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Are Car Subscription Services a Better Option To Get Into a New Vehicle?

4 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t settle on just one car. Pay for a car subscription and switch out your ride as often as twice per month!
  • Avoid long-term lease commitments, maintenance fees, and even insurance payments with this innovative take on car ownership.

It’s easy to miss the latest trend in car ownership, but take our word for it, car subscription services are here to stay. Car dealers and tech startups are always finding new ways to cash in on consumer needs, and these innovative new arrangements certainly fit that bill. Some people like to keep things fresh, or can’t commit to a car long term. Car subscription services fulfill those needs.

So, what are they? It varies from company to company, but there are similarities. Subscription services let you try out new cars, or keep the ones you like for months at a time. They charge a monthly fee, but you’ll never have to worry about maintenance again. Read ahead to explore the biggest names in the car subscription game today.

Shutterstock: Prostock-studio

Finn Auto

Finn Auto is making a big bet on car subscriptions. The international company raised over $100M to fund their expansion into the German and American markets.1 They already operate in a few states, and plan to expand into California and the rest of the country.

Members are subject to a minimum 6-month rental period, but they cover all insurance and maintenance costs.2 Costs range based on usage, vehicle choice, and the length of the term. They’re growing fleet includes desirable brands like Tesla, Jeep, GMC, and Volkswagen, with monthly rates starting at $499.3

Hertz My Car

Hertz has been renting cars for over 100 years, and have embraced the subscription model wholeheartedly. The company’s size gives it a huge advantage of major competitors. You’ll be asked to cover an initial enrollment fee of $250 and commit to a minimum of two months, but Hertz My Car might be worth it.

The service offers nearly every brand, make, and model you could want, includes liability insurance, and lets you add an additional driver at no extra cost. They let you exchange cars up to twice a month at no charge too! Prices fluctuate, but the fleet is so expansive that you’ll likely be able to find something that fits your budget.4

Porsche Drive

Don’t expect to find a bargain here, but Porsche Drive does deliver on its many promises. The service includes insurance, roadside assistance, vehicle maintenance, and white glove concierge service. Members don’t have access to Porsche supercars, but the fleet of available vehicles is impressive.

Subscribers have two packages to choose from. The single-vehicle subscription lets you access one Porsche and starts at $1,700 a month not including the $595 activation fee.5 Multi-vehicle subscriptions are charged at a flat rate of $3,600, and give you access to a fleet of vehicles including the 718 Boxster, the 911, and the Taycan.6

Borrow

Borrow charges members a monthly fee for the privilege of driving around one of their brand new EVs.7 Plans are available in four tiers, which range in prices from the low-cost Campus plan ($199 per month) to the luxurious Premium plan (as much as $1,099 per month).

Their fleet includes the Smart ForTwo ED, the BMWi3, and the Tesla Model S. The expensive vehicles are restricted to the higher-tiered plans, but options are always nice. The service includes roadside assistance and maintenance, though the monthly fees mentioned above don’t include insurance.

Care by Volvo

Care by Volvo has been in the news since 2017.8 It was an innovative program at the time, and it continues to put more on Volvos on the road. It’s technically a lease, with a 24-month minimum term. But unlike a regular lease, Care by Volvo gives you the chance to upgrade to a new vehicle after 12-months with the signing of a new contract.

Your monthly fee includes insurance, maintenance, and protection for wheels and excessive wear.9 The subscription costs around $600 a month depending on the car you choose. Available vehicles include the XC40, the S60, the XC90, and more.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Convenience, flexibility, and variety are the major features of most major car subscription services. It’s hard not to see the appeal of a brand new Porsche every week. These services do come at a cost though, but that should be expected. It’s both a luxury service designed to serve clients of big auto brands and a risk-free alternative to car ownership.

Car subscription services are also very new. We expect that, with time and innovation, the monthly subscription costs and activation fees will begin to trend downwards. It’s not a stretch to assume an increase in the popularity of car subscription services over time either. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess, but we’ll be watching it unfold regardless.

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