Up until now, there were three ways to purchase a new or used car. One, an outright cash purchase; two, financing through a bank or credit union, and three, leasing. There is now a fourth option: auto subscription services.
Subscription services are similar to leasing in that you don’t own the car but you have the use of the car for a specified period of time. Most subscription services have an all-inclusive monthly fee, that includes insurance, roadside assistance, and maintenance.
Some subscription services offer the use of different models of cars. The service requires a short notice from the client in order to reserve another model car of that car brand. In many instances, the car is delivered to you by a concierge.
Book by Cadillac was the first auto subscription service. In 2018, when it was first introduced to the market, it cost $1800 per month, and the customer had the use of five models, including the XT5.
Subscription services are available in a limited number of locations, but there is a steady flow of new subscription services cropping up. Among the new services are:
- BMW: Access by BMW, introduced in April, 2019, in the Nashville market area.
- Mercedes-Benz is test marketing its subscription service in the Nashville and Philadelphia area.
- Audi, Audi Select, introduced in September of 2018, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
- Ford, Canvas, introduced a used car subscription service, operating in the San Francisco/Los Angeles market.
- Lincoln recently entered the auto subscription market using the Canvas service. The service employs 2015 and 2017 used Lincolns in the San Francisco/Los Angeles metropolitan area.
- Porsch’s car subscription service, called Passport subscription service, is only offered in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” is available nationwide. Customers can choose the 2019 Volvo XC40 Luxury SUV and the newly designed 2019 S60 sedan. Volvo is also panning on offering the all new 2019 Volvo V60 wagon in its subscription program. In addition, Volvo’s new electric car brand Polestar, will offer a subscription pan for its 2020 Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 electric cars.
- Lexus will offer the all-new 2019 UX subcompact in a subscription plan.
- In 2019, Jeep will introduce its own subscription plan called Jeep Wave.
New auto companies and dealer groups are also offering subscription services.
- Fair, based in Los Angeles
- Clutch Technologies: Clutch, Atlanta
- Drive Flow in North Carolina
- Wyler Fast Lane in Cincinatti