BMW No Longer Charging Monthly Fee for CarPlay in Cars With Newest Software

BMW in early 2018 decided to begin offering BMW customers CarPlay access for a subscription fee rather than a one-time fee, requiring BMW owners to pay $80 per year to use ‌CarPlay‌ after the first year of owning a BMW vehicle.

No other car manufacturer that offers ‌CarPlay‌ charges a monthly fee, so this change was understandably unpopular with BMW customers. Prior to the subscription fee, BMW charged a one-time $300 upgrade fee.

bmw carplay main
Given the negative sentiment over the subscription charges, BMW is now changing its plans. According to a BMW spokesperson that spoke with British site AutoCar, BMW will now offer ‌CarPlay‌ for free for the lifetime of the car on all models that have the latest ConnectedDrive infotainment system installed.

Models that do not use the latest system, such as the i3 and the i8, will now require a one-time fee instead of the subscription access. Going forward, in vehicles with the new system, ‌CarPlay‌ will be available at no cost.

U.S. site Autoblog has confirmed that BMW is also making this change in the United States. "BMW is always looking to satisfy our customers' needs and this policy change is intended to provide BMW owners with a better ownership experience," a BMW spokesperson told Autoblog after being asked why the change was made.

It's not yet clear when BMW customers who already pay for a subscription will be able to stop paying for ‌CarPlay‌ access, nor is there word on whether BMW will be reimbursing customers who already paid for a longterm ‌CarPlay‌ subscription.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

lyngo Avatar
15 months ago
It was a dumb move to charge people this in the first place.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BlargKing Avatar
15 months ago


It's unbelievable that BMW is trying to make money. What a bunch of greedy corporate running dogs!

Cars should be free! Everything should be free! Just like in the worker's paradise of the USSR! Those were the days, comrades, when we could ride our Volgas and marvel at the glory of our society.

Except in this case you can buy cars at a fraction of the cost of a Bloated Money Waste that don't charge a fee to use a functionality thats built into the car's head unit.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CC77 Avatar
15 months ago
What a stupidly transparent cash grab. How did they even spin this in the first place?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wigby Avatar
15 months ago


I mean if your already shelling out for an overpriced brand its not surprising that they think they can get more money out of you.

Are you talking about Apple or BMW?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
15 months ago


Just here to see how this gets spun into BMW is evil thread.

At the end of the day, they did a pricing exercise, it met negative feedback and they listened to the consumer. Thats how business rolls people. Kudos to BMW

It was a very customer-hostile and foolish pricing exercise, which could easily have been predicted to be met with extremely negative feedback.

It was completely unnecessary, and only succeeded in pissing off their (decreasingly) loyal buyers—which they are free to do, if they so wish. Which they apparently did.

That’s not how a smart business rolls, and no kudos are due. Whoever implemented that little doozie without any market research should probably be fired, as they don’t understand how a stupid pricing exercise can lead to a loss of hard-earned customer goodwill, as well as potentially lasting brand damage. Penny wise and pound foolish.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
15 months ago


It's unbelievable that BMW is trying to make money. What a bunch of greedy corporate running dogs!

Cars should be free! Everything should be free! Just like in the worker's paradise of the USSR! Those were the days, comrades, when we could ride our Volgas and marvel at the glory of our society.

In this case, they are/were being greedy. Changing for something Apple created and every other carmaker is not charing for...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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