Why an electric vehicle subscription might be the new try-before-you-buy

Interest in electric vehicles is on the rise. But their perceived purchase and running cost may hold some people back. One possible solution? A car subscription.

Energy Progress
Owning a car means different things to everyone.

To some, it’s about freedom; a car gives you the flexibility to hit the road whenever you feel like it. To others, it’s about ease and convenience. And to a few, it’s status; a car is something to be seen in and be proud of.

But for most of us, buying a car will be the second-most expensive purchase we’ll ever make (after buying a house). The costs don’t stop once you’ve handed over your cash either; car owners also need to consider the cost of regular servicing, insurance, registration and fuel. It all adds up – the average weekly running cost of a car is $232.

Enter, the electric vehicle

While electric cars are generally more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel models, they’re cheaper to run and cheaper to maintain. They’re better for the environment too, creating less air and noise pollution. If you charge your car using solar power rather than the grid, you’re using renewable energy, which lowers your emissions even more. Taking all that into account, electric cars are a win for the planet.

As Australians are becoming savvier about climate change, and more ethical about where their money goes, interest in electric vehicles is on the rise. But the perceived cost of purchasing – and running – an electric car is holding many people back from making the investment. An easy solution? A car subscription.

What exactly is a car subscription, and what are the benefits?

A car subscription is exactly what it sounds like: you sign up to a car subscription service, choose your electric car and subscribe to it for as long as you need to – a few weeks, a few months or a few years. Your subscription covers registration, insurance, servicing and roadside assistance – all you need to pay for are tolls. And make sure it’s charged.

How does subscribing to a car compare to buying one outright?

For one thing, you don’t have to outlay a lot when you need a car. Your weekly subscription fee also covers all those pricey extras, and you can exchange your vehicle for a new one whenever you feel like it, to accommodate a growing family, a new job interstate or you just feel like a change. And if you know there’ll be a period where you won’t be using it (like going overseas for a few months or working from home for an extended period), you can cancel your subscription, with no cancellation fees.

One of the biggest costs associated with car ownership is depreciation, where the value of your car decreases over time due to general wear and tear. When you have a car subscription, this isn’t a factor you even need to consider – you can easily upgrade if you choose.

What do you get for your investment?

Apart from a car that’s good for the environment and turns heads wherever you go? You get a car that’s yours, that you can use whenever you need. You don’t need to book it or share it with other people in your neighbourhood. There’s no limit on how far you can take it, unlike many car rental contracts, where you can only drive your car a certain distance from its collection point.

If you’re curious about electric cars but are hesitant about the long-term investment, a subscription is a great way to test the waters. Subscribing to an electric vehicle means you can experience the latest technology, without the risks of purchasing a new vehicle outright. Those niggly ongoing costs associated with car ownership are covered. And by driving an electric car, you know you’re making a positive difference to the environment.

Subscribing to an electric vehicle gives you more flexibility and can be a financially viable solution to how you get around, both now and in the future.