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One of the cool things about modern cars is their infotainment features. These features have a way of making a vehicle more luxurious. One of the ways infotainment features adds to a car is with tools like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. These platforms allow drivers to stream music straight from services like Spotify. However, older cars likely won’t have those smart features, so here’s several ways to add Spotify to an old car.

1. Bluetooth 

Green Spotify logo on a cell phone screen, also available in new and used cars, against a blue background.
Spotify logo | Getty Images

According to ViWizard, the simplest way to get Spotify on a car without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is Bluetooth. Getting it working is easy. All you’ll need to do is sync your phone or tablet to your car as long as it has Bluetooth capabilities, and use Spotify like you would normally on your device.

However, unlike Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you’ll probably have to fiddle with your phone or tablet to change songs, which should only be done when it is safe. Without practicing responsible driving habits it could be very dangerous

2. Aux-in cable plug-in

According to ViWizard, another simple way to get Spotify running on an old car is the auxiliary cable. Many cars built in the last decade or two will probably be able to use this cable. GearBrain notes that the auxiliary port looks like the port for headphones. 

To access this option you plug the auxiliary cable into your phone or tablet, turn on the car and its stereo, select “Aux-Input,” open up the Spotify app, and use the app like normal from there. Your stereo will play whatever’s playing on Spotify. However, like the Bluetooth option, you’ll also have to fiddle with your device to change songs.

3. USB plug-in

Another option for cars that are somewhat modern but too old to have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is the USB port. There are actually two options here. The first is the simplest option is to plug your phone or tablet into the car with a USB cable. Like the aux cable, this will connect your device to the car’s stereo, and you can use Spotify relatively normally. However, you will still have to change songs by using your phone.

The other USB option is more complicated. Rather than connecting your phone to your car with a USB cable, you can download Spotify tracks onto a USB and plug that into your car. This is more complicated because Spotify tracks are protected, so you’ll have to convert Spotify tracks before they can be put onto a USB.

4. FM transmitter (lighter socket plug-in)

Cars that are too old to have a USB port may still have a lighter socket. According to GearBrain, this may be enough to get Spotify working, but it’ll cost a little extra. Folks will need to buy and connect a 12V FM transmitter, which can cost about $20.

You can then connect your phone to that device via Bluetooth, which will allow you to use Spotify normally. As its name suggests, you’ll have to tune the car’s stereo to an FM frequency to get it to work.

5. Burn CDs of Spotify music or podcasts

If none of the above methods work, then a tried and true solution is to return to the CDs of the past. Like with the USB plug-in option, you can download and convert Spotify tracks and then burn them onto a CD. This will be a pretty complicated process, but if your old car has a CD player, then this is a way to get Spotify on it.

For those people that need tunes as they drive down the road, these are all options that can be used on most older cars. The options just may require a little more effort.


There Is a Simple Reason That Spotify Is Not Working on Your Old Car Stereo