Car Subscription vs. Car Rentals vs. Car Lease vs. Car Ownership—How to Live a Dream of New Car Every Month

The rapid changes in the behaviours of the customer, tech developments, infrastructure upgrade needs, price management, and higher operational costs force the automotive industry to try and test the subscription market. Some have successfully drawn the new-age customer to become the potential source of recurring revenue, while some are thinking to keep their high-end automobile brands classy without compromising on the revenue growth.

Different sort of business models is followed by the automakers to offer value-added services to the customers. One such is car subscriptions.

Car subscriptions are all-inclusive deals that not only ease access to the dream cars but are a package of all the needs and requirements to manage the car subscription without any hassles.

Also Read: Embracing the Next-Gen Change—This is How Manufacturing Industry Is Carving and Scaling Subscription Solutions

What are Car Subscriptions?

Car subscriptions are the new fashion statements for Gen Z’s young and electrifying quest for thrill and excitement. The lastest and upended business model changes are reshaping the economy has favoured the subscription fever further. The automobile industry is also set to experimenting with the new business model in order to fulfil the needs and desires of the new-generation customer.

The car subscription usually includes maintenance, insurance, taxes and duties, delivery, in some cases, even fuel, and with or without commitment relaxation and reliability.

The article defines and compares the emerging car subscription scenario with the other business models of the automotive sector. We will also overview how the bigwigs have begun the car subscription race and how it is a win-win game for the automobile manufacturers as well as for the customers.

Buying, Renting, or Leasing—How Is the Car Subscription Different Than Others?

The automotive industry solely does not depend on the car sell or car ownership business model. Long before the car subscription business model, several other business models are there frequently stabilizing the revenue streaming of the industry, as well as, offer the customers options to access and drive the car.

These include:

Car Ownership

This business models look for the upfront and outright price of the product at one time. It deals with the purchasing of a vehicle by the customer. Car ownership makes the vehicle an asset for the customer that can serve them for their driving need as well as can be sold later when it is required.

Car Rentals

Car rentals as the name suggests allows the customer to take a car on the rent per day or month basis and drive it for a time only for which it has been rented. It does not bother the customer with costs like maintenance, insurance, taxes, and duties. Though, the fuel is the responsibility of the customer who has rented the car.

Car Leasing

Car leasing is a sort of car rental that allows the customer to pay a monthly fee and continue to drive the car for an agreed term. At the end of the lease term, the customer can or cannot buy the car.

Car Sharing

Car sharing is also a type of car rental. It allows the customer to use the cars owned by the company, dealer, or individual for a short term and less price that can also be returned anytime when it is not required.

Car Subscription

A car subscription service is a way to get access to the vehicle on a recurring basis where, unlike a car lease, all the maintenance, insurance, taxes and duties, and delivery is on the automaker or the non-manufacturer services provider. It facilitates the customer to swap between the car whenever they want. These subscriptions can or cannot bound the customers with the contract.

Also Read: Subscription Retention Begins With Customer Experience Elevation—Predictions and Actions for 2021

How Does Car Subscription Work?

Cars subscriptions are no rocket science.. Subscription is actually the reason it is simper and accessible for all. As a customer, if you can manage your Netflix subscription over any of your digital screen or through a website or app, you can signup for the car subscription as well and can cancel at any time and return the vehicle to the company.

And, for the automakers, car subscriptions are also not a great deal. They can also easily offer their cars-on-subscription like any other personal care, gyms, or online courses offer their subscriptions.

Car subscriptions are not about owning one vehicle or driving one car only for a limited period, it is more about driving the cars you have always dreamt for whenever you want for a monthly fee, only.

Most companies offer simple signup processes through their sites and apps. Once the payment is made, the company can ask the customer to pick the car from their showroom or it can be delivered to their place as per the features and facilities available in the subscription plan or package.

These subscriptions may require a one-time subscription program joining fee and then the customers are required to pay one wholesome fee for the car usage, maintenance, insurance, taxes, duties, delivery, and others.

Customer can opt for different terms of the subscription. These subscriptions usually offer no contracts or long-term commitments.

What Automakers Are Offering the Car Subscriptions?

The convenience, novelty, and attraction car subscriptions offer are unmatched and unparalleled. It is more like choosing a relationship with cars—excited, reliable, secure, adjustable, and fulfilling.

