Private car subscriptions are on the rise

Buying or leasing was once the question of when a new car was needed. More recently, subscription has come to that. A great future is prophesied for this.

Will there be a subscription to the car in the future?  Some think: And how!

AAccording to experts, subscriptions for the use of a car could change the German new car market for private individuals. The subscription model could achieve a market share of up to 40 percent by 2030 and push the still popular cash payments and loan financing into the background, said Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the Duisburg-based CAR Institute. Leasing, on the other hand, will retain its importance.

Subscription models currently play almost no role, but according to the study they have great potential for up to a million contracts per year. The customer pays a monthly rate that covers all costs except for the fuel. Such contracts, including workshop services, insurance and loss of value protection, have been known for a long time from the corporate customer sector.

On the Internet pages of its brand Like2drive, the provider Fleetpool names the difference to classic leasing that with this down payment and final installment, there are usually factory freight costs, insurance premiums, vehicle tax, costs for inspection and maintenance or, for example, additional winter tires which is not the case with the subscription model. According to a customer survey by the provider Fleetpool, around every eighth contract incurred additional costs for damage to the vehicle and too many kilometers driven at the end of the term.

In a survey by the CAR Institute together with the technology provider IBM, 48 percent of the 1163 participants reported unexpected costs for their current car. Repairs due to wear were mentioned most frequently. A majority of 53 percent could imagine subscribing to the next car. When comparing terms and conditions for a specific BMW car model, 21 percent opted for the subscription; the proportion of cash buyers declined significantly compared to the cars currently being driven.

In a second survey, 726 customers of the subscription provider Fleetpool were asked. Of these, 89 percent wanted to stay on the subscription after the current contract expired, 93 percent were satisfied or very satisfied. In about every eighth contract, however, additional costs were incurred for damage to the vehicle and too many kilometers driven. According to the CAR Institute, there are currently subscription models with monthly rates from 199 euros for small cars.

For this purpose, Like2drive currently has a Fiat 500 Hybrid Lounge with a term of 13 months and 13,000 inclusive kilometers. A Ford Focus costs between 340 and 447 euros per month, depending on the equipment and the included kilometers, with a contract term of twelve months. The provider Faaren has an Opel Astra for twelve months with 15,000 kilometers included at a price of 400 euros per month.