Along For The Easy Ride
Money Magazine Australia|May 2019
Along For The Easy Ride

A Netflix style service allows you to have a car without the ownership and financial hassles

David Bonnici

By 2025, 1.9 million cars on Australian roads could be subscription cars. That’s 10% of the country’s current road fleet, and almost four times the 515,472 private vehicles sold in 2018.

Even if you halve that optimistic prediction by Forbes, it’s going to require a revolutionary shift in how Aussies view the ownership of their cars, which have long been seen as the second most significant purchase after the family home.

So what is car subscription and how does it differ from buying or leasing?

For car enthusiasts, the annual expenses of owning a special car are like any other part of a hobby or passion. But it’s a different story for people who view their car as a necessary appliance and prefer not to be bogged down by registration, insurance, finance and maintenance costs, as well as associated inconvenience and paperwork.

It’s the discerning but time-poor driver that a number of vehicle brands and third party providers are targeting with Netflix-style subscription services, which allow you to swap your vehicle according to your lifestyle, without the commitment of ownership or finance contracts.

The format varies from brand to brand but each service revolves around the same principle. For a weekly, monthly or annual subscription, customers have access to a range of models. If, for example, the subscriber is off to the snow for the weekend, they might request a large SUV to cart around people and kit. Back home, a smaller passenger model may be more practical to live with for the daily commute and, occasionally, there could be a convertible or something a little more rewarding to drive on a summer weekend.

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May 2019