Up until recently, American drivers had two basic options to consider when choosing new cars to drive: buying them or leasing them. For short-term needs, renting cars has also been an option. Now, thanks to car subscription services, drivers have yet another option to keep in mind when they’re looking to upgrade their wheels. Keep reading to learn more. This overview will explain what car subscription services are and whether they’re ideal for your needs and preferences.

What is a car subscription service?

A simple way to understand what a car subscription service is involves thinking of the service as a middle ground between renting and leasing a car. With a car subscription service, you pay a monthly fee to drive a quality vehicle either direct from the manufacturer or a third-party leasing company. Unlike when you lease a car, if you use a car subscription service, you do not need to get insurance and cover maintenance costs on your own. These are all included in the monthly fee.

However, while you will probably drive a car you’ve acquired through a car subscription service for a shorter period of time than you would if you were leasing the vehicle, you will also probably hold onto it for longer than you would if you were merely renting a car. When you’re ready to move on to a different vehicle, you can return your current one and choose a new model if your subscription plan includes a car-swapping feature. There is no universal answer to the question “Is a car subscription service right for me?” However, the following points can help you better understand why this service may or may not be worth giving a try:

Pro: Car Subscription Services Let You Swap Vehicles Frequently

Are you the type of person who struggles to commit to one particular type of vehicle when buying a new car? If so, car subscription services may appeal to you. With a car subscription service, you often have the opportunity to swap out the vehicle you’re driving for a different one relatively frequently. This can be particularly helpful if a short test drive is not enough to convince you to purchase a specific car. Using a car subscription service gives you more time to try out different vehicles in different driving conditions than you would have when taking a new car for a quick spin near the lot. Of course, you might simply enjoy being able to drive different types of vehicles when you please, even if you’re not necessarily planning on buying one anytime soon.

This is another potential reason to look into car subscription services. These services may offer the perfect solution to auto enthusiasts who wish to experience driving a variety of makes and models without necessarily having to assume the responsibilities associated with leasing or purchasing a car.

Pro: Car Subscription Services Are Convenient

Again, the monthly fee a car subscription service charges will cover insurance and maintenance. Taking advantage of a car subscription service may therefore be more convenient than leasing or buying a vehicle.

Con: Fees Can Be High

The monthly fees car subscription services charge can be quite high. This is particularly true if a plan includes car-swapping options. The initial cost of a car subscription service may seem low when compared to the cost of buying or leasing a car. Even when you lease a new vehicle, you often need to make a down payment. You might therefore assume you will save money by using a scar subscription service. However, depending on how long you wish to drive a particular vehicle, you might end up being better off financially if you simply lease or buy it. Over time, those costly fees can undo any savings you might have initially enjoyed.

Con: Car Subscription Services Often Impose Various Limitations and Rules

Driving a car you got from a car subscription service may very well help you avoid some of the responsibilities car ownership involves. That said, it can also prevent you from enjoying some of the freedoms associated with owning or leasing a car. For example, some car subscription services place limits on how many miles a vehicle can be driven. They might also not allow unlimited drivers to use a vehicle. Some plans prohibit allowing pets in a vehicle as well. On top of all that, car subscription services are not available in all states.

New car dealer franchise laws in some states do not allow car subscription services to operate there. These are all factors to consider if you are interested in car subscription services. While this brief overview has hopefully addressed some questions you may have about the topic, you might want to do more research and contact a company offering car subscription services directly for more information.

DOWNLOAD THE APP

Start rounding up and saving to pay down your car loan faster