What’s The Worst Subscription-Based Car Feature You Can Imagine?

This is your chance to come up with the worst ideas possible

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Photo: Kaboompics via Wikimedia Commons, Gif: Steve DaSilva

Carmakers keep moving toward charging buyers monthly for things that used to be a one-time fee. Toyota has been making headlines for it recently, but Tesla and BMW are no strangers to this trick either. So, to keep up with all the incredibly profitable cool kids at their lunch table, we’re all going to join in the fun.

Here’s the scenario: Toyota has seen all the press their subscription move has been getting and they want to take some heat off of the decision. To do so, they’ve decided to engage in some light corporate espionage. They’ve installed you as the CEO of a rival car company of your choice, with the goal of creating a subscription fee so bad that everyone forgets about the whole remote start thing.

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Photo: Mercedes-Benz

For example, maybe you’ve been installed as CEO at Mercedes-Benz. You might decide that all those fancy power-operated steering columns are a luxury too great for your customers to use for free. They’ll get the initial adjustment of the steering column included in the car’s price, but any change to the location of the steering wheel after that is gonna cost them. How does $15 a pop sound?

Maybe you’ve been installed at Nissan, and you’re eyeing those two shiny new turbochargers in the upcoming Z. What if those turbos were locked at wastegate pressure, with all electronic boost control disabled, until buyers paid a monthly Performance Fee? It’s evil, sure, but you know someone would pay it. Probably a YouTuber.


So, the floor is yours: What’s the most absurd, most unreasonable, most wicked subscription fee you can think of? Bonus points if it’s something that people, whether by desire or by necessity, would actually pay for — albeit begrudgingly. We’ll compile your answers into a best-of later today, so get creative!