13 All-Inclusive Month-to-Month Car Subscription Services, Compared

Rather than locking yourself into one vehicle for years and years, car subscription services are giving you the chance to lease cars on a month-to-month basis.

From movie services like Netflix to meal delivery plans like Blue Apron, the so-called “subscription economy” has revolutionized the way we understand ownership and access services in the Internet age. Where we used to focus our funds on purchasing products to own, now many of us are sharing goods and consolidating services into neat monthly fees. 

The subscription model has created some truly innovative ways of living and consuming, and seems poised to continue its expansion. So, what’s the latest revolution taking off in the subscription-based world? Monthly car subscriptions.

The vehicle subscription model has only gained traction in the last year or so, but its rapid rise in popularity makes complete sense. For one flat monthly fee, you get everything you need to get on the road, including insurance, routine maintenance, and roadside assistance. Often, the monthly fee comes out to be significantly lower than leasing a vehicle and having to cover all the expenses and the down-payment yourself. 

Plus, rather than locking yourself into one vehicle for years and years, many of these plans allow you to “flip” your car on a regular basis with some programs even granting you unlimited swaps. For many subscribers, this means having the freedom to hop into something sleek like a luxury sedan for date night and switch to something more spacious and functional like an SUV for a family vacation.

If you’re like me, this might be the first time you’re hearing about car subscription programs and you’re probably curious what they’re all about. That’s why we’ve put together this guide introducing you to 13 of the leaders in the vehicle subscription world and offering a comparison of each of them based on how they work, membership requirements, cost, insurance coverage, subscription length, and where you can find them.

So, without further ado, we present the top 13 car subscription models:

Third party car subscription services

These services aren’t affiliated with a specific company and offer tons of different makes and models with your subscription.

Borrow

How it works: Borrow exclusively lends out electric vehicles and is only available in Los Angeles currently. Borrowers can reserve vehicles online, but you’ll need to go into their HQ in West Hollywood to pick up the car. Cars are usually ready for pickup in three to five business days. When you’re ready to return your car you’ll bring it back to HQ or you can opt to extend your subscription. They have models from Fiat, Nissan, BMW, VW, and Tesla (coming this Winter).

Membership requirements: You’ll need a valid driver’s license, good credit, and a good driving record with no recent incidents.

Cost: You’ll need to put down a $25 deposit to reserve the car which will be applied to your first month’s payment. Monthly fees depend on the length of your subscription and the type of car, but they range from $399/month to $624/month. There’s no mileage limit.

Subscription length: You can choose three, six, or nine months, and you’re welcome to renew at the end of your subscription.

Insurance: Not included, however the car does come with roadside assistance and routine maintenance.

Where you can get it: Only in Los Angeles.

Carma

How it works: Carma is a subscription model where car dealers can lend out vehicles on their lot in monthly increments. Users can check out available cars in a number of different models and then subscribe either online or in the app. All subscriptions are based on monthly mileage plans where you can choose between 500, 800, or 1200 miles. Carma doesn’t make it clear how pickup and delivery work.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to be 21, have a good driving record, and have a valid credit card.

Cost: Prices vary based on how much mileage you want, but range from $499 to $599 per month plus taxes and fees.

Subscription length: Operates on a monthly basis with the option to renew

Insurance: Routine maintenance and insurance included

Where you can get it: They don't currently offer information on this.

Drive Flow

How it works: Drive Flow is another subscription-based model that operates through an app. Members are assigned a personal concierge who can help you select the perfect vehicle for every occasion (including special features like Bluetooth and extra seats) and will deliver your hand detailed car when it’s ready. Depending on your plan, you can get unlimited flips and there’s no minimum notice time to return your car. They’ll pick up your old vehicle and bring you the next one when you flip.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to be 21 with a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.

Cost: You’ll pay a one-time $250 joining fee then a monthly rate based on what subscription tier you choose ranging from $1000 to $1499 per month. A less expensive plan will be available soon. Plans include up to 1200 miles per month, and you’ll pay $0.65 per additional mile.

Insurance: Included with a $1000 deductible, roadside assistance, routine maintenance and detailing.

Subscription length: They request a 12-month commitment, but you can cancel your membership with 30 days notice or pause your subscription for a $200 fee. Their top plans allow you unlimited car flips and their Prospector plan gives you one flip per month into the same vehicle.

Where you can get it: Currently in Winston-Salem and Raleigh, NC, but there are plans to expand the technology across the country

Fair

How it works: Fair also connects with car dealers to lend out vehicles that are otherwise sitting idle to Fair subscribers. Approved users are able to select from their pool of pre-owned and certified pre-owned vehicles that are no more than six years old and hail from 30 different brands. You’ll be given a monthly payment range that works for you based on your credit. You can grab your car from the dealership or have Fair’s concierge arrange for delivery, and returns simply require five days notice. Fair has also recently developed a program for Uber drivers to work with their vehicles.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to provide a scan of your driver’s license in the app and they’ll perform a “soft” credit check.

