Vehicle subscription services offer a compelling alternative to traditional ownership, leasing, and rental. They are useful in situations that prevent long-term commitment. Think of it as an in-betweener for those times when a traditional rental is too expensive and a lease is too burdensome. Need a car for a month or two (maybe six)? A subscription might be right for you. The primary differentiators between car subscription plans include service areas, monthly costs, upfront fees, mileage limits, flexibility, and vehicles offered. A slew of companies have launched in recent years and the marketplace is evolving rapidly.
Access by BMW
Access by BMW offers three monthly service tiers: Icon – $998 (lowered from $1,099), Legend – $1,399, and BMW M ($2,699). The Icon tier includes the 330i, 340i, X3, M240i convertible, and 440i Gran Coupe. The Legend tier adds the 530e xDrive iPerformance, 540i, X5 xDrive35i, 440i Coupe, M2 Coupe, and 440i Convertible. The BMW M tier turns the dial-up by adding the M5 Sedan, X5M, X6M, M4 Convertible, and M6 Convertible. Access by BMW subscriptions includes insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, and concierge delivery. A $575 activation fee is required. The program is currently only offered in Nashville.
Audi Select monthly subscription service offerings provide two tiers, with previous year models. The $995 Core tier includes the A4, Q5, S3, and TT. The Premier tier adds the A4 sedan, A5 Cabriolet, Q5 SUV, S5 Coupe, A6 Sedan, and Q7 SUV, in addition to the Core tier vehicles at a monthly fee of $1,495 (previously $1,395). The program includes insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, and two concierge-delivered vehicle swaps per month, with unlimited mileage. Two Silvercar rental travel days are provided in major metropolitan markets. The program is only available in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area.
Book by Cadillac
Book by Cadillac was a marquee operation. Service paused in December 2018 and was scheduled to resume in the first quarter of 2019. Alas, it did not.
Borrow is an electric vehicle (EV) specific subscription service with three-, six-, and nine-month terms. The company offers EV four categories: Campus (Smart Fortwo electric drive), City (Fiat 500e), Premium (BMW i3 and VW e-Golf), and Platinum (Tesla Model S). Vehicle maintenance, charging credits, and “near limitless mileage caps” are included, but insurance is not. The fees are strictly monthly. No down payment is required. Nine-month fees range from $199 per month for a 9-month Smart Fortwo to $1099 per month for a Tesla Model S. The program is currently available in Los Angeles.
Canvas was owned by Ford and discontinued after being acquired by Fair. Operations launched exclusively with Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The fleet eventually expanded to include vehicles from other manufacturers including Chevrolet, Dodge, and Honda. The service was initially available in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with expansion to Dallas and Boston. The Canvas fee structure consisted of a month-by-month car price, a monthly subscription price (based on the subscription length), and a mileage package, with insurance and maintenance, included. The longer the subscription, the lower the monthly subscription fee. Monthly car prices started at under $350, with a subscription fee starting at $50 per month. The first 500 miles each month were free. An unlimited mileage package was offered at $101 per month.
Care by Volvo
Care by Volvo is a factory-backed 24-month subscription service. The program offers the Volvo XC40, XC60, XC90, S60, and V60 Cross Country. It includes insurance, service, and maintenance, along with 15,000 miles per year (“additional mileage cannot be purchased at this time”). A $500 deposit is required. There is no upfront fee. Monthly fees start at $700 for the XC40 Momentum. Care by Volvo is currently available across the USA.
FreshCar (formerly Carma) is a dealer-based month-to-month subscription service platform that allows monthly vehicle swaps. Plans start at $499 per month with 500 miles. The plans are all-inclusive, with routine maintenance, repair, and insurance included. The program is currently available in multiple metropolitan areas.
Clutch is a dealer- and OEM-oriented vehicle subscription service platform, used by Drive Flow, YourDrive, Porsche Passport, and the Mercedes-Benz Collection. Cox Automotive is the parent company.
Fair is a month-to-month subscription service that offers “the freedom to walk away at any time.” All vehicles are six years old or less and have less than 70,000 miles on the odometer, with a wide range of brands. The program includes a limited warranty, roadside assistance, and routine maintenance. Drivers are responsible for repairs. Insurance and “extra wear-and-tear protection” are available at extra cost. The program is offered in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia (Atlanta), Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas), Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C. An up-front Start Payment is required.
