(Pocket-lint) - Tesla has always offered lots of connected features on its cars, but has been saying for the past few years that some of these would become part of a monthly subscription.

The original end of the "free" connectivity came and went with no sign of the subscription coming into play, but that now seems to be changing, with several Tesla Model 3 owners telling Electrek that they had received emails from Tesla informing them of the incoming $9.99 charge.

Those who choose not to pay for the features will lose many of the immediate features that draw on the car's built-in data connection. You'll keep navigation, but you'll lose live traffic visualisation, satellite maps, video and music streaming.

This doesn't affect all cars though: those cars bought before 30 June 2018 have free premium connectivity for the life of the car, but those ordered later will have to pay to keep the seamless connectivity.

You can also connect your Tesla to Wi-Fi networks, including a hot spot on your phone, so in all likelihood you'll still have access to all those features via your phone if you want and need them, although that will never be quite as slick as the car just doing it all for you. 

Having a subscription for data services on cars isn't new: a number of manufacturers only offer a limited time period of connectivity before asking you to pay for it. That's often been the argument using systems like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, drawing on your phone connection rather than paying another fee.

However, Tesla doesn't support these platforms, so unlike some cars, you might be better off paying the Tesla subscription and just accepting that that's the cost for having the great in-car experience.

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Writing by Chris Hall.