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Home / Tips and Tricks / Car Subscription Service Guide: The alternative to buying and leasing

Car Subscription Service Guide: The alternative to buying and leasing

It's 2019. We have drones and hoverboards, our phones unlock by scanning our faces and everything in the world can be delivered to your door with a few clicks. Why should we get stuck with buying or leasing as our only way to get a car to drive?

Thankfully, car subscription services are becoming increasingly popular. Think of it as any other subscription: Sign up for whatever you want, cancel it when you're done. From car manufacturers to third party companies, there are many ways to subscribe to your next new car. Please note that Roadshow may receive some of the proceeds from the sale of the products on this page.


If you are familiar with any vehicle subscription service, it is probably one of them. Basically, you pay a monthly fee to a manufacturer for access to several vehicle models in their range. In addition to access, this fee covers the cost of insurance, maintenance and road grants.

Access from BMW is controlled, like most subscription services, via a dedicated app.


Access by BMW

BMW now has a pilot program running in Nashville for its subscription service, Access by BMW . The program, like Porsche, is a two-trade business and again, like Porsche, it's not cheap. The first level, which BMW calls "Legend", puts users back a cool $ 2000 per month and provides access to vehicles like the 4 Series, 5 Series and X5 (sense M models) as well as the excellent M2. Upgrading to the $ 3,700 M level and things are getting very interesting with access to the M4 Convertible, M5, M6 Convertible, X5M and X6M.

You can order vehicles via Access via the BMW app and so far seems to be a limitation for vehicle swaps. Your monthly subscription fee includes insurance and guidance as you expect. The program will be facilitated by local resellers and not by BMW companies and BMW has not given any word on or when it will extend the program beyond Nashville.

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Book with Cadillac gives customers access to the automaker's full range of vehicles.


Book by Cadillac

Cadillac's service was one of the first OEM subscriptions announced when it made its debut in January 201

7. It was originally only available in New York City, but as the program continued to expand its service area to drivers in Dallas and Los Angeles, but unfortunately it's not long for this earth. The book of Cadillac ceased its activities at the end of 2018 but it looks like it is coming back later in 2019 in a slightly different form.

When it was up and running, it first required a $ 500 registration fee before requiring an additional $ 1800 per month for the service itself. However, the task was that it offered access to some of Cadillac's best cars, and it was allowed to change cars up to 18 times a year. Plus, when accepted, your spouse can also legally drive the car. Insurance and concierge service are included in the cost.

Say you wanted an Escalade to drive around during the week, and then you want to tedo replace it for a CTS-V for the weekend. No problem. With the book, just post the app and make your choice, and a concierge service would drop your vehicle for you. The deductible for the included insurance was $ 1,000, and overprint in the car (dog hair, strange smells, etc.) would incur a $ 150 fine.

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Caring for Volvo that was originally launched with XC40 crossover. Volvo says that the entire product line will soon be offered via Care.


Caring for Volvo

Volvo launched its Care by Volvo service at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017 along with its new XC40 crossover. The Swedish automaker has since promised to include all its models in the Care program, but at present we only have prices for the XC40.

The XC40 plan for Care by Volvo starts at $ 600 per month for the T5 Momentum trim and goes up to $ 700 per month for the T5 R Design, which you can configure yourself. You start with a $ 500 deposit that is then applied to your first month's payment.

Some of the more critical aspects of the Care by Volvo plan are the superfluous wear and use protection included in your subscription. Basically, this means that Volvo will forgive $ 1,000 in mileage and vehicle damage when you return your car. If you park exclusively by feeling, you can still stop paying for deep scratches or dents, but it should help soften the bladder.

Volvo also includes a road fall plan for tires and wheels, so if someone releases a box of nails the back of their handyman car and your tire picks them up, it's covered. If you end up in one of Detroit's man-eating potholes and your rim is destroyed to the point where it will no longer keep air or cannot be balanced, it is also covered. However, wearing hell out of Volvo's rim would not be included, but then train your parallel parking in something else.

Under Volvo's service and maintenance plan, all repair and wear items cover the first three services (10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 miles). This includes things like brake pads, wiper blades, liquids etc. It sounds pretty good, but usually in the first 30,000 miles of car ownership, maintenance products are not so big of a deal, for example, having to replace a set of brakes of 30,000 miles on something as the XC40 would be atypical.

