Inside the Surging World of Vehicle Subscription Services

How did you come across your first-ever vehicle? How did you acquire your most recent vehicle? The odds are pretty good that in the time between your first vehicle and your most recent one, your income situation might have changed. What hasn’t changed, however, is the need to be financially frugal. For a long time, the best way to get your hands on a new car was to go to a dealership to buy yourself some debt. Cars famously depreciate the moment that they leave the lot, thus making automobiles a tough investment to make. So where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us in the world of vehicle subscription services.

When we discuss automobile subscription services, what are we actually talking about? Well, the name is as simple as the actual process. An automobile subscription service allows clients to pick from several cars within a specific price range, let’s say $895/month. Within that price range, subscribers will be able to pick and choose the kind of vehicle that they want to drive. Once the vehicle has been selected, the subscriber can decide how long they want to rent the vehicle. Will the rental be for a single month? Will it be for two weeks? If you don’t see how this might be beneficial, you may not be thinking hard enough. Can you imagine a scenario where you would benefit from swapping your car for another vehicle?

While vehicle subscription services still have a long way to go before they are mainstream, the system is already impossible to ignore. Markets in Baltimore and Washington D.C. are currently enjoying a surge in vehicle subscription services through companies like Inride. The flexibility that these services provide makes it all too easy for subscribers to get the most out of their vehicle use. In order to take advantage of this sort of service, customers will implement insurance, maintenance, a downpayment, and interest, all metrics tied to the subscriber’s credit report. Even though this sort of service won’t be perfect for everyone, vehicle subscription companies are clearly offering something specialized to those that require it.

At this point in time, you might be wondering why drivers would turn to subscription services as an alternative to renting or leasing a car. Let’s explore that thought process a bit. When you enjoy a car subscription service, you can enjoy a new vehicle without a long-term commitment. Additionally, all vehicle insurance and maintenance costs are handled by the subscribing service, not the driver. Car subscription customers also enjoy reduced fees on casual services, such as swapping out tires.

Even though car-based subscription services are new to the market, they represent the next big step forward in the automobile industry. We are currently experiencing a culture shift in how the market operates. Much like owning versus renting a home, younger customers are more and more willing to stick with rental options. Rental options provide financial flexibility to those who may not have the ability to make an all-out purchase.