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How to save money with car subscriptions
by Canvas • December 4, 2018


Car ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities — and a lot of expenses. From insurance to maintenance, the cost of owning a car can really start to burn a pretty huge hole in your wallet. Not to mention, as soon as you drive your vehicle off the lot, it begins to significantly depreciates in value.

If you’re looking for something a little more cost effective and convenient, car subscriptions are definitely a great option to consider if you need a way to get around.

Car Subscriptions: A Quick Overview You may be scratching your head and asking yourself - what exactly are car subscriptions? We get it - they can be a little confusing. Simply put, car subscriptions are a simple way to get behind the wheel for a certain period of time (from three months to even a year or more). Most car subscriptions offer lightly used cars and often include maintenance and insurance in one monthly payment.

Unlike ride sharing options like Getaround or Zipcar, you can have a car for more than just a few hours or a weekend. And unlike a lease, you can subscribe month to month and easily cancel whenever you need to (goodbye outrageous cancellation fees!). A lot of car subscription services, like Canvas, don’t require a downpayment of any kind!

Lower Monthly Costs When you decide to subscribe to your vehicle, you typically pay a fixed fee each month. This monthly cost might cover insurance, maintenance and more. In a lot of cases, a car subscription includes roadside assistance, which is a total lifesaver if you ever end up stranded on the side of the road. These included perks like insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance can mean major savings. However, just knowing that they’re taken off your plate is a huge thing in itself. Can you really put a price tag on peace of mind?

In the end, the cost of a subscribing to your car is likely to be lower — perhaps significantly lower — than the combined costs of financing, insurance and maintaining a car of your own. Additionally, with most auto subscriptions, there aren’t any upfront payments to worry about. You’re not responsible for the cost of the title or the registration. There’s no down payment. Since the monthly costs are clear from the get go, there’s no haggling with a dealer.

Best of all, there’s no danger of paying more for a car than what it’s worth and no chance of taking home a lemon.

Flexibility and Ease of Use (After All, Time Is Money) Car subscriptions save time in various ways. No need to even leave your couch - you can subscribe to your car online (or even through your mobile device). It’s no secret that going to an actual dealership can be a very lengthy process that could take all day. Though most car subscriptions allow you to pick up your vehicle from the dealership, many even offer the option to have your car delivered right to your front door. Talk about convenience.

Unlike a lease, which is a strict agreement, there’s no commitment involved with a car subscription. That’s a great bonus if you know you only need an automobile for a short period of time or if you think you might move or change jobs in the near future. Life can change at any moment, so it’s nice to know that you are not tied down to your car.

For example, imagine that you’ve been living in New York City for the past few years and don’t own a car. To your surprise, you get offered an amazing job opportunity in Los Angeles that is too hard to turn down. Only problem - the opportunity is only for six months, and you will need a car to get to work. Trying to buy a car is the last thing you want to deal with while you’re making the big cross-country move. Selling it at the end of six months seems equally painful.

Car subscriptions are only available in a few large cities right now. Nevertheless, as more people learn about this new alternative, car subscription services will continue to expand to new cities. Whether you’re embarking on a new life adventure or you just are ready for a hassle-free way to get behind the wheel, car subscriptions can be a great option to consider if you’re looking to save time and money. Your wallet may end up thanking you big time.