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GM subscription fees: Mandatory $135 a month extra for OnStar?


Can you imagine paying a monthly fee to use the features built into your truck? Several companies are already experimenting with charging for “premium add-ons” and most automakers will likely follow suit. In this video Publisher Tim Esterdahl discusses the new GM subscription fees, but it is far from the only automaker who is starting to charge for features that used to come with the truck.

GM subscription fees could be up to $135/month

You read that right. For things like remote start, safety connect (OnStar) and other connected services GM is going to start charging customers. Why? Apparently, because customers are willing to pay it.

Other features we could be charged for in the future

This isn’t just speculation either. There are companies already charging subscription fees for software updates, onboard navigation, Apple Car Play, heated seats, remote unlocking, self-driving features, automatic high beams, wifi, stolen vehicle tracking, and more.

Talk about revenue for automakers

In this video, Esterdahl talks about the extra revenue manufacturers could make from these subscription services: $20-40 billion dollars per year are estimated. That’s no small profit.

Ridiculous? Or will it change the way vehicles are sold?

Right now, the average monthly payment for a car is $820 per month. That’s not including insurance or registration fees. The average starting price of a new car in 2021 was $45k, and the average starting price for a new truck in 2021 was $55k.

Will GM subscription fees and other car maker’s subscriptions change the way vehicles are made?

Perhaps we’ll see cars and trucks being built with all the up-level amenities, allowing customers to pick what they want to pay extra for, versus a multitude of trim levels and add ons paid for up front.

We’d love to hear what you think of all of this after you watch Esterdahl’s GM subscription fees video below!

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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  1. Diane Brown December 9, 2022

    When I bought my 2021 Blazer, one of the included features was remote start. If the remote start is listed on the vehicle features as included with the vehicle, how can they charge for it in the middle of the contract? That’s like buying a television with a remote but the remote won’t work unless you pay a fee to use it. It was advertised as part of the vehicle.

    1. Amanda January 18, 2023

      My 2022 Traverse is lame now I can’t believe I paid cash for this and now I have a payment. I will not pay for this service.


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