The unprecedented growth of the subscription economy and the inclination of the car enthusiasts to the car subscription has started drawing the attention of the automakers to nibble at the idea of car subscription. As pilot projects, some automakers, including the luxury automobile manufacturers, have also stepped out of their comfort zones of selling the cars to testing the waters for the car subscription feasibility, customer interest, market approach, and revenue benefits.

Some handful of the high-end auto brands are now set to offer a carefully curated selection of the latest models from their fleet of vehicles in the limited markets. There is no one-size-fits-all sort of car subscription plans. Some are offering flexibility to switch to a different model whenever they want, whereas some facilitate and pamper customers with car pickup and drop-off for car-swaps or maintenance.

Here is a lineup of some of the budgeted as well as high-end auto brands hit the market with the idea of car subscriptions:


Volvo is offering car subscription of their A-class models such as XC40, XC60 & XC90 SUVs, and S60 Sedan across the United States except a few, including, California, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, North and South Dakota, North Carolina, and New York.

The car subscriptions offered by the Volva is a 24-months program with the flexibility to cancel the subscription after four months with attractions like no down payments, the option to subscribe to a new car, 15,000 miles/year, insurance and scheduled maintenance, and relatively, affordable pricing i.e. $600 to $850/month.


Toyota introduced the all-inclusive subscription plan as an alternative to buy or lease a new car with a selection of models which include insurance, home delivery, maintenance, and insurance.

As soon as the customer subscribed for the car, it will be available at the dealership as per the preference. Toyota offers no long-term commitment with a one-time program fee for a two-months membership program that can be cancelled or paused anytime. The models include Corolla, Camry, Rav4, and Sequoia. Each plan includes insurance coverage with 1250 monthly mileage coverage.


Nissan brings its non-luxury models into the race as well. Nissan made it easier for thee Maxima, Frontier, and GT-R lovers to gain access to these beauties whenever they want and with ultimate accessibility and convenience. For the time being, it is available in Houston only.

The models include Altima, Rogue, Pathfinder, and Frontier as well as Leaf, Maxima, Murano, Titan, 370Z, and GT-R with an activation fee of $495. The subscription price per month starts at $699/month. The cars can be subscribed for 6-months or up to 2000 mileage.


Porsche offers its car subscription services in selected states, only, that include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Diego, and Phoenix. The models include all the Porsche cars as well as SUVs with quite a pricey month-to-month subscription program with the features like changing the models frequently, uncapped mileage, and on-demand Porsche swap. Pricing starts at $2100/month


Audi ended its car subscription select program earlier in January 2021. It was one of the most anticipated programs in the subscription arena. However, Audi agreed to it as a pilot program and no longer interesting in the continuity of the program anytime sooner. Audi is interested in replacing the program with car rentals.


BMW has also concluded its car subscription program at the beginning of 2021. Earlier, it had offered the subscription services ACCESS by BMW that allowed the customer to choose a vehicle that would be delivered at home with a full tank of fuel, one-time activation fee, and no long-term commitment. BMW offered three tiers of membership with the pricing starting from $1000.

Also Read: The Leading Causes of Revenue Leakages—Learn How to Mitigate Disruption in Recurring Revenue Streaming

Car Subscription—A Gateway to Give You the Supremacy to Drive A New Car Every Month

The charm of car subscriptions is attracting people from all the classes, particularly, those that cannot compromise on lesser than greatest and latest. Car subscriptions have made the dreams of millions to drive dream cars, SUVs, Sedans, Jeeps, and more from the upscale houses of Porsche, BMW, Volvo, Toyota, and more.

Car subscriptions are in their early stages and have already garnered the attention of customers and automakers alike owning to the new-age tech development and upgrade needs. People now can wait for the length of their lives to drive the car of their dreams. Now, they can subscribe and drive the car they want or switch to any other whenever they want, without spending millions of bucks and hassles of other expenses like maintenance, insurance, and taxes.

Car subscriptions offer value with more choice at less price. They have a great competitive edge and are simply convenient at fixed rates. The car subscription concept is in its beginning stage and is looming the challenges like demand and supply shortage and depreciation in interest and appeal. But, it is sooner to predict all that. For now, car subscriptions are available and subscribers can rock with their dream cars.