A car parked on the side of a street in London.

Car subscription requirements: What drivers need to subscribe to a car

It pays off to be prepared when booking a your next car.
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  • Subscription providers often have more stringent eligibility criteria than car finance lenders.
  • You need to have a clean driving record as some providers may not accept you if you have had any driving convictions, disqualifications, accidents or claims in the past 5 years.
  • The requirements vary from one subscription company to another but they all carry out the same basic checks.
  • There are certain jobs which providers won't accept either.

Car subscriptions are booming and if you’re looking to get your hands on a new car, and leave all cost worries behind, you better know what to expect when contacting your chosen provider.

The documents and requirements may differ from one subscription company to another. Still, they would all ask you to verify your identity, carry out a credit check, and (sometimes) assess your monthly affordability.

Unlike leasing or when buying a car on finance, car subscription companies won’t need to ask for employment references or 3-years’ worth of evidence.

They would rather ask you for the nature of your work as certain occupations aren’t permitted. Depending on the provider, these may include:

  • professional sportsmen or sportswoman.
  • entertainment or theatrical professions.
  • racing.
  • gambling.

What paperwork do I need to get a car on subscription?

You won’t need many documents to join a car subscription provider for personal use. The main items you’ll need are:

  • Clearly legible photos or scan copies of your driving licence.
  • Proof of address (either a utility bill or a bank statement is usually fine.
  • DVLA check code (you may be asked for this by some providers).
  • Sign a contract with the provider once you’ve passed all previous checks.

To be able to do all the above, you’ll need to create an account using your full name, email address and date of birth. You’ll be creating an account and joining as the named driver. You can add a second driver to your subscription later.

Make sure you have your documents ready before starting the sign-up process so you can share your documents with the provider as soon as they ask for them.

What are the basic requirements to join?

Now that the required documentation is out of the way, it's worth checking that you meet the eligibility and qualification criteria most vehicle subscription companies adhere to:

  • Be 25 to 85 years old, or (you can still subscribe if you're retired)
  • 30 to 85 for expensive, premium cars.
  • Hold a full UK driving licence - provisional licence or paper licence are not accepted.
  • Have held your UK licence for at least 12 months
  • If you've exchanged a foreign licence, you'll need to provide evidence.
  • The licence should be the category vehicle you want to subscribe to.
  • Be a UK resident using a UK bank account.

Also, providers have more stringent rules when it comes to your driving past. It is very likely that they won't approve your subscription application if you:

  • You have more than 6 points on your licence, received during the last 3 years.
  • Have been banned from driving within the last 5 years.
  • Have more than one fault claim within the last 3 years.
  • Have been refused car insurance in the past.
  • Any disability or condition that the DVLA aren’t aware of.
  • Been convicted during the last 5 years of any offence/s that resulted in more than 6 penalty points on your licence, suspension or ban from driving.
  • This also includes pending prosecutions, which you must disclose when joining.

See the full list of penalty points.

What happens if I don’t pass the eligibility criteria?

Ouch, getting rejected from a provider won’t be fun but you have to accept that car subscriptions tend to put more weight on certain aspects of your driving history.

If a car subscription company is unable to accept your application, they will inform you and explain the reasons why you didn’t pass their checks.

As some providers try to get your account up and running as soon as possible, they will as ask you for the deposit before all background checks have been carried out. In those situations, if you don’t meet their requirements, your deposit will be refunded in full.

What you can’t do with your car while on a subscription

What we’re talking about here is the car subscription requirements when getting a car for personal use. There are a couple of rules all drivers must follow:

  • You can’t use the car for any commercial or business use.
  • Don’t make any modifications to the car.
  • Don’t overload the vehicle by carrying more passengers than seats available, or by transporting heavy goods.
  • Take the car to any garage for repairs.
  • Don’t leave the country without obtaining prior permission by the subscription service.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you're looking for more information about subscriptions, you can check out our review of elmo or perhaps compare the best car subscription services in the UK!

Browse all cars available on subscription

There are hundreds of cars available via UK subscription companies.

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