Do you like to be prepared for the worst possible thing that could happen?
Do you like having the security that no matter what goes wrong, you have a backup system or a Plan B in place? If so, OnStar, a connected car service that is available in all General Motors vehicles, including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, might be that extra layer of peace of mind you need when you’re on the go. Life, motherhood, and even doing business happen in our cars. We’re living life on the move more than ever and we love the flexibility and safety net OnStar provides. Do you need OnStar? Here’s why we love it and you might need it. Read on and we’ll help you decide.
What is OnStar, anyway?
OnStar is a remote assistance plan that helps you while you’re behind the wheel. I have healthy relationships with both Alexa and Siri but OnStar provides an Advisor that is an actual human that you can have an actual live conversation with when you’re in your car. In the event of a crash, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response can summon a specially trained Advisor that can make the appropriate emergency notifications and stay with you until help arrives. Getting in an accident or being otherwise stranded can be a panic-inducing event and having a reassuring presence whose top priority is your safety is some serious technology awesomeness.
If your car is stolen, OnStar will work with the authorities to help recover your vehicle. They also offer custom navigational assistance for routine trips and also special routing assistance to safe havens in the event of crisis situations or severe weather. You can read more about OnStar’s features on their website.
How much does OnStar cost?
There are various plans that offer different levels of service based on your wants and needs. Short answer, the basic plan is free for 5 years (and this is retro on cars that have an expired basic plan but still qualify). The basic plan includes emergency notification, key fob basics like remote start and remote lock from a phone app, diagnostics and dealer locator. The, for as little as $14.99 per month and as much as $59.99 per month you can add services. You can see the breakdowns of the different plans here if you’re a visual kind of person. I like how this chart lets you compare side by side. The OnStar homepage also has a plan finder feature that asks you questions about your planned car purchases and how you rank the importance of features like connectivity, data storage, and safety/security.
Why We Love OnStar! Stories from Real People…
It’s one thing to read about OnStar and realize it’s a useful service that offers peace of mind while driving at a fairly reasonable price point. It’s quite another to hear real stories from real people that might have ended differently had it not been for OnStar.
“I’ve totally used OnStar to rescue myself and girlfriends stranded on a road trip. I was eight months pregnant, a friend had a baby, and we ran out of gas on an interstate. OnStar was soooo helpful in finding us a wrecker service who went and got gas for us and brought it back.”
“It’s a lifesaver! I was heading from chemo and had left my phone home. A friend was in town to escort me but her phone had died and I felt sick. I could barely talk and OnStar guided us to a place to pull over while dispatching the EMTs.”
And While, Not Exactly Emergencies…
Some of the responses to “tell me your OnStar story” made me laugh…in a way that only an “I can totally see myself doing that, too” kind of response could!
“I used OnStar to help me find my way home from a concert.”
“I used OnStar to help me find the light in my rental car.”
Rental cars can be tricky, right? I remember Googling “where is the gas cap release on the 2019 Nissan Rouge” from a gas station in San Angelo Texas. If I’d have had OnStar available in the rental, I would totally have called them and got that 10 minutes of looking and watching videos on YouTube back.
Do you need OnStar? Can you benefit from it?
We’re not here to sell you OnStar or any service for your car, and yes, there are alternatives to OnStar that provide the same type of service. It is worth researching what options are out there that might be a fit for you. This article is to inform, not to entice you to buy something. True, no one can predict what kind of emergency situations we could find ourselves in but assessing what kind of drivers are in your household and their preparedness to handle emergency situations is smart.
We’re big into female empowerment at A Girls Guide to Cars, (just in case that wasn’t obvious). But. Women face different vulnerabilities when we’re alone and stranded in our car. We love that there are options out there that make our experiences behind the wheel better and safer. Answering the question of “Do you need OnStar” is something you’ll have to decide for yourself. We’re just here to give you the deets to help you make your decisions.
Do you have a long commute? Are your travel routes frequently through rural areas or places where “just get to the next gas station” might mean 20 miles or more? Do you have a driver with a medical condition? How about an inexperienced driver or a kid who’s going off to college for the first time? These are all good reasons to look toward OnStar or similar services and figure out if they’re something you need.
Want to Know More?
With free basic service and plans start at very reasonable prices, and if it’s a service you pay for and never need to use – like insurance – then that’s a good problem to have, right?
For more information on OnStar plans and pricing, read here.