Your guide to vehicle subscription services
3 October 2018 - Autoblog
Luxury brands are changing the ownership experience with subscriptions
They might be extremely limited in scope because of location availability, but vehicle subscription services are a growing trend that most luxury manufacturers are jumping on. Plans are expensive, but you're paying for much more than just the car typically. We highlighted five of the larger plans with a few more listed at the end.
Book by Cadillac
Cadillac was one of the first to offer a vehicle subscription service. It's also one of the better values compared to those that have sprouted up since. For $1,800 per month and a $500 initiation fee, you'll have access to five different Cadillacs: ATS-V, CTS-V, CT6, XT5 and Escalade. Your money gives you access to any of those vehicles for 2,000 miles per month. It includes registration, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs with no long-term commitment required. Enrollees can swap vehicles up to 18 times per year through a concierge service — this means Cadillac will pick up and drop-off your new car wherever you'd like. Cadillac is offering the service in New York City, Dallas and Los Angeles for now. L.A. subscribers are even luckier because they're the only region that gets the option of a CTS-V Wagon.
Care by Volvo
Volvo launched its subscription service last year with its brand-new XC40. It was the only vehicle available for a time, but subscribers can now get an S60 sedan as well. Subscriptions are for two years, with the monthly price including insurance, a concierge service, wear-and-tear item replacements and all maintenance. You'll be able to drive 15,000 miles per year with whichever Volvo you choose, and although there are no options to extend that mileage, you can swap cars after a year. Pricing for the XC40 is $650 per month in base trim, while an S60 can be as expensive as $850 for the R-Design. Volvo's plan is to offer more cars soon through the service, but it's relatively limited compared to others right now.
Porsche has two levels in its subscription service: Launch and Accelerate. Launch will cost $2,000 per month and give you access to the Cayman, Boxster, Macan and Cayenne. All of those but the Cayenne can be had in "S" trim as well. Accelerate is where the fun really starts. For $3,000 per month you can choose from a fleet of 911s, including the S, 4S, Cabriolet and Cabriolet S. If those aren't enough, you can also get the Panamera 4S, Macan GTS and Cayenne S. There are no mileage limits and you can change vehicles as often as you'd like. Also included in the price is insurance, repairs, detailing and any maintenance. It might be extremely expensive and limited to Atlanta only, but this subscription service is second-to-none for what you get.
Audi just launched its subscription car service, and it's offered in one version for a flat fee of $1,395 per month. For that you'll have access to five different cars including the A4, S5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, Q5, and Q7. Not a bad range of vehicles, but it would've been neat to see the recently updated A7 in there too. Maybe in time. Like the others, insurance and maintenance are wrapped up in the price. Audi is allowing for unlimited miles and two car swaps per month here. In addition to that, you'll get two days of free rentals through Audi's Silvercar rental agency should you go on a trip. As of now, Audi's subscription service is only available in Dallas.
This subscription service from a company called Mobiliti is similar in nature to that offered by manufacturers. Instead of driving vehicles exclusively of a certain make though, you'll have many to choose from. Most of the cars in its service are from non-luxury brands too, so it's a bit cheaper than the above plans. Prices vary, though. We saw a 2015 Ford Focus in rotation around Detroit for $599 per month, but there's also a 2016 Audi A5 that costs $1,061 per month. If you live somewhere like Austin, then a Mazda CX-5 can be found for only $434 per month. Like the OEMs, insurance and maintenance is included with these vehicles and Mobiliti allows for one vehicle swap per month. Mobiliti isn't widely available yet, but there are locations in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Here are some other subscription services to consider in your search:
Access by BMW - OEM subscription service
Mercedes-Benz Collection - OEM subscription service
Lexus Complete Lease - OEM subscription service
Carpe by Jaguar Land Rover - OEM subscription service, not available in the United States yet
Turo - More of a person-to-person rental service, but worthy of mention on this list because of its abnormal nature and growing popularity