Subscribe to a car instead of buying it: a comparison of seven providers

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A subscription gives the impression of savings and convenience. You receive a certain product at a fixed price – regardless of how often and to what extent it is really needed. You do not have to worry about more than the punctual payment of the clearly defined sum. What applies to streaming services or bicycles also applies to cars. Manufacturers themselves and specialized service providers offer such subscription models and are primarily aimed at customers who do not want to be tied to a car for years.

The reasons for this can be varied: a commute to work that is longer for a few months, an alternative to cycling in the colder months of the year or simply mobility for a very long vacation. In all of these cases, the classic methods of getting a car seem inappropriate. With rental cars, the high daily and weekly prices are a deterrent, with leasing the minimum duration is often two or more years and with financing or cash purchase the question of subsequent use arises. With the exception of the rental car, unforeseen costs threaten to mess up your own calculations.

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This is where the subscription providers come in. A fixed rate covers almost all eventualities. You don’t have to worry about taxes, insurance and maintenance. At the end of the term, you can simply park the vehicle again with the provider, provided that the vehicle is handled carefully. Our comparison shows who such a subscription is actually worthwhile for and what restrictions you have to expect. In addition to the manufacturer’s own offers from Volvo (Care by Volvo), Mini (Mini Subscribe), PSA / Stellantis (PSA Retail Auto Abo) and Volkswagen (Volkswagen Auto Abo), this also takes into account the service providers Fleetpool (Conqar) and Finn (Finn Auto Abo) as well as the car rental company Sixt (Sixt +).

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