Tips, Tricks & Trends

Your New Car’s WiFi Subscription Is Probably Worth Every Penny

An available WiFi hotspot is becoming increasingly common. More and more new cars produced each year offer this feature. Edmunds points out that there are many different pricing plans and options. But is the extra expense worth it? Why should we pay for a WiFi subscription if we already have a data plan on our smartphone?

Especially if you have no issue pulling up your WiFi hotspot on your cellular device, it may seem pointless to pay the extra monthly payment for your new car’s WiFi subscription. However, there’s a reason that new cars offer a free WiFi trial period. It’s because many people realize how useful it is once they’ve had it available for a couple of months. Then, they decide to just go ahead and fork over the cash each month to keep it going.

How much is WiFi in your car?

There’s no straight answer to this, but friends of mine typically pay around $20-$30 a month. However, on Edmunds, there are several other examples of WiFi cost. There are yearly, monthly, weekly––even daily payment options. Each manufacturer has a different payment option and has paired with a different internet provider.

Wifi hotspot in car
Man uses smartphone in car | Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

RELATED: The Ford Raptor EcoBoost Is an EcoBeast but Can it Compete?

So nailing down an absolute price average is difficult. That said, there’s some way for most new car owners to figure out how to work it in. You can even bring in your own car router from outside sources if your new car doesn’t offer the service. But what’s the point? If you already have a cellular device that you pay for each month, why not just use it as a hotspot instead of your car if you need to connect your laptop?

It’s not just about smartphones, tablets, and laptops

Imagine you get that recall notice for your new car. Ugh, what a headache! Now you have to take all that time to check up on it, possibly take it to the dealer for repair, and then there’s the added possibility you’ll have to drive a loaner because you’ll be without your car while the recall repair is rectified.

RELATED: Saving Money on a Used Toyota Tacoma Is Almost Laughable

With WiFi, this could all change. If it’s a tech recall that can be repaired through the car’s software. With in-car WiFi, the manufacturer can potentially do remote repairs for software or tech-related issues. How cool is that? Edmunds actually informs us that the Tesla Model S already implements this. Plus, Tesla is able to do remote software updates as well.

The immediate thought for why in-car WiFi is useful is for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. There is a high number of individuals out there that prefer to stay near a good WiFi connection for either business- or pleasure-related reasons. WiFi has gotten to the point that it’s not just a luxury––it’s a way of life.

new cars like this blue 2021 Chevy Trailblazer driving down a city street have available wifi subscription options
The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer in action | Photo via Chevrolet

RELATED: The Dodge Charger Beat the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord by Being the Cool Kid

Most Americans are used to having everything at their fingertips. An in-car WiFi subscription definitely increases that accessibility. But it’s not just useful for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. From navigation to remote tech repairs, there’s a number of reasons an in-car WiFi subscription can be useful.

Is an in-car WiFi subscription worth it?

Yes, for many people it is absolutely worth it. Not only does an in-car WiFi subscription allow device connectivity for either work or leisure purposes, but there is also a variety of other reasons it’s nice to have one too. Having WiFi in your car provides a connection for emergency services and navigation as well.

A Tesla Model S electric car is on display during 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition
The Tesla Model S | VCG/VCG via Getty Images

RELATED: What’s So Great About Mazda SUVs?

In fact, the new electric SUV and truck brand, Rivian, uses connectivity to adjust the powertrain in order to adapt to the weather conditions. So there are actually many ways to justify the expense of an available WiFi hotspot subscription. It’s just about connecting a device or two. Whether or not it’s worth it to you, however, is ultimately up to personal preference and weighing your specific pros and cons.