Sub my car
Cars are set to become a subscription good in 2018, with users eschewing ownership and paying a monthly fee – often covering insurance and maintenance – to drive a car for as long as they like, according to CB Insights. “This takes away the pain of having to sell your car – an asset with a value that begins to depreciate the minute you buy it – and eliminates the need for maze-like leasing contracts,” the research firm explains.
CB Insights points to Fair, a start-up able to boast the likes of BMW i Ventures among its backers, which claims to offer drivers a way to quickly get a car for a low, all-in, month-to-month payment, with the option to change vehicles at the drop of a hat.
“With Fair, you are not locked into your car any longer than you'd like to keep it,” the outfit say. “Whether you want to drive your Fair car for three months or six years, the choice is yours. Simply give us five days' notice when you are ready to return.”
Volvo recently rolled out a subscription-based service for its XC40 SUV, promising to make running a car ‘as easy as having a smartphone’. And Porsche has also launched a subscription service, including insurance, roadside assistance, plus a personal concierge who will look after each car.
“These programmes are bets that a business model can be built around the fact that many consumers don’t care about actually owning a car – they merely want to use it and have someone else handle the headaches,” says CB Insights.