Home » Blog » Useless car features you shouldn’t pay for

Useless car features you shouldn’t pay for


Cars are becoming more and more complex, with an ever-growing number of features that drivers will never use.

These features can often end up being quite expensive and can be a waste of money for drivers.

Carvine is here to help you figure out which car features you don’t need.

We’ll tell you about the most useless car features that drivers shouldn’t pay for, so you can save money and focus on the features you really need.

Car stereo system that is too complicated to use

Remember when car stereos were easy to use?

Now there are few things are more frustrating than trying to figure out a car stereo system that is too complicated to use – especially when the car is moving.

The buttons are usually so small that it is impossible to see what they do, and any manual will be packed with jargon.

Some companies are starting to realise how frustrating this can be. They are making car stereo systems that are much easier to use, with larger buttons and displays.

One day, all car stereo systems will be user-friendly. Again.

Unnecessary buttons and switches in a car

If you’ve ever been driving a new car and become frustrated by all the buttons and switches, you’re not alone.

Every year, manufacturers seem to add more and more buttons to the dashboards of their cars.

From heated seats to GPS navigation, there’s an ever-growing list of features that require their own dedicated button or switch. And while some of these features can be useful, many are simply unnecessary.

In an age of increasing complexity, it’s refreshing to see some companies streamlining the controls in their cars – or even doing away with them altogether.

Useless cup holders

Cup holders are one of the most useless features in modern cars. Nearly every car on the market today comes equipped with at least two cup holders, and some have as many as four (or more!).

However, these cup holders are often too small to actually hold a cup, and they’re generally located in awkward places that make it difficult to reach them while driving. Or you can’t even get a cup into them.

In addition, cup holders are often positioned in such a way that they block access to important controls like the gear stick or the radio. As a result, cup holders are more of a nuisance than a convenience, and they’re one feature that we could definitely do without.

Overly complicated navigation systems

As anyone who has ever tried to use a sat nav while driving can attest, complicated navigation systems can be a real pain – particularly when on the move.

What with so many options – do you want to avoid motorways and/or toll roads? – it can take an age just getting the sat nav to get us where we want to go.

And don’t laugh at those people who use their sat nav but end up in rivers or thousands of miles away from the destination – those things can happen to anyone trying to figure out their overly complicated sat nav.

Heated seats that get too hot or not hot enough

There’s nothing worse than a heated seat that doesn’t live up to its name. You know the type: you crank up the heat and wait patiently for the warmth to spread through your chilled bones. And keep on waiting.

Or, even worse, you get one of those seats that gets too hot. You squirm and squiggle, trying to find a comfortable position, but it’s hopeless.

Or, you have a mate with a fancy Volvo who discreetly switches on the heated leather seats and leaves you cooking and wondering whether you have a major illness developing.

In the end, you have to just turn off the seat heater and hope that your body heat will just do the job required.

While heated car seats are supposed to add a touch of luxury to our lives, they too often end up being more trouble than they’re worth.

Keyless entry that is difficult to use

In an era of ever-evolving technology, keyless entry fobs can be a pain we can do without.

Despite years of research and development, these systems still manage to confound and frustrate us daily. The process is always the same: you approach your car, fumble with the key fob for a few seconds, and then stand there awkwardly as the car beeps at you in disapproval.

Even when you finally get the door open, you can’t help but feel like you’ve been bested by a machine. In the end, we’re left wondering: why can’t we just use a regular key?

Parking sensors that beep too often or not often enough

We’ve all been there before. You’re backing into a parking spot, and you think you’re lined up perfectly… but then you hear that beep.

The beep of a parking sensor that is either too sensitive or not sensitive enough.

How many times have you had to get out of the car to check that your eyesight isn’t letting you down?

If the parking sensors are too sensitive, you can’t back up without getting a continuous stream of beeps. But if they’re not sensitive enough, you might end up scraping your bumper (or worse).

Perhaps we need adjustable parking sensors so that we can fine-tune to our own personal preferences. Or maybe we should just accept that they’ll never be perfect and learn to live with the beeping.

Rain-sensing windscreen wipers

As any driver knows, windscreen wipers are an essential part of keeping your view clear while on the road. But there’s nothing worse than having your wipers go off in the middle of a dry spell. Or not all when the rain starts.

When working properly, the sensors automatically turn on the wipers but when they don’t activate – or keep working when the rain has stopped and the sun has come out, makes them a useless addition to the vehicle.

Electronic parking brakes

Electronic parking brakes will drive the most placid of drivers crazy – usually when they engage for no reason. Or, even worse, when you are trying to set off and they won’t disengage.

There’s also the ‘joy’ of having the car beep at you as you try to park between two cars as it says the electronic parking brake has been applied. And you haven’t finished parking yet!

There then follows the frustration of trying to override the system as you park properly.

Just bring back the handbrake.

Automatic headlights

Automatic headlights are one of those car features that sounded like a good idea at the time. No more fumbling for the light switch in the dark! Let the car do it for you!

But as anyone who has ever been blinded by a stream of oncoming headlights can attest, automatic headlights are not always as helpful as they could be.

In fact, they often seem to be downright useless.

Either they’re too sensitive and you find yourself driving around with your lights on in the middle of the day, or they’re not sensitive enough and you find yourself fumbling for the light switch after dark.

It’s enough to make you wish you could just go back to the good old days of manually operated headlights. But alas, once a convenience feature has been introduced, there’s no going back.

Paddle shifters

Last but least on our list of most useless car features you shouldn’t pay for are paddle shifters.

Paddle shifters are those annoying plastic things that stick out of the steering wheel and are supposed to make you feel like a racing car driver. In reality, they’re just a useless gimmick that does nothing but get in the way.

For one thing, they get regularly bumped which can cause your car to downshift unexpectedly. And if you’re actually trying to use them to shift gears, good luck – it’s nearly impossible to do so without taking your eyes off the road.

Also, why are paddle shifters most often found on cars with automatic transmissions? That negates their entire purpose.

So, next time you’re test driving a car, make sure to give the paddle shifters a good whack – if they’re not sturdy enough to take a hit, they’re definitely not worth your time.

Useless car features you shouldn’t pay for

Let’s face it, car manufacturers love to add gimmicks to their products – and we buy them.

They sound like they will make our driving lives easier but often end up frustrating us. For the most part, you can live without the features listed here.

Essentially, if you’re looking to save money on your next car, avoid useless gimmicks and stick to the basics and focus on the features that you really do need.

Marketing Director at Skyemotion Ltd
As marketing director, Paul is largely responsible for Carvine’s online presence and underwriting along FCA compliance.

At Carvine, we pride ourselves as a team of impartial vehicle finance experts that will direct you through the easy application process. As a result, our dedicated team put you in control of one of life’s biggest buying decisions. Consequently, we are all you need to finance your vehicle.

Find me on: LinkedIn
Paul Thompson