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Tesla Full Self-Driving now costs $12,000 – unless you pay monthly

The monthly subscription will continue to set you back $200 a month.

tesla model s on road
Image: Tesla

Tesla’s intended price increase for Full Self-Driving has now gone into effect. As of January 18, the online configurator for Tesla vehicles now shows the new, $12,000 price tag for the Full Self-Driving (FSD) option.

The software company that just happens to make cars only increased the price for FSD if you buy it in one lump sum, however. The $200-a-month subscription option for adding Full Self-Driving to your Tesla is still $200.

This gradual increase in pricing by Tesla for its Full Self-Driving package might actually mean the monthly subscription becomes a more cost-effective option.

READ MORE: Unlike Tesla, Mercedes takes legal responsibility for self-driving tech

CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly said the price will rise periodically as the company adds new features and gets closer to being out of beta testing.

Tesla’s lump-sum pricing for FSD means you’re paying for future features at the time of buying your vehicle. The monthly subscription is meant to be a lower-cost, pay-for-current-features option, but is it really?

READ MORE: Self-driving trucks could replace 90% of human drivers, study finds

A large percentage of Tesla owners that purchased FSD still don’t have access to the beta. Yes, owners can request access now, but Tesla is controlling who gets approved based on some “safety test score” that Tesla’s own metrics determine.

All of that money buys you a Level 2 driver-assist system at this time. For the Full Self-Driving package to live up to its name, it would have to get to Level 5, and get regulatory approval for driverless use.

That day is still far in the future, and who knows how much FSD will cost as an option when Tesla reaches that pinnacle.

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