What are car subscriptions?
Car subscriptions are a new way of getting access to vehicles, without the tie-ins or responsibilities of ownership or leasing.
With a subscription, you can get hold of a car within a few days and keep it for as little as a month. Then, you have the option to extend, change vehicle to something cheaper or more expensive, or cancel altogether and walk away with no penalties.
In terms of time and commitment, it lies in between day rental and leasing, but there are several differences.
With car subscriptions, many providers offer insurance included, and all offer tax, maintenance, servicing and breakdown cover as standard.
For your part, you keep the car in good order, allowing for reasonable wear and tear, and report any breakdowns, servicing requirements or other issues in a timely fashion.
Who are the main providers in the UK?
The car subscription market is still growing, but there are already several companies specializing in providing these services in the UK:
- Cocoon Vehicles
- Carpe (for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles)
- Lease Plan
- Care by Volvo (for Volvo vehicles)
There are a number of features that all these companies offer as standard; breakdown cover, tax, servicing and maintenance. However, age restrictions, deposits, the inclusion of insurance and administrative charges related to PCNs or speeding fines all differ.
Several companies offer electric vehicles, corporate usage, taxi driver-ready vehicles and single brand options, meaning that even in these early days in the UK subscription market, there is plenty of choice. Here on carsubscriptions.com, we give you all the information about these companies, so you can make informed comparisons and choose the company, and subscription contract, that makes the most sense to your circumstances.
Here on carsubscriptions.org, we give you all the information about these companies, so you can make informed comparisons and choose the company, and subscription contract, that makes the most sense to your circumstances.
What do car subscriptions cost?
The cost of a subscription depends on the type of vehicle, the mileage you want, your age and the length of contract. The longer the term, the cheaper the subscription. You can expect to be able to find a vehicle for between £200 and £300 a month, including VAT and insurance, if you aren’t worried about having a particularly high-quality vehicle. This ranges all the way up to £1500 a month if you want a high-end sports car or a prestige vehicle.
There is also value for money in the electric car market, where companies aren’t necessarily charging over the odds, and they throw in charging devices and even free remote charging at certain terminals, limiting the cost of the vehicle to just the subscription.
Watch out for joining fees, deposits, administrative charges and extra charges for administering speeding or parking fines. These vary wildly from company to company, but we have laid out all the available information for you on this sire for your convenience.
How do car subscriptions differ from buying, renting or leasing?
Car subscriptions are very different from buying, as you don’t have to pay for MOT, service, tax, breakdown cover or often insurance. You also avoid having to deal with depreciation, as you never own the vehicle. This is similar to leasing; however, with a lease, you have to find your own insurance and you are typically tied into a longer contract on a new vehicle. There is also the flexibility factor; with a subscription, you can switch to a totally different car every month if you like, whereas with leasing, you will need to find a new vehicle to lease and go through the application process again.
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Rental is far more short-term. Deposits tend to be higher, you have no responsibility for servicing as you don’t have the vehicle for longer than a few days, and any issues tend to be covered by your insurance, where there are often quite weighty excesses.
Do you want to know even more on car subscriptions? Just read our interview with Alex Rose from Drover.