£1,000 a month to borrow a Volvo – the true cost of car subscriptions

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As the Government pushes motorists away from owning cars outright and toward sharing schemes and public transport, manufacturers are also offering what they market as ‘subscriptions’. Rather than owning a car, or even traditionally leasing it, customers are encouraged to pay a monthly fee that often includes servicing and maintenance, insurance (although not always) road tax and breakdown cover.

The schemes are advertised as being far more flexible than owning or leasing due to a shorter contract period.

Manufacturers also give customers the opportunity to ‘swap’ the new car after a number of months.

The subscriptions are designed to be ‘all-inclusive’ and to give ‘freedom to choose’.

However, some investigation into the figures involved show that these schemes can be wildly overpriced.

A small amount of time shopping around the individual components of the deal can save hundreds if not thousands of pounds.

A lease, while tying the customer into a longer contract, will often have the majority of the same benefits, for the same car, including road tax and warranty.

And a PCP deal, or buying outright, will allow full ownership of the car and flexibility to sell.

Express.co.uk took a look at current car subscriptions offered by manufacturers and independent companies.

Costs varied hugely but all were more expensive than leasing and often than a PCP deal.

Some offer delivery of the vehicle included in the price, but others charge for this while some include servicing but not tyres or oil changes.

And while insurance is often advertised as included in the monthly fee, that is usually based on set parameters and doesn’t allow for individual needs of cover.

Below are some current subscription offers and how they stack up compared to leasing. 

Volvo Care
Minimum contract length: Three months
Cost per month: £469 (XC40) – £1009 (XC90)
Included: Servicing, Road Tax, 30 days insurance, delivery, breakdown cover
Equivalent cost to lease (Personal Contract Hire) the same car: £363 (XC40) – £814 (XC90)

Hyundai Mocean
Minimum contract length: Three months
Cost per month: £279 (i20) – £503 (Tucson PHEV)
Included: Servicing, Road Tax, insurance, breakdown cover
Equivalent cost to lease (Personal Contract Hire) the same car: £218 (i20) – £365 (Tucson PHEV)

Jaguar Pivotal
Minimum contract length: Three months
Cost per month: £850 (F Pace) – £1800 (Range Rover) + £550 joining fee
Included: Servicing, Road Tax, insurance, breakdown cover, new vehicle every six months.
Equivalent cost to lease (Personal Contract Hire) the same car: £766 (F Pace) – £1085 (Range Rover)

Cazoo
Minimum contract length: Six months
Cost per month: £249 (Citroen C1) – £799 (BMW X3) + £75 delivery
Included: Servicing, Road Tax, insurance, breakdown cover, 5p off per litre of fuel
Equivalent cost to lease (Personal Contract Hire) the same car: £226 (Citroen C1) – £628 (BMW X3)

Express.co.uk has reached out to Cazoo for comment. 

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