If you’re searching for a used Tesla, chances are you’ve heard of Tesla’s “Premium Connectivity” feature. But this probably raises a lot of questions like—what exactly is Tesla Premium Connectivity? How much does it cost? And, which vehicles already have it?
In keeping with our Tesla Features Explained blog series, we’re going to take an in-depth, nerdy look at this feature and break it down completely so that anyone shopping for a used Tesla understands *exactly* what to look for.
So, with that said—lets jump into the world Tesla Premium Connectivity!
Tesla Standard Connectivity vs. Premium Connectivity – What’s the Difference?
When Tesla first built the Model S, a lot of things were included due to the higher price point (such as Autopilot), but some of that has changed over the years now that Tesla offers less expensive vehicles (like the Model 3). And one thing that’s changed quite a bit is the way that they handle Premium Connectivity.
When it comes to Teslas, there are currently two levels of connectivity: Standard and Premium. Here’s a quick list of the differences in each one…
Standard Connectivity Includes:
- Tesla Over-the-air (OTA) Updates
- Bluetooth Capability
- Navigation (WiFi + LTE)
- Video Streaming (WiFi Only)
- Caraoke (WiFi Only)
- Music Streaming (WiFi Only)
- Internet Browser (WiFi Only)
Premium Connectivity Includes Everything in Standard, Plus the Following:
- Live Traffic Visualization
- Satellite-View Maps
- Video Streaming (WiFi + LTE)
- Caraoke (WiFi + LTE)
- Music Streaming (WiFi + LTE)
- Internet Browser (WiFi + LTE)
So, as you can see—Premium Connectivity adds two features (Live Traffic Visualization and Satellite-View Maps) and then allows the rest of the features to be accessible over LTE, not just WiFi.
Tesla Premium Connectivity Cost – How Much Is It?
Tesla charges $9.99/month for Premium Connectivity, and it can be activated directly from your Tesla account (which is available on mobile or desktop). If you’ve ever purchased Tesla upgrades in the past (such as the Model 3 acceleration boost), this is done the same way.
Are There Any Discounts for Premium Connectivity?
Not as of now. But, there are a variety of free trial options, depending upon how/when you purchased your vehicle. Jump ahead to the next section to learn about those options.
Is There a Free Trial for Tesla Premium Connectivity?
Yes—in a variety of situations. Tesla offers different levels of free periods of Premium Connectivity depending upon which model you buy.
At the time of writing, new orders for Model S, Model X, Model Y, and Model 3 with the Premium Interior get a complimentary 1-year free trial. After that, you need to subscribe in order to keep it.
Additionally, Model 3 Standard Range and Standard Range Plus vehicles have a 30-day free trial of Premium Connectivity—and after that, you have to pay for it. So, you only get the full 1-year free trial if you buy one of higher-end models.
Which Teslas Have Lifetime Premium Connectivity?
All new Teslas ordered on or before June 30, 2018 have lifetime Premium Connectivity.
Additionally, all used Teslas (purchased from Tesla directly) on or before January 8, 2020 have lifetime Premium Connectivity as a bonus feature.
This means it’s included with the car, for the life of the car, and you never have to pay for it. Zero, nada—it’s free for life (with that specific car).
Does Premium Connectivity Transfer if You Buy a Used Tesla? What About CPO Cars?
This is an interesting question. The answer is basically, yes—but there are some caveats. Here’s what Tesla has decided when it comes to used vehicles and Premium Connectivity:
- All used vehicles purchased from Tesla on or before January 8, 2020 have Premium Connectivity for the life of the car and it will stay active for future owners if sold privately
- All used vehicles purchased from Tesla (CPO cars) on or after January 9, 2020 get a 30-day free trial of Premium Connectivity
- Cars that were originally somewhere into their 1-year free trial, and were sold by a third-party or privately on or after January 21, 2020 keep the balance of their free trial
- Cars that were sold privately on or after January 21, 2020 that don’t have an active trial or lifetime free subscription are eligible for a free 30-day trial (so, if you’re the new owner of a used Tesla—bonus, you get a free 30-day trial!)
How to Activate Tesla Premium Connectivity
This is probably the easiest part of Premium Connectivity—you simply log into your Tesla account and within a few clicks, you’re subscribed!
You can do this from your mobile device or from your desktop—you just need to be signed into your Tesla account and have an active payment method on file.
As mentioned above, this is the same process as purchasing any other Tesla software upgrade (such as FSD, Model 3 Acceleration Boost, etc.).
Can You Cancel Premium Connectivity?
Yes. Tesla Premium Connectivity is billed at $9.99/month, so you just need to log into your Tesla account and cancel it if you want to stop paying monthly for this feature.
Tesla Model 3 Premium Connectivity – Is It Available? What About Model Y?
Yes—it’s definitely available on Model 3 and Model Y.
As mentioned above, if you purchased a new Model 3 with the Premium Interior on or before June 30, 2018 you have lifetime Premium Connectivity for free. This also applies if you purchased a used Model 3 on or before January 8, 2020.
If your purchase was after that date, then you have a 1-year free trial. If you purchased a Model 3 without the Premium Interior, then you only had a free 30 day free trial to begin with. And all of these specifics apply to Model Y as well (but since Model Y is much newer, some of the dates and cutoffs are not always applicable).
Tesla Model 3 Premium Connectivity After 1 Year – What Happens?
If you had the 1-year Premium Connectivity free trial on any Tesla vehicle, and it expired, you have to start paying Tesla $9.99/month if you want the feature again.
Tesla Model X Premium Connectivity – Is It the Same as Model S?
Yes—Model X Premium Connectivity is exactly the same as Model S Premium Connectivity.
How Do You Know If You Have Premium Connectivity in Your Tesla?
Navigate to the “Software” section of your on-screen menu system (the same place where you download software updates and check the current version etc.) and you’ll see in the center of the screen that “Premium Connectivity” is mentioned with an expiry date below it.
Tesla Premium Connectivity in Canada, UK, and Outside of the US – How Does This Work?
As long as there’s an available cellular network where your Tesla can connect, everything works the same—and in terms of what Tesla charges and what they offer, it’s the same (pricing, features, etc.) no matter where you live.
Is Premium Connectivity Worth It When Shopping for a Used Tesla?
In our opinion, it’s a “nice-to-have” but not a dealbreaker. Why? Because you can just subscribe on your own, and at $9.99/month, it’s pretty cheap. It’s really not the same thing as a used Tesla that already has Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) or Full-Self Driving (FSD) which are worth considerably more.
If you’re looking for a used Tesla with Premium Connectivity, be sure to check out our used Tesla listings where we make it easier than ever to find the perfect Tesla at a great price with all the features you’ve been looking for!