Tesla used to include free navigation for life with its cars
Now, navigation will be free for 8 years after the initial purchase and then move to a subscription service
A similar subscription already existed for premium connectivity, which includes navigation and other features
Owners of older Tesla vehicles will have to pay a monthly subscription fee in order to keep using the navigation system when their vehicle turns 8 years old.
Up until this month, Tesla included the standard connectivity package for free with every vehicle it sold. This made the navigation system standard on every Tesla model for the life of the car, but this is not the case anymore.
Indeed, Tesla recently announced that it will move this package to a subscription service that will require owners to pay a monthly fee to continue having access to the vehicle’s navigation system.
This change will not be immediate, however, since the automaker will continue to include navigation for free for the first eight years of every vehicle’s life.
This means that most people who buy a Tesla vehicle will not have to pay this subscription since they trade in their vehicle for another one every few years.
People buying used Tesla vehicles however will be affected since someone buying a 5-year-old car would only have three years of complimentary navigation before they have to pay every month.
This would not be a big issue if drivers could use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to display their phone’s navigation on the car’s center screen, but Tesla vehicles are not equipped with these two systems.
In addition, the factory navigation system is required to use the Full Self-Driving option that Tesla says should be available by the end of 2022, after having been pushed back many times already.
This will not be the first time Tesla makes options into subscriptions since the Premium Connectivity package, which adds an internet browser, Sentry mode, and video streaming capabilities to the vehicles already requires owners to pay $9,99 per month or $99 per year in the US.
With more and more automakers moving towards subscriptions to ensure a constant flow of money from previous customers, this decision is not surprising.