May 15, 2023

Dumb Consumer Item of the Month - Car Subscription Fees

Cars alone could be the dumb consumer item of the month, but today it is add-ons to already expensive vehicles that makes the list - subscription fees.

Want your heated seated seats that you already paid for to function? That will cost you a bit more each month.

Want more power from the drivetrain you already put out dearly for? Pay more per month or you don't get it, even though you technically own your car engine. Or at least you used to.

Navigation system? Pay more per month.

Subscription fees on car features are here, whether driver/owners want them or not. And they don't.

But they aren't called subscriptions, or renting by the carlords, they are "features on demand".

You will own nothing. 

And you will be happy, or else.

Or maybe some enterprising simple car maker will build an old analog vehicle that isn't connected to the cloud and still works.

All it would do is get the motorist from point A to point B economically, and you wouldn't need a credit card to unlock the steering wheel.

That is unlikely to happen with automakers loading up cars with internet connected features then charging monthly fees to unlock them. 

Autolords are counting on raking in billions of dollars in subscription fees moving forward. As if the average price of $50,000 for a car wasn't dumb enough already.

Auto subscription fees will really test how dumb of expensive consumer items shoppers are willing to pay for. 

I'll be thinking about this one. 

As I ride my bike. 

That has no subscription fees and is not in any way connected to the internet.

And cost me $400 dollars and has lasted 14 years.

That's $28.47 per year, or $2.37 per month. 

Way less than a heated seats subscription in an already very expensive car.


  1. Anonymous5/16/2023

    I heard about this and was equally amazed…wow! I hope consumers wise up and realize this is ridiculous. It reminds me of how airlines squeeze more and more out of flyers by charging them for “premiums” that used to be a normal part of flying. Next, they’ll charge for the seatbelts! ;) Hope the NBA community is happy and hale. -Erin

    1. Anonymous5/18/2023

      Consumers will only wise up when there is no more money left for the extras.

      Happy spring,


  2. Some human's stupidity and greed never fails to astound me. What an incredibly wasteful and mindless use of resources and brain power. Surely we are able to invent and discover more meaningful and useful things to help (climate change anyone??). Also, I thought the human body was kind of self heating. The action of sitting down creates warmth, as does leaving the car at home and walking /bike riding lol ;) I'm very glad that I have the opposite of FOMO. More like GIMO (glad I'm missing out)!

    1. Anonymous5/18/2023

      We love GIMO! We are happy to have it, too.

      - Gregg

    2. Anonymous5/19/2023

      Hi Karen, love GIMO - have not seen that one and it is my new go-to acronym. -- Mary

    3. Happy to help! It's been my go-to acronym ever since social media came on the scene. What I don't know, I can't miss. And more importantly, what I DO know, I don't miss! Ha :)

  3. When I first read the title of this article I thought you were talking about the car wash memberships that have been popping up all over my city. Which I thought was ridiculous in itself. I had no idea about this kind of "upgrade". CRAZY!


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