If buying a car, be it outright or on finance, is too big of a commitment and renting one is just not enough, car subscriptions may be for you.
By subscribing to a car service, you can experience car ownership without the hassle. In this guide we explain what it is and why it’s a great alternative to owning or leasing a car. Read on the learn more about this new way of owning a car, especially if you're wondering what is a car subscription plan.
A car subscription is a flexible, monthly plan that grants you access to a range of vehicles for a flat monthly fee. The subscription contracts are inclusive of your essential car costs, such as insurance, road tax, servicing, breakdown cover etc.
Unlike leasing or buying on finance, the subscription terms are more flexible. They tend to be on a month-by-month basis until you decide to cancel, or swap your car for a different one (if you get tired of it). Some services require you to commit to at least 2-3 months, but that can be the case for specific car models only.
The main benefit is the flexibility and convenience. Subscribing to a service is a growing trend, you get a regular food delivery from HelloFresh, a bunch of random gifts from LootCrate or even clothes from services like TrunkClub. Every single one of these services which tries to make our busy lives easier.
The freedom to swap and change your car once a month is a game-changer for many. Gone are the days of being stuck in a finance contract, tirelessly waiting to hit the midway point of your agreement so you can trigger the voluntary termination clause!
Another big thumbs up for car subscriptions is the convenience of having all costs and bills included in one, all-inclusive monthly bill. Everything is clear and easy to understand, which makes your monthly budgeting that much easier. There aren’t any unexpected costs. Check our our car subscription vs car buying guide!
Normally, you’d be responsible for the maintenance, MOT, repairs, roadside assistance, tax and insurance, but a car subscription service takes care of all of that. You just need to pay for fuel and get on the road!
There's literally a car for everyone. There are quite a few subscription providers now which makes finding the right car simple.
Subscription providers often source their vehicles from new, but if it’s a used one, more often than not, your car will be under 6 months to 1 year old. If your heart desires, you can basically drive a brand new car every couple of months.
The car inventory is updated often as and when cars are available and released. It’ll be hard to run out of choices!
The process of subscribing to provider is actually quite straightforward and you can be on the road quite quickly. Here are the usual steps to getting a car on subscription:
This is the usual process when creating a new account with a car subscription platform. However, when it comes to swapping the car for another, you won’t have to go through the same process again. Often. the car subscription company would arrange for the old car to be picked up, and the new one, delivered.
A car subscription in the UK can cost anything from £180 to £2,000 or more per month. In addition, many services ask for a refundable down payment, activation fee, or deposit.
The cost of your car subscription plan will mainly depend on your chosen car and contract length. The cheapest car on subscription we could find is a Renault Twizy which can costs just around £200 per month. The most expensive car, however, could be upwards of £2,000/month for vehicles like Tesla Model X.
When picking a car, always make sure the plan and cost fits in with your monthly budget. Also, as always make sure you shop around and compare subscription companies before committing to one.
If you value convenience and flexibility then a car subscription is the right option for you. However, if you want your money to be going towards something you’ll eventually own, you should pick a car on finance (e.g. PCP or HP).
Some people find subscriptions to work as a quick or temporary solution until they buy a car they want to own. You can also treat subscriptions as an extended test drive. Find the model you want, drive until you are fully happy with it, and then go and buy it so you can own it.
The main downside with car subscriptions is the hefty monthly price tag which, for many, isn’t feasible for an extended period.
Having said that, the option to try a new car for a month or two, no strings attached, is an exciting prospect for many drivers in the UK. This is such a big reasons why you could considering replacing your old car.
Once your subscription has come to an end, your car will be collected by the subscription provider. You can normally arrange a collection from your home.
The car will then be inspected for any damage that isn’t just normal wear and tear. If any additional servicing is required, you may be asked to cover the cost.
If everything looks good and the subscription company is happy, no further monthly payments will be taken!
Dropping the car at the provider’s premises is sometimes also an option. Read our full guide on deliveries and collections.
Yes, car subscriptions are halal because the subscription agreements do not involve interest.
Under Sharia law interest is forbidden. That's why Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Hire Purchase (HP), are not halal. Although, they can be if they are interest-free.
It can be a bit challenging to find the right car finance deal if you want to follow the law because most car finance lenders do not have halal car finance options. That's why car subscriptions can be an excellent sharia-compliant alternative!
Browse all cars available on subscription
There are hundreds of cars available via UK subscription companies.