As I’ve written previously, many of us who live in urban areas may not own (or lease) cars in the coming years, since attractive alternatives will be available. But the appeal of having your own car likely will endure for many people.

Automakers are starting to think about what their own futures might look like. That will include selling or leasing fleets of cars to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. It will include selling and leasing cars to individual consumers, as well, of course. But it also will include offering “subscriptions” to cars for individuals.

Check out the video from Volvo at the top of this article. The Swedish automaker just introduced an alternative to buying or leasing: a monthly subscription which gets you a new car (for now limited to two models of the Volvo XC40), plus free maintenance and repair, insurance, and a concierge service. The only expense other than the $600-a-month and up subscription fee would be gasoline. And you can customize your “subscribed” vehicle just as if you were purchasing it.

As others have noted, this is the auto industry mimicking the mobile phone industry, which long has offered a way to have a new phone for a couple years and then upgrade to a new model. Volvo’s “Care” subscription would allow getting a different new car as early as 12 months out.

At this point, the Volvo subscription is pricy, so it’s not for the budget minded who might hold onto an owned car for many years. Still, with no upfront cost plus auto insurance and all repair/maintenance costs absorbed by the monthly fee, it could make sense for some people.

Is an auto subscription something that appeals to you? Answer the quick survey below.
 


Further reading:

Volvo wants to sell cars like Verizon sells phones
Engadget
November 29, 2017


Top video credit: Volvo