Cost: Monthly fees vary based on the vehicle and on your credit history. You’ll also be charged a one-time Start Payment for each vehicle you take which will be refunded if you return the car in good condition. 

Insurance: Fair includes a limited warranty, routine maintenance, and roadside assistance. You can pay extra for Fair insurance and general wear-and-tear protection at checkout.

Subscription length: Unlimited and can be cancelled whenever you want

Where you can get it: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and Boston (coming soon)

Flexdrive 

How it works: Flexdrive partners with car dealers to lend out vehicles to their subscribers. You can rent a vehicle for up to 28 days, but you can also renew your subscription as many times as you’d like. All subscriptions and renewals are handled through their app, and you’ll need to have your credit card with you in order to pick up your car.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to provide a credit card and a driver’s license with at least three years of driving and a clean record to register.

Cost: Varies based on the vehicle, but tends to be around $200-300/week. You may have additional local taxes of around $2-5 per day and some markets have a mileage limit which means you’ll pay an extra $10 to $15 for every hundred miles you exceed your limit.

Insurance: It’s included in the cost of your subscription.

Subscription length: Anywhere from 7 to 28 days.

Where you can get it: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Florida, Philadelphia/New Jersey, Virginia

Mobiliti

How it works: Mobiliti partners with car dealerships to offer users monthly vehicle subscriptions. You can select virtually any new or like-new car from those available within their dealer network either online or through their app. Approvals usually take place within a few minutes, but never take more than 24 hours. Once you’ve chosen your subscription and mileage plan, you can schedule the pickup for your vehicle at the dealership. You can return, swap, or keep your car at the end of your month

Membership requirements: You’ll need to be 21 (although some folks between 18 and 21 can be accepted if you call them directly) and have approved credit, a credit card in your name, a mobile phone, and an approved driving record.

Cost: Prices range from $600 to $1400 per month depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

Subscription length: Monthly, but can be renewed indefinitely

Insurance: Included plus roadside assistance, routine maintenance, and limited warranty

Where you can get it: Currently in Austin, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Detroit. Coming soon to New York and Dallas.

Revolve

How it works: Revolve is a luxury vehicle subscription service allowing users to hop into cars that retail at $80,000 or more from Porsche, BMW, Maserati, Lexus, and more. Members use the app to select five luxury cars they want in their garage and then have those cars delivered directly to them on a rotational basis by their concierge. You won’t get to choose when you get each vehicle, but you’ll receive a two week notice when your car is going to flip.

Membership requirements: You need to be 26 years old and have a valid driver’s license in good standing.

Cost: You’ll pay a one-time $500 sign-up fee, then make monthly payments ranging from $1900 to $2600 depending on your plan. Each plan includes 2,000 miles per month.

Insurance: Included with a $1,000,000 liability policy plus roadside assistance and routine maintenance

Subscription length: Subscription is on a monthly basis with no long-term contract. 

Where you can get it: Currently in South Florida only, but there are plans to expand.

YOYO

How it works: YOYO lets users select a car from their fleet of vehicles. Each time you want a new vehicle you log into the app and make a request. They provide white glove delivery service of the car directly to your location, and they’ll also pick it up from you when you’re done with it. It should be noted that YoYo is not yet fully available, but they’re currently running a pilot program in San Francisco and are accepting early adopters for their Founding Members Reservation Program. Be sure to sign up for their mailing list to stay updated.

Membership requirements: Information is not yet available.

Cost: The exact cost is not yet available, however their model is pay-per-mile, meaning you’ll pay a low rate based on how many miles you drive.

Insurance: Included in the cost of your subscription.

Subscription length: Although it’s not totally clear just yet, it seems like there won’t be a limit on how long you can keep your car.

Where you can get it: Only in San Francisco and only for early adopters currently, but they have plans to expand nationwide.

Company-direct car subscription services

These services are offered directly by the car manufacturers themselves, so your subscription will allow you to get into cars from a specific brand.

BOOK by Cadillac

How it works: Cadillac’s own car subscription service allows you to rent out Cadillac vehicles regularly. You can rent cars on a monthly basis with your subscription fee, and you’ll need to renew your reservation each month if you wish to keep the car longer. When you’re ready to grab a new car, you’ll log into the BOOK app and choose your vehicle. They’ll have a concierge deliver the car to you, and when you’re ready to return the car you’ll leave it at a specified location.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license in the jurisdiction where you live, and meet their driving history standards.

Cost: Members pay an initial $500 starting fee and then pay an additional $1800/month for the subscription. Each month includes up to 2,000 miles.

Insurance: Insurance is covered, however there is a $1000 deductible.

Subscription length: Each subscription length is up to one month but can be renewed. You’re allowed to swap cars up to 18 times in a year.

