YouTube Music CarPlay: How To Get Started?

youtube music carplay - featured image

One of the apps you can use with CarPlay is YouTube Music, a music-streaming platform created by Google. 

You might be wondering how to utilize the best features of both applications to upgrade your overall driving experience.

To get started with YouTube Music on CarPlay, you first need to connect your phone to your vehicle. After this, the apps on your phone will appear on your car’s display system, and you can use YouTube Music as you usually would. You must have YouTube Premium work this to work.

The rest of this article will tell you everything you know about how YouTube Music works with CarPlay, so you can allow your favorite songs to bring your driving experience to life.

YouTube Music CarPlay Without Premium

YouTube Music is an app specifically designed for listening to songs.

This application is different from the standard YouTube app because it has additional features exclusive to YouTube Music. 

If you’re looking to play youtube videos on a car stereo, we have an aisle for this.  

You can choose to upgrade to the premium version of YouTube Music to use the CarPlay app.

The free version will not work, and you’ll miss out on many features

When you don’t have a premium subscription, you can’t use YouTube Music offline or in the background.

This means that you can’t play your songs through CarPlay.

You’ll need an internet connection to do so if not saved. Not a problem for city driving, but not quite so simple when you’re out in the sticks (not in the city).

This is not to mention the Apple CarPlay data usage from using the App. Typically, 43.2MB per hour, from our research.  

The image below is what it looks like without YouTube Premium:

youtube music carplay app without premium
youtube music carplay app without premium 


YouTube Music CarPlay Free vs. Premium Versions

Using YouTube Music with CarPlay is an entirely different experience for premium users.

With a paid subscription to YouTube Music, you can upgrade your overall CarPlay experience with features that you don’t have access to with just the free version. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different CarPlay features that each version offers.

Here is a table that compares and contrasts the different YouTube Music CarPlay experiences that come with and without a paid subscription:

YouTube Music Free Version

YouTube Music Premium
No use Stream your favorite songs, ad-free
  Pay for premium features
  Play songs in the background while using CarPlay
  Music is downloadable
  Audio-only option
  Wirless CarPlay compatible
  Custom music recommendations
  You can shuffle your downloaded audio
  Use Siri to control YouTube Music CarPlay


To gain access to YouTube Premium, you can visit:


How Do You Connect YouTube Music to CarPlay?

CarPlay allows you to use the display screen in your car as a smartphone. 

This means that you can use all of YouTube Music’s available features without having to check your phone. However, you have to connect your phone to your vehicle first.

To connect YouTube Music to CarPlay, you need to hook up your phone to your vehicle using a wireless CarPlay connection or a CarPlay USB cable. You also have to ensure that CarPlay is enabled in Settings. From there, you can use all apps on your phone that support CarPlay, including YouTube Music.

If your car uses wireless connections, your phone will automatically connect to your vehicle as soon as you turn it on.


How to Download the Youtube Music CarPlay App

To download the YouTube music app visit the Apple app store or Google Play store, depending on your smartphone device.

  1. Once you’ve got the YouTube Music app, log in and follow the instructions until you get to the music player’s home screen.
  2. Connect your device to your car stereo via the usual method. This could be via AUX, USB, or Bluetooth. You’ll need to have YouTube Premium.
  3. Play the desired music and enjoy.

How To Use the YouTube Music App

youtube music carplay - playing screen

Getting started with YouTube Music is relatively simple once you get the hang of it. 

Let’s talk about how you can actually use the app to improve your CarPlay experience.

1. Navigate Through the Pages

youtube music carplay downloads screen

Thankfully, YouTube Music has a relatively simple interface and navigation that isn’t too complex.

When navigating the app, there are three main areas you want to keep in mind:

  • Home: The home section provides you with activity recommendations that are personalized to specifically meet your musical needs.
  • Last Played: As it suggests, you can view your recently played songs so you can get straight back to where you left off.
  • Library: You can view the songs or playlists you’ve created for easy access 
  • Downloads: In the downloads section, you can see the songs you’ve downloaded to your device. Playing these songs will not use your cellular data.

You should take some time scrolling through each screen so you’re familiar with the interface. 

2. Customize Your YouTube Music

youtube music carplay - last played screen

In order to customize the YouTube Music app to your liking, you need to give the software’s algorithm information to base its suggestions on. You can do this by adding songs to playlists in your library.

Another way to customize your YouTube Music experience is to interact with songs by liking or disliking them. 

These actions help the algorithm make refinements based on your individual taste. 

For example, it will recommend pieces that are similar to your “liked songs” and shy away from tunes similar to your “disliked songs.”

3. Organize Your Music

youtube msuic carplay - library screen

Lastly, to make the YouTube Music application easier to use, consider organizing your music collection. 

You can do so by adding music to your library, but there are multiple ways to go about doing this.

Here are some actions you can take to organize your music collection on YouTube Music:

  • Create custom playlists and add songs to them
  • Like or dislike songs, which will show up in your library
  • Save your favorite albums directly to your library
  • Download songs
  • Sort your music in alphabetical or chronological order
playing youtube in car - iphone lock screen
playing youtube in car – iphone lock screen

Utilizing the library section in YouTube Music is a great way to customize your experience with the app. 

Organizing your music collection in your library can make it easier to access songs using CarPlay, which is really convenient when you’re driving.


YouTube Music is an excellent app that allows you to stream your favorite music, organize your collection, and customize your user experience. 

Fortunately, this app collaborates well with CarPlay, so you can listen to all your favorite songs while driving.

You will have to pay for the YouTube music carplay app, though.

YouTube Music is definitely something you should consider adding to your regular CarPlay routine; however, if you’re interested in learning more about some of the other free CarPlay music Apps, we would recommend:

Picture of Alex
I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
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