Flexdrive is a “car subscription technology and services company,” targeted at dealers and fleet owners. The platform is a joint venture between Cox Automotive and ARI. It is currently offered in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Flexdrive also powers Lyft’s Express Drive program.
HyreCar offers rentals for crowdsource rideshare and delivery drivers with no contracts or sign-up fees on a daily basis. The company launched as a peer-to-peer rental platform and has pivoted towards a dealer-based model. HyreCar operates in all fifty states.
Less offers a 36-month luxury car leasing program, with the option to switch cars annually. The program requires a $399 yearly fee and a $4,999 up-front fee. A factory-backed maintenance plan and twelve thousand miles are included per year, with excess miles billed at $0.25 per mile. The program is only available in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Lexus Complete Lease
Lexus Complete Lease is an inclusive 24-month/20,000 mile leasing plan. It includes insurance and maintenance, along with tire and wheel coverage. Only the UX200 and UX 250h Hybrid are available. The program is currently available in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
The Mercedes-Benz Collection is a high-end monthly subscription program with concierge delivery, unlimited swaps, and unlimited mileage. The monthly fee includes insurance, service, maintenance, and roadside assistance. There are three tiers. The Signature Tier ($1095) includes AMG C 43, A 220, GLC 300, C 300 Coupe, C300 Cabriolet, and Metris Van. The Reserve Tier ($1595) includes the E 300 Sedan, E 450 Wagon, CLS 450, GLE 350, AMG CLC 43, GLE 450, GLS 450, GLC 43 Coupe, E 450 Coupe, AMG C 43 Coupe, E 450 Cabriolet, C 43 Cabriolet, and Metris. The Premier tier ($2995) includes the S 560, S 450, AMG CLS 53, GT 53, C 63, E 53, AMG GLC 63, GLC 63 S Coupe, G 550, E 53 Cabriolet, E 53 Coupe, S 560 Coupe, SL 550 Roadster, SL 450 Roadster, S 560 Cabriolet, C 63 Coupe, and C 63 Cabriolet, as well as the Metris. There’s a $495 activation fee. The program is currently only available in Atlanta, Nashville, and Philadelphia.
Mobiliti is a dealer-based month-to-month subscription service. Vehicles vary by location. There is no down payment or application fee. Mobiliti’s monthly fees include routine maintenance, a limited warranty, roadside assistance, and insurance.
Porsche Passport provides high levels of performance and flexibility, with a range of concierge-delivered Porsche vehicles. The program is monthly, with unlimited vehicle swaps and 2,000 miles per month. Two levels are available: Launch and Accelerate. Pricing starts at $2,000 per month, with a $595 activation fee. The program is expanding, following its launch in Atlanta – home of Porsche’s USA headquarters – and is now available in Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, and Toronto, as well.
PrimeFlip is a month-to-month subscription plan offering vehicles from a range of manufacturers. Each vehicle is limited to a month-long span, with 1,500 miles included. There are two membership plans: Spin ($1,250 per month, up from $995) and Cruise ($1,550 per month, up from $1395). PrimeFlip allows for unlimited flips each month with the Cruise plan and two flips with the Spin plan (additional Spin flips are $50 each). A one-time membership fee ($2,000, previously 500 to $1,000) is required. The program is only available in New England.
Revolve is a month-by-month three-tier luxury vehicle subscription service. The Elite tier ($1,500) includes an interesting array of vehicles, including the Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrafoglio and Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Elite vehicles have an MSRP of $60-$80K. The Luxury tier ($2,000 per month) includes a healthy selection of brands, including Cadillac, Range Rover, Maserati, Porsche, Tesla, and Lexus, along with the Chevrolet Corvette. Luxury vehicles have an MSRP of $80K to $110K. The performance-oriented Enthusiast tier ($2,600 per month) includes BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche, and Tesla vehicles, as well as the Nissan GT-R. Enthusiast vehicles have an MSRP of $110K to $160K. A one-time membership fee ($1,000-$1,500) is required. Monthly fees include maintenance, roadside assistance, and insurance. 1,500 miles per month are allowed. The program is only available in South Florida.