It’s not just magazines and newspapers you can subscribe to, but cars as well; we explain how the process works
Car subscription services arguably represent the biggest shake-up in how we finance our cars since the Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) arrived back in the 1990s. The idea is simple: instead of buying a car outright, or leasing it over several months or years, you get the car on subscription, which you can opt in and out of with far greater flexibility than is offered by a PCP deal. There is, obviously, more to it than that, which we’ll go into here.
How does a car subscription work?
Each subscription will work in its own way, but the general pattern looks something like this:
- You choose the car you want
- You pay a monthly fee
- You get the car, inclusive of tax, insurance, breakdown cover and servicing
What car subscription services are there in the UK?
Care by Volvo
Mocean by Hyundai
Pivotal by Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover’s Pivotal scheme allows you to cancel after three months with no penalty, and allows you to change cars every six months. There are four price bands, named Blue, Indigo, Violet and Ultraviolet, with prices Blue costing £850 a month and giving you access to models like the Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover Discovery Sport; Ultraviolet is the most expensive option, at £2,000 a month, and this gets you the full-fat Range Rover.
Flexibility by Genesis
Genesis is the posh arm of parent company Hyundai, and its subscription service operates on a minimum six-month contract. An illustrative 18-month contract will cost £1,122 for a GV80 SUV.
Is a car subscription right for me?
Car subscription services offer greater flexibility than conventional leases, but they are also more expensive than traditional PCP contracts. If you value convenience above all else and like the idea of changing car every few months, a subscription service could be worth considering. It’s also an excellent way to find out how an electric car would fit into your life, without having to fully commit to one.
The best thing to do if you’re considering a subscription service is to crunch the numbers: work out how much it would cost you to lease, insure, tax and maintain a car using traditional finance, compare this to a subscription package, work out how much you want to be able to change cars regularly, then make your decision.
Car subscription: anything else to know?
Each subscription service will have different terms and conditions; you only need to be 25 to join Hyundai’s scheme, but Jaguar Land Rover has a minimum age of 28, for example. There will also be wear and tear clauses in the contract, so check what is considered normal by this, and what could leave you liable for extra costs. Also bear in mind each contract will have a monthly mileage allowance, with charges if you go over this, while consider who else will be driving the car, and make sure there are no restrictions about another party driving the car, both contractually and in terms of insurance.
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