Hooniverse Asks: Do You Pay For Any Subscriptions for Your Car?

It used to be that when you bought a car, whether new or used, the only ongoing expense related to the purchase would be your car payment. Nowadays car makers and other companies give you plenty of options to keep paying for your car even when that purchase is paid off.
Subscriptions for things like Satellite Radio or Web connectivity are yet more ways to make our driving experience richer, while making our bank accounts poorer. Lots of them have their supporters. For example, I have an acquaintance who swears by the traffic avoiding directions the satellite radio-equipped navigation system in his car offers.
You can also pay to have OnStar unlock your car remotely for a nominal monthly fee. That’s pretty cool right? And who wouldn’t want their car to be a mobile hotspot when you have the kids belted in for a long drive and all they want to do to stave off boredom is chat some snaps and instant some grams? Do you see value in any of these new technologies? More importantly, do you pay for any of them?
Image: AutomobileMag

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  1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I have a Sirius Sportster with both the home and car docking station. Sometimes I will subscribe to the car and then renew the Sportster on a 2 year contract for $5.00 a month as a second subscription and then let the car expire. Lately they just let me negotiate down without the bother of getting the car subscription.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    I usually keep paying for subscribing to trusting the general public, which includes private parties selling off their cars when they figure they’re under water.
    That was on topic, right?

  3. Kiefmo Avatar

    Does anyone offer a subscription to Shell Rotella and Mann filters?

  4. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar

    Neither my 2012 Frontier, nor my 2008 Fit have anything with available subscriptions incorporated in them.
    Even if I did have a vehicle with something like satellite radio, internet connectivity, or OnStar, I don’t think I’d spend the money on it. The only subscriptions I have are Netflix and Car and Driver, and I don’t actually pay for either of those (one is a family-linked account, and the other was a gift).

  5. karonetwentyc Avatar

    Sirius / XM. As much as I am aware that I could do all of this from my phone without an additional subscription, the convenience of being able to have traffic integrated into the unit already in the dash as well as radio reception in the middle of nowhere is worth it.
    That said, I would never subscribe to OnStar or a supplemental data service built into the car. For those I will pull over and use my phone.

  6. engineerd Avatar

    I am BWMCCA member 506265. I get 10% off parts at the local BMW dealer. Does that count?
    I had 3 free months of Sirius when I got the bimmmer, and was tempted to keep the subscription. However, it’s not cheap and in a city isn’t really worth it. When we start taking the engineerd™ Family Great American Road trips in a few years it might be worth subscribing, but not now.

  7. Maymar Avatar

    Heh. No. It’s a car thats less than two years old, and yet doesn’t have Bluetooth, there’s nothing I could subscribe to.
    Also, *blantant plug time* why subscribe to something other than the wonderful programmes of the Hooniverse Podcast Network?

  8. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    I had Sirrius/XM for awhile, but I can get more music and MLB from my phone. Traffic is much of a issue for me.

  9. mdharrell Avatar

    “And who wouldn’t want their car to be a mobile hotspot…?”
    My most recent dash fire occurred while the car was in motion and, I admit, I was able to get both the fire and the underlying short under control fairly quickly while looking for a good place to stop, which means the whole experience really wasn’t that big of a deal, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I “want” such occurrences.

  10. Mr. Ollivander Avatar
    Mr. Ollivander

    I subscribe to Sirius. It’s the easiest way to decide between NPR, BBC, and CBC for the 100+ days I’m on the road. The music choices are an added plus.

  11. Douche_McGee Avatar

    I pay for Sirius/XM – about $100 a year, but I’m usually streaming it from my phone rather than using the car because I like to listen with headphones while I’m at work.

  12. PaulE Avatar

    Does frequently filling the car with gas count as a subscription?
    Years ago, when I actually owned a car with OnStar, I paid for a year or two of service. However, the quality of the directions and connections was mediocre, so I let it the service expire and turned it into OffStar.

  13. Lokki Avatar

    This is an interesting question for me- I’m leasing a 2014 5-Series which will leave the garage to make its own way in the world come December. It has -several – subscription services. It will read my email and text messages to me (and let me dictate replies) it does internet searches for gas location and price, restaurants by cuisine (Yelp is a separate app), find hotels, shopping, police, entertainment, and parking; it reads out weather and news in a robot-girl voice. it does live traffic updates; it has a proprietary nav system which requires map updates. I think this involves at least four subscriptions.
    What seems odd for me is that my car has 3-year subscriptions when the warranty and service are covered for 4,years. This is okay for me on my 36 month lease, but what about actual buyers? I haven’t checked but I believe that it will cost 6 to 8 hundred dollars to renew all these. It would be a hard decision for me to spend that much money. I live in a big city and I actually like and use all these features …..but wow! I would have a really hard time justifying the expense when my phone does all these things for free….

  14. boxdin Avatar

    Sirius is deductable for me as an uber driver. Its really great for the blues channel as well as many other favs.

  15. Krautwursten Avatar

    My car has a CD radio.

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