How to get a private car

Hello internet users. Someone in my family is looking to buy a car and wanted some recommendations for a private one. They are looking to buy new, and need Android Auto and CarPlay. I know all new cars suck for privacy by default, but I was hoping someone here could offer some insight as to which cars can be made better and what cars offer the best experience with minimal compromises on privacy and no subscription bs. I also have a Home Assistant instance that they can access remotely if there are any cars that can work well with that.

Edit: Android auto and CarPlay aren't as important as I thought.

rekabis ,

A lot of vehicles prior to 2005 will not have a black box that records everything (and for which you will not have the encryption key for), nor will it phone home in any capacity.

Pretty much 100% of vehicles prior to 1995 will definitely lack these features.

If you want a vehicle that you control 100%, get a vintage vehicle.

dan1101 , avatar

The average salesman will act like they know but they don't. About the only choice for a private vehicle is going to be an older vehicle. New ones are getting less private and larger and more expensive. Go with an older but we'll cared for Honda or Toyota.

trippingonthewire ,

Couldn't you ask the guys at the dealership to remove the router and such from the car? Say you don't want internet. If so, I'd say that's the best you'd get in terms of new cars.

LoveSausage ,

Would love some info on where all this shit is located in the car. Someone should make a database of the different cars and how to block shit

LoveSausage , (edited )

Dacia, least bad one. Made a dedicated phone for the car without personal info as well. Rooted calyx OS , microG, organic maps and spottube. No simcard and VPN on WiFi. Not sure how much is still leaked but a lot better at least.

ExLisper ,

Privacy and cars are mutually exclusive. If you want privacy use public transport and pay in cash. With cars you have licence plate scanner, cameras and tollbooths everywhere (no to mention that most people drive with their phones on them). "They" will know where were you driving no matter what car you use. The question really is what data are you trying to hide and from who? The obvious thing to do is not to give your data to advertisers. Selling you shit is the whole point of most of the data collection. Just get extra phone and use some fake google account for android auto and you should be fine here. As for car companies all they will gather is some generic data about your driving habits but guess what? Everyone knows this already because driving is not private (again, if you want to hide this use public transport). So yeah, it would be nice for car companies to be more transparent about the data they gather and how they use it but it's really not a big issue. If you're paranoid about it then don't drive. If you're driving the data your car is leaking though analytics is not your biggest problem.

lud ,

Maybe they really want or need a car? They asked for the best car not for the most privacy friendly option in the world.

You don't have to go out and live on a farm in the mountains just because you care about privacy. There are degrees of privacy.

ExLisper ,

There are degrees of privacy.

And what did I say? "Just get extra phone and use some fake google account for android auto and you should be fine". Kind of like I'm saying that while total privacy is not possible you can find a good compromise, wouldn't you say?

spaphy ,

When you go just ask if there's cars or models without the car itself having a SIM card but that still has carplay. People love to drum this stuff up but they still make dumb cars. There's usually like 3 variations maybe 4 of each model. Go lower on the model to get less features but still the right amount of them.

ErwinLottemann ,

in the eu all newer models are required to be able to call emergency services in case of a crash and share the location of the vehicle. so no newer cars in the eu without an integrated sim card.

lud ,

I don't know how that's implemented but I suspect it's done without a SIM card since SIM cards exists for authentication and not for functionality. The emergency call is probably done without any authentication or fee.

They might also have something like an Esim that authorises the car to call specific services. I doubt that car manufacturers are paying much or anything at all for the emergency services calls and I doubt they would put in a full connection unless someone paid for it (if the consumer bought smart features for example)

sour ,

Nope, emergency calls don't work without sim cards anymore, at least in germany. Because burglars checked the functionality of stolen phones by dialing 112, so they made it require a sim card. I think it can be locked tho, not sure.

invertedspear ,

If you want an actual dumb car that’s reliable, I don’t think anything beats a TJ series Jeep wrangler. Not good gas mileage, but the I6 engine in them is fantastic and it’s still relatively easy to get parts for them despite being 20 years old. You can add an after market head unit for CarPlay out android auto.

If you really do go new, you can disable the cellular radio. It’ll cost you a lot of convenience features, and you won’t get updates. But no cell radio, no ability for it to give your data to the mothership.

Emma_Gold_Man ,

Sorry, but I have bad news for you. Privacy in major car brands no longer exists.

You don't say where your family member lives, but you might look into smaller regional brands that focus on cheap cars for less overdeveloped areas of the world. Be aware the tradeoff is probably in safety features.

fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

There are things you can do though.

GM for example you cannot remove OnStar from their vehicles. But with my Subaru removing the starlink module was a ~20 minute procedure. You'll need an aftermarket harness in order to maintain the front speakers.

possiblylinux127 , avatar

Find a old car that doesn't have a lot of miles. Its not the best deal but it will work.

ze11e , avatar

[Thread, post or comment was deleted by the author]

  • Loading...
  • hitmyspot ,

    It's voilá, not boneappletea.

    ze11e , avatar

    [Thread, post or comment was deleted by the author]

  • Loading...
  • KoboldCoterie , avatar

    See, you could have just said "Oh, silly me! Thanks!", and nobody would have thought less of you, but now, everyone thinks you're a prick.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

    ze11e , avatar

    You fools just can't handle the supreme knowledge I have bestowed upon thee

    dankm ,


    "Wala?" Voilà perhaps?

    drndramrndra ,

    Na kopeng, mi pensa im say you a welwala...

    datendefekt , avatar

    Hey look everyone, we got a dirty belter here!

    drndramrndra ,

    Belta lik pashang! Keting dzemang to vedi du, paxoniseki?

