Car subscriptions vs buying

Car subscriptions are fast becoming the go-to option for individuals across the UK as the needs of the modern driver are beginning to supersede traditional car ownership. While buying a car outright still has its advantages for many, there is a growing need for affordability, flexibility and more when the time comes to get a new car.

What is a car subscription and why is it preferable to buying?

When you learn how to drive, owning a car can seem like a necessity, but the reality is that there are so many options available now that ownership isn’t the ultimate goal when you need to get around. Car subscription is one of the newer alternatives to car ownership out there that allow drivers to simply sign up to a provider, choose the car they’d like to drive, create a subscription package and pay their rental fees along with insurance, road tax, maintenance and more under one monthly payment. These contracts typically last for a month (but can last up to three years) and can be cancelled and reinstated at any time with no fees to meet the user’s needs.

This system can be a more worthwhile choice than buying outright for those who only drive intermittently, who need flexibility, who like to try out new vehicles (or want to drive a more expensive car than they can afford), who want to have the support of a reliable car that can be maintained without any extra costs and even for those who want simple access to a vehicle without the commitment or the lengthy paperwork that is typically associated with ownership.

Is car subscription the right choice?

There can be a host of reasons that will make car subscription a worthwhile choice, but it will ultimately depend on your needs whether or not it’s the right selection for you. When buying outright, you will likely have fewer outgoings long-term (unless you use finance of course), but the vehicle will depreciate in value. When using a subscription service, you will have all of your payments in one place, so budgeting can be simpler and you won’t have the additional concern of paying out for any maintenance issues that may arise (for example, dealing with a cracked windscreen). Having access to roadside assistance/breakdown cover as standard can also be a worthwhile advantage.

If there are instances where you may go periods of time without using your vehicle (for example, if you work from home and have access to local facilities), a subscription could be a better idea than having a car you own sitting around unused. If you like to drive a lot and take long trips however, there are typically mileage limitations with subscriptions and going over these could mean additional costs.

As you can see, there are advantages to both subscriptions and ownership – and if you’re still unsure, why not try out a subscription for a month or two before making a final decision?