A recent phenomenon, the car subscription is gaining notoriety and power. Can it be democratized and become a common mode of consumption?
Purchase, sale with purchase rental, punctual subscriptionl via an autolib-type service, long-term subscription. Difficult to navigate in what is transforming into a real jungle: the number of options to get a vehicle. Latest to come on the market:subscriptiont. Can it be democratized? Possible. On condition of starting with a titanic work: make themselves known and understood by users. And the road is long.
Subscription, what is it?
Halfway between the LOA (Rental with option to buy) and the loan via Autolib and consort, a new offer. Like your phone, your internet, your transport card, a servicewhich is offered to you for a fee. The car does not belong to you, but you have the usufruct as long as the subscription lasts. You do not have to return it after each tripand you can keep it for a month, three months, a year as long as you respect the mileage agreed with the lessor.
No need to put on your best suit to negotiate a loan with your banker. The principle resembles the location of an apartment, less surety and guarantor. The supplier asks an imprint of your credit card to check your creditworthiness. Be careful though, some rental companies ask for a deposit. The car is yours for the time and mileage agreed beforehand. Insurance, registration tax and maintenance are included in the price. Simple.
Simple ? Not that much. Competition obligatory. Comparing the different offers on the market before deciding takes much longer than the process itself, which only takes a few minutes online. The prices are similar, but as always, beware of the conditions written in very small in a corner and which can inflate the sum. And especially, mileage is limited, as with a traditional rental company. The little minus that can be a deterrent.
How to find it?
Various comparative blogs (Packauto.fr, carsubsrciption.org, most insurance comparators) report the disparities between lessors. Minimum term ranging from one month to one yearpossibility of terminating free of charge or not, initial contribution or not,range of vehicle choice and possible home delivery. Some rental companies thus seem very attractive with low rental prices, until the moment when we discover application fee huge.
A growing business
Europe seems ready to succumb. Surely more than United States or owning a car from the age of 16 is a more than firmly anchored cultural fact. 80% of the start-ups created around the concept were on the old continent. As for Chinashe shows a displayed indifference to this new mode of operation.
According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, one of the few on a fairly recent phenomenon, the car subscription should, within 10 yearsbecome a market of 30 to 40 billion dollars and represent 15% of the car fleet in circulation. 15% within 10 years, enough to talk about expansion, still a little light to call it democratization.
The enemy comes from within. The subscription, finally, it already exists, it’s called short-term rental or shared mobility for a single move. The subscription must therefore provide a real plus to convince that it has a purpose. Suppliers must therefore emphasize the absence of initial investment and fully play the card of flexibility. Especially if it’s for a young audience and therefore not particularly seduced by the constraints.
The place of builders
Quite small for now, but things are changing. In France, Aramisflex for Aramisauto and therefore Stellantis or Mobilize for Renault are entering the market. Even if Mobilize is currently better positioned in more “classic” markets: short-term rental or car-sharing. They have the advantage of representing brands recognized and established in France and offer many models for subscription. The disadvantage is inherent in the size of their parent company: a certain administrative burden. Highlight the lack of commitment and impose credit charges and a deposit, when the Chinese competition from Lynk & Co only asks for a credit card imprint.
They vary little from one supplier to another and many depending on the model you choose. From 200 to 1200 Euros per month. No subscription exists for less than one month. There, we fall back into the classic rental. Knowing, it goes without saying but it always goes better by saying it, that fuel, motorway tolls and parking fees are at your expense. Beware once again of the famous application fees. They can seriously sink the attractiveness of the offere.
And the electric?
Not only are electric cars not forgotten (suppliers are not suicidal), but the subscription can even serve as way to convince you to go electric. Are you tempted but not yet sure you want to take the plunge? You can subscribe for one, two or three months. At least, you’ll know if, when you have to, electric is right for you or not. This is for builders, a weapon of mass seduction of which they would be wrong to deprive themselves.
The subscription, a solution for the future?
Probably, once some good pruning has carved out this jungle of choice. Due to financial attractiveness, of course, but also to the mindset of younger generations, more nomadic than the older ones until a certain point. Just because you don’t want to own a car doesn’t mean you want to struggle to find a car-sharing station when you go to work. A voucher compromise between property and the nomadism that begins to seduce when you master the workings.
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