Car Subscriptions FAQ
Car subscriptions are like short-term leases. You choose a vehicle, go through an ID and driver check process (sometimes a credit check too, or you may just need a credit card), then take delivery of your vehicle. You have the option of a rolling contract, with returns, flips, upgrades and cancelations available at short notice.
Not all car subscriptions include insurance, but an increasing number do. Quite often, companies will tie you into insurance, and you should check the terms carefully, because the liabilities might be higher than you’re used to. Some companies, however, either don’t offer insurance at all, or have it as an option that you can either take or leave.
A car subscription usually includes vehicle detailing. It is important that if you have any problems with your car, that you speak to your subscription company straight away.
This varies from company to company. Typical minimum terms are a month, so you could drive a different vehicle every 4 weeks with some subscription contracts, although some prefer to tie you in for 3 or 6 months to avoid high administration volumes.
At the other end of the spectrum, it is possible to keep the same car on a rolling contract for up to a year with some companies, although it is common for them to ask you to return the car and switch it out every few weeks so that they can carry out routine inspections and repairs before offering the vehicle back out.
If you have any problems, phone the company. As roadside assistance and general maintenance are included, they will deal with it at no extra cost. Exceptions might include windshields and tire rims, which can incur extra charges.
Typical mileage packages range from 1,200-2,000 miles per month. Some companies offer more on a per-mile cost basis, which can be expensive. There are also a few companies that impose strict caps on mileage and will bar you from renewing a subscription if you persistently exceed this amount.
If you have a car subscription that includes insurance, then your only extra costs will be gas and any tickets or extra charges you incur while in possession of the vehicle. Some companies will charge joining fees, but these are one-offs. Often, they tend to prefer a refundable deposit as a down payment.
Age restrictions vary from 21 to 25, but most car subscription companies in the US won’t allow you to sign a contract if you have a recent criminal conviction, or any endorsements. There will typically be a credit check, but these are not difficult to pass. Several companies just accept a credit card as proof of affordability.
No. Typically, you won’t be guaranteed a brand-new vehicle as they are used specifically for subscription and/or leasing purposes. However, it is likely that your vehicle will be under 3 years old, without significant mileage on the clock. Some companies do also offer new vehicles for subscriptions.
Generally not, but most companies will let you cross from state to state, depending on legal differences across state lines. Check out our site reviews for more information, and don’t forget to read the terms of your contract and ask your customer service representative if you have any questions.