For a long time, we’ve had the option to either own a car or lease one when car shopping, depending on what our needs are for the moment. Sure, we’ve been able to rent cars for decades now, but there’s a new service just gaining ground and it’s called a car rental subscription.
Few people even know this type of service even exists. Forbes helps explain what this program is all about and who could benefit from taking advantage of one.
What are car rental subscriptions?
When you think of car rentals, you usually think about the rentals you pick up when you fly to a different city and need something to drive around in. You would rent it for a week or so and then return it before flying back to your destination.
A car rental subscription works just like that scenario, except you can rent it out for longer periods of time and you can have more flexibility with it. What you get, how long you can have it, and how much it will cost you vary with each company offering this service.
Some have limitations on which states it’s offered in and which vehicles you can choose. Prices can range anywhere from $459 all the way up to $1,500 a month. Yes, they can be costly, but it generally evens out when you compare it to getting an automotive loan to buy one.
Who offers them?
There are a handful of companies offering this service right now. One of them is Enterprise. It’s had this service since May 2019, but it only offers it in Minnesota, Missouri, and Nevada. You can choose from a list of approximately 20 vehicles, and you can get a sedan, SUV, or even a pickup truck, depending on what’s available at the time you sign up. It will cost $1,499 a month after a $250 enrollment fee.
Another rental subscription service is Hertz, which tries to always find ways to save you money. Hertz has a three-tier system where you can customize your subscription plan. Prices start at $599 a month and it goes up with each tier package. Included in their packages will be maintenance for the vehicle, roadside assistance, liability protection, and vehicle damage.
One of the newest programs offering car rental subscriptions is Sixt+, which just launched in September. Its monthly rate begins at $459 and will include any costs related to registration, service, and maintenance. Its plans are flexible enough that you can replace your vehicle with another one after only one month.
Should you own, lease, or use a car rental subscription?
Deciding which avenue to take will depend on your particular situation. If you plan to use the vehicle often and don’t mind dealing with maintenance and repair visits, owning might be the best choice for you.
However, if you’re thinking you would like a vehicle at your fingertips, but you get tired of driving the same car year after year, leasing might suit you the best. You should also consider leasing a vehicle if you don’t want to deal with trading or selling it down the road.
A car rental subscription works best for those who don’t plan on driving all that often but still need a vehicle for a few months out of the year. Those who can afford the monthly cost will find this option to be perfect for their situation.
Car rental subscriptions are a great option if you’re not interested in owning a vehicle, but you need something to drive for a while. There are a few more companies that offer this that aren’t listed here, like Volvo’s rental program. But the message is the same. The flexibility these plans offer will reduce the hassle that owning or leasing a vehicle would bring.