Finally, unlike the more expensive programs from Cadillac and Porsche, Care of Volvo can only change cars every 12 months in most markets. While it's still better than most leasing programs, it's not ideal for those who suffer from a lack of car engagement.

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Carpe is one of the only subscription services that locks you into a car choice for one year, but the cars are cool.

Jaguar Land Rover

Carpe by Jaguar Land Rover

Most of the OEM subscription services we're talking about make it possible to replace cars when you feel like it and cost a boatless money. Only caring for Volvo locked you in a car for a 12 month period, but no longer, because now Jaguar Land Rover enters the game with Carpe (as in carpe diem which I think is Latin for "Dead Poets Society is one of the best Robin Williams films "), a new subscription service currently only available in the UK.

Like most subscription services, it's inclusive so your monthly fee takes care of the car, insurance, maintenance, etc. that leaves you to handle fuel and not much else. Carpe is not cheap, but not Jags and Land Rovers, so your basic E-Pace SUV will run £ 910 (about $ 1200) per month and range (get it?) Up to £ 2,200 for and Range Rover Sport HSE. Interestingly, Jaguar Land Rover does not require a deposit to be canceled, but if you choose to do so anyway, it will lower your monthly subscription fee.

While Carpe is currently only UK, we would not be terribly surprised at the jumped pond, given the warmth of the subscription market right now. Roadshow has asked Jaguar Land Rover if it has any plans to bring it here, but so far it has been pretty good on the subject.

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Lexus' new complete leasing subscription service starts with just the new UX crossover.


Lexus Complete Lease

Lexus launched its full leasing program in the first quarter of 2019 with the newly developed UX and UX hybrid transitions. The program offers a two-year, 20,000-mile lease including insurance and maintenance for a single, non-transferable price. The details are still a bit narrow at this time, with Lexus refusing to disclose whether potential tenants will set up and order their cars at a retailer or online, or how much you expect to pay for the program. The program was launched in seven states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. So far, 80 dealers in these states have agreed to participate in complete leasing.

Lexus has confirmed that the program has the potential to expand into other models if the original UX program proves to be popular.

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The Mercedes-Benz Collection subscription service gives members access to everything from trolleys and SUVs to Coupe and AMG models, at a price.


Mercedes-Benz Collection

Mercedes-Benz has been talking about launching its pilot program for a car subscription service for several months but now it is a reality. The program is called Mercedes-Benz Collection and, like most other OEM programs, it is not cheap but it can be worth it if you really love the pointed star.

The program is called Mercedes-Benz Collection, and it actually provides a fairly wide range of cars to those who subscribe. The plan, like others from OEM, has more than one level. The reserve field costs $ 1,595 per month and gives you access to vehicles such as the C43 AMG E400 cart and GLE350 SUV. For $ 2,995 per month, you get access to Premier Tiers, and thus you can run in a C63 S sedan, a G550 SUV or a SL550 roadster.

If the jaw is on the floor above the price of the Premier tier, you are not alone. There is a lot of money per month, but the possibility of "flip" to different vehicles with minimal notice through the Mercedes-Benz Collection concierge service is pretty cool. As with most subscription plans, cars are delivered to you, cleaned and operated, and the plan includes insurance.

Connection is a relatively simple process. You just have to download the Mercedes-Benz Collection app, go through the instructions that include sending a photo to your driving license and in about 24 hours you should decide on your application. You then pay an application fee of $ 495, and you are inside.

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Porsche Passport offers different service levels depending on which models you want to run.

Porsche Passport

Porsche Passport

Porsche Passport service is expensive, but it gives you a lot for your money. First there are two levels that you can choose from. The first level called Launch puts you back a tidy $ 2,000 a month and gives you access to an unlimited stream of Caymans, Boxsters, Macans and Cayennes.

If you're a true ball, you can upgrade to the Accelerate plan, which costs $ 3,000 a month and gives you access to the three magic numbers that run all of the Porschephile crazy: 911. Also Panamera. That said, exclusive models like GT3 RS are limit values ​​no matter what. Unfortunately.

