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Attention future buyers of a new vehicle from GMC, Buick, or another General Motors brand. You might pay more than you expect when the time comes to sign the papers. Some buyers have received an optional OnStar package as standard equipment this summer. Unfortunately, it looks like there’s no way to remove it either. GMC, Buick, and other GM brand vehicles now require a $1,500 OnStar subscription.

GM vehicles now require an OnStar subscription for $1,500

2022 Buick Envision in front of a mid-century modern house. General Motors brands are forcing buyers into an optional OnStar subscription.
2022 Buick Envision | Buick

Buyers who looked at Buick or GMC vehicles this summer likely found a window sticker price that seemed off. According to Motor1, both General Motors brands have been selling cars with an optional OnStar package as standard equipment. The real hitter is that there’s no way to remove the supposedly optional package. That means there’s a $1,500 fee for three years of service with OnStar for each of these GM models that many buyers do not want.

M1 says the automaker claims it made the option a standard feature because it “is more convenient for our customers and provides a more seamless onboarding experience.” As a result, most Buick or GMC buyers will automatically pay $1,500 more than they might’ve wanted. However, these two automakers aren’t the only GM brands affected by the change.

According to Detroit Free Press, GM made the OnStar package standard equipment on the Cadillac Escalade in July. Moreover, it might make its way into Chevrolet vehicles as it finalizes its plans to use OnStar in Chevy models. On the bright side, those forced to purchase a three-year subscription can opt out at the end of the service period.

What is the $1,500 OnStar package?

A black 2022 GMC Terrain driving. Is the SLE or SLT trim better? Why do GM buyers have to pay $1,500 for an OnStar Subscription?
2022 GMC Terrain | GMC

Since you’re being forced into buying a three-year OnStar subscription package from GM brands, you might as well know what else you’re getting. The mandatory, optional package includes a few things besides the OnStar services. For example, a Wi-Fi hotspot, automatic crash response, vehicle diagnostics, and more.

Next, OnStar plans offer keyfob services that allow owners to remotely start, unlock/lock doors, and more from a smartphone application. Moreover, dealer maintenance notifications, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle assistance, and more are available.

General Motors calls the non-optional option an “upgrade”

According to Motor1, a spokesperson from GM said the standard OnStar package is like “an upgraded powertrain, or upgraded interior materials, or upgraded infotainment system.” By definition, there would need to be another version without the package for it to be an upgrade over anything. Instead, buyers are forced into paying $1,500 for something they may not want.

Unfortunately, GM isn’t the first automaker to start forcing buyers into multi-year subscriptions. For example, BMW is taking a shot at putting much more essential features behind a paywall. However, it already received backlash for considering a heated seat subscription, just as we expect other automakers to for doing something similar.

$1,500 OnStar subscription required for GMC, Buick vehicles

In conclusion, General Motors brands like GMC and Buick require a $1,500, three-year OnStar subscription. Although the package can be excellent, it isn’t something every buyer needs. Unfortunately, the same requirement will soon spread to Chevrolet and has already been seen on Cadillac vehicles. Are you willing to pay $1,500 for the services provided by OnStar?


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