Where you can get it: New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas

Canvas

How it works: A branch of the Ford Motors family and now including Lincoln vehicles as well, Canvas is a subscription car service that just got its start this year. The program allows users to subscribe to a vehicle in monthly increments for up to a full year with several different mileage packages. 

When you want to get a car, you’ll login to the customer dashboard on their website and request the vehicle. They’ll deliver the car to your home or office, and you’ll just need to provide two valid forms of ID when the car arrives. When you’re ready to return it, you’ll schedule your return date and location on the dashboard at least seven days in advance and one of their agents will come pick up the car from you.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to be over 21, have a good driving record with a valid US license, and good credit.

Cost: To start, you’ll pay a subscription fee starting at $375/month and dropping down to $50/month if you choose a 12-month subscription. Then you’ll pay for the car. Sedans start at around $300/month while luxury vehicles run closer to $500/month. Last, you’ll pay for mileage. 

Your plan includes 500 miles per month, but you can upgrade to unlimited for another $100 monthly. They have a three-day satisfaction guarantee where you can get a refund for your subscription if you’re not happy. They also offer a rebate for your first month if you extend your subscription by more than two months during your first month of use. Finally, they have a referral program where you and a friend can each get $150 credit when your friend signs up with your code.

Insurance: Full insurance coverage, plus warranty and maintenance are included in the subscription.

Subscription length: One to 12 months.

Where you can get it: It’s currently only in the Bay Area and West Los Angeles, but there are plans to extend coverage in the future.

Care by Volvo

How it works: Care by Volvo is a little different than the other subscription plans. It functions like a 24-month lease, however your subscription includes personalized car options, insurance, basic maintenance, wear and tear coverage, and roadside assistance. Once you’ve had a car for 12 months, you’ll also be eligible to upgrade to a new vehicle as long as your account is in good standing. Orders are handled through the app and supported by Volvo concierges who help you through the process and deliver the car to you. 

Membership requirements: You will need a valid driver’s license, plus they’ll run a credit check.

Cost: In order to reserve your car, you’ll need to make a $500 deposit which will either roll over into your first month or be returned to you if you don’t pass the application. From there, you’ll pay a flat monthly rate between $650 and $850 depending on the vehicle, not including taxes and registration fees. Your mileage limit is 15,000 annually, and you’ll pay an extra $0.25 per mile over that.

Insurance: It’s offered by Liberty Mutual and included in your subscription.

Subscription length: 24 months and you can upgrade after 12 months.

Where you can get it: Anywhere with a US address.

Mercedes Benz Collection

How it works: Mercedes Benz lends Collection members any of their vehicles for a simple monthly subscription fee. Users can log into the app to request a vehicle or flip to a different vehicle. Your car will be delivered to whatever location you choose by a personal concierge who can help you choose the perfect car based on your needs. They’ll also clean and fuel the car before it arrives. Once you’re done with a car, you just request to return it or flip it via the app.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to be over 21 with a valid license and a solid driving record.

Cost: You’ll pay a one-time $495 fee to register, then you’ll pay between $1595 and $2995 per month depending on what tier subscription you choose.

Insurance: Insurance is included with $1 million liability coverage, $2000 worth of medical payments, and a $1000 deductible. Maintenance and repairs are also taken care of.

Subscription length: Fees are monthly, but you can keep your car for as long or short as you like.

Where you can get it: Nashville and Philadelphia, but there are plans to expand.

Passport by Porsche

How it works: The ultimate in luxury car subscriptions, Passport by Porsche essentially lets you drive a new car every day of the week. You let their concierge know what needs you have for a particular vehicle, and they’ll select the perfect car and deliver it directly to your home or office. Subscriptions are all monthly, but your mileage is unlimited and your number of flips during that time is also unlimited. When you’re finished with a car, they’ll pick it up and bring you a new one if you’ve ordered it.

Membership requirements: You’ll need to send a picture of your driver’s license through the app so they can check your driving history, and you’ll need a valid debit or credit card.

Cost: You’ll pay a one-time $500 fee to join plus $2000 or $3000 per month depending on the plan you select.

Insurance: Included with a $1 million liability policy, a $1000 deductible, plus roadside assistance and routine maintenance

Subscription length: Subscriptions are monthly, but you can keep your car for as long as you want and flip it as many times as you want during the month

Where you can get it: Currently only in Atlanta, but there are plans to expand

Car subscription services might not be in your area yet, but you can bet that they will be soon. Predictions have shown that as much as 10 percent of vehicle sales in the US and Europe will be subscriptions by the year 2025. With all your fees neatly bundled into one payment, and with a whole fleet of fabulous cars at your fingertips, vehicle subscriptions are poised to revolutionize the way you drive.

Want to stay ahead of the curve on similar topics? Be sure to keep up with the Knoji blog where we’re always posting useful guides to help you stay up to date on some of the coolest money-saving services like this. And, while you’re here, pop over to the Knoji homepage where we’ve answered thousands of questions about discounts and savings from your favorite retailers.

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Posted on Nov 24, 2013