The next thing you need to know, and perhaps the biggest bummer of the entire Porsche Passport program, is the geographical area it serves. If you don't live in Atlanta, you're not good luck now. Apart from that, it's all sunshine and roses. Porsche puts no limit on the number of vehicles you can switch to, and the insurance is decent, but still with a $ 1,000 deductible.

Unlike Book by Cadillac, Passport contains complete washes as part of its charge, so you will never (in theory) be charged to turn you into a dirty car. There are also no mileage restrictions, so if you feel that you let your borrowed Panamera S around the US, it should be fine.

When you apply to join, you pay an application fee of $ 500 and Porsche expects You to be a member for at least 31 days. The rest is simple and managed through either the Porsche's app or its concierge service.

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Porsche Drive

Porsche Drive is a short-term car rental service for Atlanta residents offering short-term – think between four hours and one week – rental of Porsche vehicles with distances. The costs vary significantly depending on the model you choose and the length of your loan, but a week in a 911 with a 1,500-kilometer limit costs you only shy of $ 3,000.

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Porsche Host [19659004]] Porsche Host sees the brand partnership with peer-to-peer car rental Turo to offer short (ish) futures from one week to one month with customer-owned Porsche vehicles from specially selected "five-star" Turo hosts. The program is launched in October and is limited to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The cars can be booked through the Turo app.

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Genesis has not yet shared specific pricing or regional availability for Spectrum.


Genesis Spectrum

Genesis enters the lesson game with subscription style with Spectrum . The program is like a standard lease that rolls in all your maintenance and insurance costs with your monthly payment. Just like the Lexus Complete Lease program, you can't necessarily change cars, but Spectrum gives you access to the entire Genesis product line. The 36-month leases start at $ 4899 per month with $ 2,699 for G70 $ 569 per month at $ 3,999 for G80 and $ 909 per month at $ 5,499 for G90 .

Spectrum will see a limited exit starting with 45 Genesis retailers in Florida, and it's not quite clear whether or when Genesis will expand the program to other markets. Read more in Genesis & # 39; Announcement here.

Third Party Services

These subscription services are not directly supported by a vehicle manufacturer. Most offer used or rented vehicles, and the prices vary quite a bit, which makes the level of bundling. Some services, for example, provide insurance included in the vehicle while others help you find insurance. Others, meanwhile, let you figure out yourself. The advantage of third party services is that they are usually much cheaper than the OEM options, and represent cheaper ways to get into a vehicle.

The Canvas lineup consists entirely of Ford and Lincoln products.



Canvas is a completely different type of subscription service altogether. It is supported by Ford Credit and offers exclusively Ford and Lincoln vehicles, but rather than having brand new shiny cars for you, you pay for used rental vehicles that are several years old. In fact, the largest number of cars available through Canvas in West Los Angeles is from the 2015 model.

The canvas program is more a la carte, which allows users to choose different subscription lengths and mileage to go with their vehicles. Insurance included, which with most subscription services and Canvas Cars comes with Ford's Protect Premium Maintenance Plan. The package includes routine oil change, multi-point inspections as well as some preventive care and replacement of common "wear".

The structure structure is also interesting, again because of its a la carte nature. When you sign up for Canvas, you first select a subscription length from one to 12 months, and the longer your subscription the lower the monthly fee. For example, a one-month subscription costs $ 375, while a 12-month subscription costs just $ 50 per month.

Next, select your vehicle. The Canvas option is a Ford Ford 2015 Ford Fiesta S then $ 329 per month, and it extends until the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible, giving you an unreasonable $ 629.

Finally, choose your mileage package. If you plan to run 500 miles per month or less, congratulations, you will not be charged any extra over the cost of your subscription and car fee. However, if you plan to make regular crossings, you will need unlimited mileage. Depending on which car you choose, this may range from an additional $ 80 per month to Fiesta S then to $ 135 per month for the convertible Mustang.

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Flexdrive lets you use an app and fees a week.

Flex Drive


Flexdrive allows you to choose a car via its app, pay a weekly fee – which differs from car to car – and pays for mileage beyond that. One of the advantages is that Flexdrive does not make you choose how long your subscription will be, unlike Canvas. This, plus its price per week, offers lots of flexibility, which can be cool for someone who just needs to travel occasionally.

