That’s right, millennials. Need a car for two months? A year? Some indeterminate amount of time while you do your daily grind waiting to move or get a job or get into grad school? You may soon be able to subscribe to one. Obviously, this is not the same thing as buying a car outright, but it’s not quite the same as leasing, either.
With a lease, you pay to rent your car until your lease term expires, at which time you have the option to buy the car or return it. If you can’t afford to own a car because of the down payment or the commitment to maintaining it and finding your own auto insurance, a lease may be the best option to still get you behind the wheel of your dream machine.
But Wait—There’s More!
More options, that is. Manufacturers are now offering an even simpler, more streamlined way to quickly and affordably get into the driver’s seat of a car you don’t want to marry—the automobile subscription service. Unlike a lease, drivers can usually subscribe to a car on a month-to-month basis (though there are some services that require a one -or two-year contract. Sound like a bad phone plan, anyone? Still, better than the full-commit, if you’re unable or unwilling). Some subscriptions even include insurance.
Let’s take Ford’s subscription service, Canvas, as an example. Here’s how it works:
- You choose a car… provided it’s less than three years old and has been preowned
- You choose a monthly mileage package (500 miles – unlimited miles)
- Adding more miles to your plan costs extra, just like adding minutes to a phone plan. The good news is that the miles roll over. Didn’t drive your allotted miles this month? Drive them next month at no extra charge!
- Schedule a delivery time for the rental car to arrive
- Voila! The car arrives, and it includes registration, warranty, insurance, scheduled maintenance and even roadside assistance
- At the end of each month, you renew your subscription, or you return the car
Easy as That
Is Ford the only provider out there? No way. If you’ve got a supercilious brow and want to own a Porsche—or want to look like you do—you can subscribe to the Porsche Passport, which lets you choose any of eight models (such as the 718 Boxster or the 718 Cayman S) for a measly $2,000/month. Eight choices not enough? Go twenty-two models for $3,000/month. And you’re not tied down to the car model you choose. Yep. That’s right. You can switch between models as often as you like to make it look like you’re Tony Stark. Or, if Porsche doesn’t do it for you, Cadillac’s got a similar service, and it costs less: $1,500/month for the ability swap models up to eighteen times every year.
If these plans sound pricey enough to make you want to chuck the whole idea and just buy or lease a car right now, stop right there. Volvo’s in on the game, too, and their prices are a little more wallet-friendly. How does a $600/month flat rate sound? That would buy you a two-year (required) subscription to the XC40 Momentum. Spring for the $700/month flat rate for an upgraded XC40 model. Two years is a long time (might as well be a lease, right?), but the whole shebang comes with roadside assistance, scheduled maintenance, replacements for worn and torn parts (with restrictions), and insurance from Liberty Mutual. Not bad.
Unfortunately for the fancy, you’ll have to wait for subscription services unless they’re offered in your area (NYC, Dallas, and LA for Cadillac; San Fran and west LA for Porsche). But if you’re like us and think Volvo is a great option to get you from point A to point B, look no further than 2018. A nationwide kickoff of Volvo’s subscription service is set to hit the market then.