla without the key card.

Starting Tesla with a key card

To unlock your Tesla, simply hold the key card to the B-pillar on the driver's side of your vehicle. Afterwards, you used to have to place the key card on the rear center console directly behind the cup holder to start driving. However, Tesla has changed this.

Now, you just need to press the brake within 30 seconds of unlocking and you can start driving without having to place the card on the center console as before. But this is just one of the many ways you can start your Tesla.

Starting Tesla with a phone key

The easiest and probably most frequently used way to start your Tesla without a card is the Tesla phone key. Using the Tesla app on your smartphone, you can unlock, start, and even control many other functions of your car. If you want to know more about this, we have a separate guide to the Tesla App features for you.

Secret tip: If you can unlock the Tesla but it doesn't accept the smartphone as a key, you can still start driving. Go to the Tesla app, tap on Vehicle, and then tap on Start at the bottom. Now you have 2 minutes to start driving.

Starting Tesla with a ring

The second method Tesla drivers can use is the Tesla Ring. This ring works basically the same as the key card. It's not just a stylish accessory, but also a useful tool. It works just like a Tesla key card.

Starting Tesla with a Key Fob

For those who like it traditional, there is the Tesla Key Fob. Similar to other luxury vehicles, the Key Fob is a small, remote-like key that allows you to remotely start your Tesla, lock the doors, and use other functions. However, it must be purchased separately on Tesla's homepage.


Tesla continuously sets new standards in the automotive industry. The company is constantly looking for new, innovative ways to enhance the driving experience. Starting a Tesla without a card is just one example of how they combine comfort and technology.

So, if you want to start a Tesla without a card, you have several options with the phone, the Key Fob, or the ring. Whatever method you choose, with a Tesla, you're always one step ahead.

Want to know more about the 4 Tesla keys? We've compared all the keys and summarized the pros and cons for you in this guide.

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