Online car retailer Cazoo has just launched its own subscription model, so let’s take a look at how it works and what it could cost you to subscribe to a motor rather than buy or lease one.
Cheap UK car subscriptions
Regular readers will know we've reviewed Cazoo before, but the car subscription option is a new way to go about getting the keys to your ideal vehicle so we thought we'd take a closer look.
The idea is incredibly simple. You search through Cazoo for a motor that catches your eye and then select how long you want to ‘subscribe’ for.
You have a few different options here: six months, a year, 18 months or two years.
And then for a monthly payment, you not only get the keys to that car but also comprehensive car insurance cover, round-the-clock roadside assistance, servicing, tax and maintenance.
The monthly payment covers you for 1,000 miles on the road each month, though you can cough up a little extra if you spend longer behind the wheel regularly.
For 1,500 miles, you’ll need to pay an additional £100 per month, while for £200 per month you’ll get 2,000 miles.
Applying for a subscription
When you apply for a subscription, Cazoo will run through a few details, like your driving history and what you can afford to pay. You’ll then find out if the subscription is approved within a couple of days.
At this point, you’ll have to pay a deposit, which is the equivalent of two monthly payments.
It’s a rollover
Once you come to the end of your subscription, it’s up to you what happens next. You can return the motor to Cazoo and then subscribe to a new car ‒ or perhaps buy one ‒ or, if you really like it, you can roll over that subscription to a new rolling monthly deal.
You’ll pay exactly the same amount, but you aren’t tied in so you can take it back and end the package whenever you like.
What does it cost?
Of course, the ultimate factor to consider here is how much the subscription costs.
This will vary depending on the motor you go for.
For example, I can pick up a Fiat 500 one litre hybrid from £269 per month, while if you fancy a Tesla you can subscribe to Model 3 which starts at £949 per month.
Generally, the cost of subscribing to a car is less if you go for a longer subscription period, so picking a motor that’s likely to meet your needs for longer is good for the bank balance.
So it's worth doing your research to see how those subscription costs compare to a more mainstream leasing option, or even going down the PCP route if there's a chance you might want to own the car in the long run.
Other car subscriptions providers
It’s worth highlighting that Cazoo isn’t the only car firm that allows drivers to subscribe to a motor.
Wagonex for example operates its own subscription model, with cars again available across periods ranging from six months to two years and insurance included within the package, though you can opt to sort out your own insurance if you prefer.
Sixt is another rival, which allows you to rent a car for a minimum of 30 days.
The pros and cons of subscribing to a car
Ultimately car subscription services will appeal to motorists who like to be able to move between models every year or so ‒ or even every six months or so ‒ without having to go through the hassle of actually purchasing and then selling on those motors.
They also mean you don’t ever have to worry about depreciation. Cars lose value once you drive them off the forecourt, but that’s not an issue if you never actually own the car and simply subscribe to it.
What’s more, the fact that the various extras like insurance, tax, roadside cover and maintenance are all covered by that monthly fee means that there is very little hassle involved. You just need to pick the car you want and the length of the subscription.
Of course, depreciation can vary massively between different cars, as we cover regularly on loveMONEY, picking out the cars that hold their value the best as well as those that drop in value most quickly.
But even if a car does lose value after you buy it, it is still worth something.
You still have an asset with some value a year or two after you buy it. By contrast, with a subscription you ultimately don’t get anything material from the money you’re spending.