Car subscription: when it can be worthwhile and what to look out for
If you don’t want to buy or lease a car, you can also subscribe. But how does the car subscription actually work? Which services are included, how high are the costs and for whom is it worthwhile? AUTO BILD clarifies!
What is the car subscription?
You can take out the car subscription from the comfort of your own home, without any paperwork.
What we have known from TV or music streaming services for years is also possible with vehicles. With a car subscription, the user pays a monthly amount and can then use the vehicle during the term of the contract. The car subscription is like an all-inclusive flat rate, because all additional costs are already included in the rate. These include insurance, vehicle taxes, costs for transportation, maintenance and wearing parts, TÜV and tire service. The user only has to pay for the fuel – or, in the case of an electric car, the electricity. If he wants to wash his car while it is in use, he bears these costs. The car subscription is not comparable to short-term use such as car sharing, classic car rental or car leasing, which is designed for several years. With the car subscription, the period is significantly shorter, depending on the provider, the term is between one and six months. Both commercial and private customers can take out a car subscription. The costs start from 199 euros per month (e.g. with Like-2-drive for a Mitsubishi Space Star). The higher the vehicle value, the higher the monthly price, of course. For a vehicle from the luxury segment, it can be over 1000 euros a month. A Mercedes S-Class with Sixt + (this is the car subscription for private customers, for business customers it is called Sixt Flat) costs 1345 euros, with Sixt + there is always a one-off starting fee of 199 euros. Incidentally, the car subscription is always a preconfigured vehicle, usually no changes to the equipment are then possible.
Car subscription providers
– Mercedes me Flexperience
– Care by Volvo
– PSA retail car subscription
– Volkswagen Financial Services
– Mini subscribe
– Porsche Drive subscription
– CONQAR from Seat
– BMW Rent
– Finn car
– Subscription car
– Trusted cars
– Lynk & Co
Car rental company:
– Sixt +
– SiebrEcht car subscription
– Deisenroth and Sons Auto Abo
|Price examples: vehicles from different Providers|
|model||monthly Price*||Minimum duration||monthly km||providers|
|Opel Grandland X||479 euros||6 months||1,250 km||Cluno|
|BMW 1 Series||409 euros||6 months||1,250 km||Cluno|
|BMW X3 M Sport||869 euros||6 months||1,250 km||Cluno|
|VW T-Roc||470 euros||3 months||800 km||Vive-LaCar|
|VW Golf VIII Style||494 euros||3 months||800 km||Vive-LaCar|
|Mercedes A 200||518 euros||3 months||800 km||Vive-LaCar|
|Seat Arona FR||329 euros||6 months||1,666 km||like2drive|
|Skoda Octavia Combi||369 euros||6 months||1,666 km||like2drive|
|Cupra Formentor||539 euros||6 months||1,666 km||like2drive|
|VW T6||739 euros||6 months||3,000 km||Carminga|
|Audi Q3||759 euros||6 months||2,000 km||Carminga|
|Mercedes G 500 4 Matic||1,999 euros||6 months||1,250 km||Carminga|
|* Prices from January 29th, 2021|
Advantages and disadvantages of the car subscription
– Full cost control (taxes & insurance are included in the monthly rate)
– Drive new cars without high acquisition costs
– Lots of choice: Always the latest models with the latest technology
– Flexibility through short contract terms
– Simple and fast registration process, mostly completely digital
– Cross-manufacturer and cross-model offers
– You can test different technologies (hybrid or e-cars)
– Depreciation does not matter
– Some providers also offer an option to purchase after the end of the contract
– Start or registration fee (for some providers)
– Free kilometer flat rate sometimes low (with some providers)
– The car is only rented, not owned
– Some providers have restrictions such as minimum age or annual mileage
– Pre-configured vehicles are no longer possible
– With a negative Schufa, it is often not possible to take out a subscription
What is the difference between a car subscription and leasing?
With the car subscription, only the fuel has to be paid for, the rest is included in the monthly rate.
With a car subscription you get a fixed monthly amount, just like with leasing a vehicle for a certain term. In both cases, the car does not belong to the user. However, there are also differences between these two options. The terms for a car subscription are shorter than for leasing, where you commit to at least 12 months. The car subscription can usually be done quickly online and offers a more flexible vehicle change. Because the terms of the car subscription are shorter and this is an all-inclusive package, the monthly fees are also higher. For example, the monthly rate for a BMW 5 Series Touring from Faaren is at least 990 euros. However, all services are covered, and the user only has to pay the fuel bill and any vehicle washes. If he drives more kilometers than contractually stipulated, these must of course also be paid for. Car leasing is usually cheaper, but not all services are covered. There are additional packages, but there is no comparable all-inclusive package that covers, for example, taxes, tire changes, wear parts and the like with leasing. However, it is advantageous that some leasing vehicles can be configured according to your own wishes, which is not possible with a car subscription. (Cluno car subscription: all-inclusive flat rate.)
Requirements for the car subscription
Depending on the provider, not only the contract term, the pricing and the notice periods vary, but also the requirements for being able to take out a car subscription. This has to be checked in each individual case. Usually, however, these requirements must be met for a car subscription:
– Some providers charge a registration fee when registering for the first time
– The minimum age is between 18 and 23 years (varies depending on the provider)
– The maximum age is 75 years (varies depending on the provider)
– A residence or company headquarters in Germany is necessary
– An EU driving license is required, which you have held for at least two / three years (varies depending on the provider)
– With a negative Schufa it is not possible to take out a subscription
What should you look out for with a car subscription?
Some providers already offer car subscriptions. And there are not only differences in pricing, but also in the range of vehicles, the waiting time until receipt of the vehicle and the notice periods. If you have found the right offer for you, you should read the conditions carefully in any case. How many kilometers can I drive? How is the car insured and what is the excess? Do I have to pay a deposit? How are the exchange modalities? Where can I pick up my vehicle or will it be delivered? Since the offers of the providers differ considerably from each other, you should take enough time and compare them thoroughly.
Is a car subscription worth it for me?
If you only want to drive a new car for a reasonable period of time and do not want to own it, the car subscription can be an interesting option. You don’t have to worry about servicing the car, registering it, repairs or selling it, and you don’t have to worry about expensive surprises. The monthly payments cover maintenance costs and the loss of value is also irrelevant. If you also like to drive different models, you can change the car much more often than when leasing or buying.