    Darkassassin07 , avatar

    Android Auto and CarPlay or Privacy. You won't get both.

    Your use of 'need' is quite a stretch.

    FeelzGoodMan420 ,

    You could always simply not use android auto or carplay? Surely that would be a start.

    kbal , avatar

    They are looking to buy new, and need Android Auto and CarPlay

    I was active on an automotive forum around the time when that sort of thing started to be seen as a "need" by car salesmen and some of their more enthusiastic customers. The big new thing was "infotainment" and it seemed like the whole industry was insisting we'd all soon see how essential this stuff was. I was disdainful of the idea then, and have only become more so. Cars should have an AM/FM radio receiver, and aside from lights and a horn that's all they need for communications.

    That's not the answer you're looking for, but it seems reasonably on-topic here. If you must get a new car, the easiest route to having it not spy on you as much as it can all the time is to make sure it doesn't have a SIM card (or remove the one it does have) and never connect your phone to it in any way except perhaps via a 3.5mm audio jack.

    hitmyspot ,

    Bluetooth connection is a must too, but it doesn't need to access my contacts. Just as a music player or headset.

    fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

    I don't understand why everyone seems to be latching on to carplay and android auto in this thread as if it's the car stealing your data. All carplay and android auto do is take a video feed from your phone an display it on the car's screen. You still have the privacy issues, but it's not the car doing anything, they're the same as if you had a dumb car and google maps up on your phone in a phone mount.

    d00phy ,

    Most are missing the point. You’re right, running AA or CP is akin to just using your phone with a vent mount, albeit arguably safer. The privacy issues come with things like OnStar and similar services that connect back to the manufacturer. As someone already pointed out it doesn’t sound like there’s a way to remove OnStar, but some others might be removeable, or not available in cheaper models.

    kbal , avatar

    Your faith in the safety of allowing your car and your phone the opportunity to share data with each other is touching, but until I see the source code I will remain unconvinced that it isn't a bad idea.

    fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

    In most cars the telemetry data is stored in a separate computer outside of your head unit. There's minimal communication between the head unit and the telemetry box. In the case of my Subaru there's 0 communication, the telematics box just does or doesn't pass audio to the front speakers. You can also read through the documentation on Carplay and AA. Last I saw there was nothing that allows for any real communication between your head unit and the phone outside of the audio and video signal. Carplay 2 may change things

    Being paranoid for paranoia's sake isn't productive. All it does is scare off people who may be interested but aren't willing to cut out every single convenience from their lives.

    PeachMan , avatar

    I don't have a great answer to your question, but you might be able to find a relatively cheap car that isn't "smart" and doesn't have a touchscreen or anything. Do they make those anymore? Then, you could add an aftermarket stereo receiver to it, like some of the options in this video:

    Yes, that's still a "smart" stereo but it's NOT connected to any of the car manufacturer's metrics or systems, right? So the separation makes it seem more privacy-friendly to me. I could be thinking about this incorrectly, but it seems logical to me. There might be some stereo receivers that are more private than others, but you'd have to do your own research for that.

    HumanPerson OP ,

    Do you know of new cars that don't have all the smart nonsense?

    PeachMan , avatar

    Damn, I'm looking around and don't see any, even the cheapest Toyotas and Kias have a big touchscreen with Android and CarPlay. I'm not sure what happens if you take that out and replace it with an aftermarket receiver, but it appears to be possible because Crutchfield sells receivers for a 2024 Corolla:

    I'm also seeing people online saying that there are cars made for businesses that still come with no "smart" features. But I have no clue how you would buy one of those, I doubt they have them at dealerships:

    Or, you could just get a used car, save some money, and check all the low-tech boxes.

    Mok98 ,

    I think the mitsubishi space star could be an answer, base model doesn't have a smart anything, but it might not be available where you are

    joewilliams007 ,
    joewilliams007 avatar

    Just buy a used car. Look for low KM and good climate rating.

    Why care for privacy when in the end your using android auto or apple play?

    And a home assistant breaks the point even further.

    huginn ,

    Not a home assistant. Home Assistant™, the open source privacy focused home automation system.

    HumanPerson OP , (edited )

    As I said, it is for a family member. I agree about buying used.

    I think android auto can be reasonably private with Graphene OS's implementation.

    I don't know what you are saying about Home Assistant.

    Edit: Home Assistant

    joewilliams007 ,
    joewilliams007 avatar

    sorry. Didnt know what home assistant was.

    fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

    Cars have been doing this for over 20 years at this point. Buying used won't help unless you go really old.

    Akasazh , avatar

    I bought a 2015 Dacia. It's just smart enough that it let's you connect a device through Bluetooth, however it's not smart in any other way. It's barely got kilometers (sub 1k) and will last me a while.

    LoveSausage ,
  • All
  • Subscribed
  • Moderated
  • Favorites
  • random
  • tech
  • insurance
  • testing
  • drbboard
  • updates
  • til
  • programming
  • bitcoincash
  • marketreserach
  • wanderlust
  • Sacramento
  • All magazines