As with other subscription services, routine maintenance includes insurance as well. But as with Canvas, you do not get a new car. Model years vary from 2014 to 2017 and the costs are not low either. A 2015 Honda Accord in Atlanta drives you either $ 219 per week or $ 876 for four weeks.

Flexdrive is currently available in some parts of Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.

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Smaller is only available in the San Francisco Bay Area right now.



Less is a Bay Area-only service that serves as a traditional lease except you may switch cars once a year under your three-year contract. Less also offers a monthly discount on your lease, which it says will offset the annual $ 399 membership fee, which is, by the way, the only money you pay to Smaller Direct. Your monthly payment goes to the dealer where you get your car.

Your choice of cars is quite decent in terms of quality if not assortment, with about 12 alternatives at any given time. Less choose luxury cars and SUVs from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, each with a sticker price over $ 60,000 and negotiating prices in bulk that allow the discount it transfers to the customer.

Plans allow 12,000 miles a year with a $ 0.25 per mile surcharge thereafter. Maintenance is provided by the manufacturer's prepaid maintenance plan included in the negotiated price of your lease. Drivers are expected to pay for their own insurance, but make sure you bill it for the cost.

This is a more traditional way to go to those who are good with extended commitments and those who just want to save a little dough.

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Loans only offer electric cars in their Los Angeles-based fleet.



Loans are a subscription service that only gives you an EV for three, six or nine months at a time. Loans work more like a rental service because all vehicles remain the property of loans. The electrical and electronic components it provides to customers are all used and available only in the Los Angeles area.

Customers can currently choose between two different types of electric cars, each with different prices. The lowest cost is the city's plan. Those who choose the city plan can choose either a Nissan Leaf or a Fiat 500e, and prices range from $ 499 per month for three months to $ 399 per month for nine months.

The next step is the "Premium" plan. This gives users access to either a BMW i3 or a Volkswagen eGolf. This level ranges from $ 624 per month for three months to $ 524 per month for nine months. There is a third platform for platform that offers a Tesla Model S, but it is not yet available to subscribers.

Insurance is not included in the monthly fee, but Borrow says it can help find insurance and bundle it with your monthly payment. Maintenance and road assistance are both included.

Loans are the most lifestyle focused of the third party options with their promises of swag bags, new products, event and restaurant discounts. While it may be good for someone who is in Los Angeles for a set time, with used EV rates as they are, it is probably not a good option for someone living here permanently, like a furnished apartment near a

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Fair is another lease-like program with the advantage of being almost entirely online. Users must download the Fair app and then scan their driver's license for approval. The fair will then run a soft check on their credit to determine the maximum payment they would qualify for and show a collection of vehicles in their area that they can afford.

Again, where it is different from a lease, it is that the user is not locked into a contract with set. The fair offers customers the opportunity to shop or return vehicles. Another important difference is that, unlike other subscriptions, Fair requests that you make a "Startup payment" that is higher than your typical monthly payment and is linked to the car's total value.

Fair offers a three-day / 100-mile return policy that allows users to return the vehicle if they do not like it, but after that or if there is damage to the vehicle within that period, the initial payment is refundable. Be careful.

Justice does not include insurance for the cost of your monthly payment, but as some of the other services we have covered, it helps you find insurance. Routine maintenance of vehicles is included, think oil change, liquids and tire rotations, but other costs come out of the pocket.

Everything happens through the app. You make your payment via the app by linking a bank account, your vehicle documents are in the app etc. It seems quite convenient and without any clear mileage (based on documentation) it would be a good way to go for most people want a car. Fair also offers a lot of choices when it comes to which vehicles are offered if you are looking for an economy car, a truck or SUV or even an EV.

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Carma was part of the Techstars Mobility Accelerator program in Detroit in 2017 and currently has two pilot programs running in Chicago and Columbus, OH.



Carma, based in Detroit, has pilot programs running in Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, and is geared to the regular car dealer and reseller / dealer. While it does not have a hard and fast list of vehicles that will be offered, the founders are clear that they will not be catering to any kind of commercial customer. Lift and Uber driver, look elsewhere. Drivers must be 21 years old and have a clean driving record.

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Originally published March 19, 2018 and updated regularly.
Update, March 27, 2019 : Adds the Genesis Spectrum.

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